Healthy Eating for People with Food Allergies
by Jae Berman, RD

Living with a food allergy changes your definition of the word “healthy.” A food that may be considered the “best” at the health food store or in a magazine could be life threatening to someone with a food allergy. For this reason alone, creating a healthy eating plan around your allergies is vital to your wellbeing.

Educate yourself
When you are allergic to a food, please educate yourself. Cutting out a food group from your diet is not easy and it does make daily life a little more difficult, especially at first. Being a proactive patient and consumer will only ensure you are making smart decisions and that you are well informed. Talk with more than one physician to confirm that you are indeed allergic and learn about the test and the results. Second, learn what foods fall into the category of your food allergen. Working with a Registered Dietitian will give you tools to give you more confidence in making healthy eating a daily habit.

Create a plan
Once you have a clear idea of what you can and cannot eat, it is time to create a healthy eating plan. You should never leave your house without knowing where you can buy foods that work for you. Know your go-to markets and restaurants so you always make a smart decision while eating. Have snacks in your purse, car and desk drawer so you can stay fueled throughout the day and eat in line with your dietary plan. 

Your health is worth it
Healthy eating when living with an allergy does require putting yourself first because your health is worth it. To be “healthy” with a food allergy means having a good attitude towards your condition. Make it work for you! If you are going to a friend’s house for dinner, give a call in advance to find out what is being served—maybe you need to bring something specific for you. If you are eating out with some friends or family, take a look at the menu online so you know what to order in advance. Take some time at the market and find some go-to snacks and mini-meals that you can have with you in your car or purse so you always have something to munch on when you in a rush or on the go.

While the learning curve for creating a healthy eating plan is steep at the beginning, once you take ownership of your food allergy and your health, it will become easier to live your life without compromise.

*Please keep in mind that the information on this site does not constitute medical advice. Before embarking on any weight loss plan or making dietary changes, you should consult your doctor.

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