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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

COMPLICATED VS UNCOMPLICATED FOODS

COMPLICATED AND UNCOMPLICATED FOODS

Working with patients nutritionally prompts me to write this Blog on COMPLICATED VS UNCOMPLICATED Foods. When we deal with individuals with food and other allergies, we put them on an elimination diet which removes many foods eaten regularly. They are allowed many foods but are asked not to eat any particular food more than once every 3 - 4 days. Recently, we have attempted to evaluate the foods which are not removed from the diet and are allowed. I am now trying to ask my patients to try to eliminate foods I define as COMPLICATED.

Here is my argument: if we take you off milk and corn on our elimination diet, what is the significance of consuming a soup containing corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, whey protein, milk solids, etc. These particular food components are in almost every prepared canned food. Can you imagine that Cheerios, which is advertized as being “made of oats,” has wheat in it? This is important because our diet prohibits wheat and allows oats. But, if you desire to eat Cheerios, you might think you are eating oats when, in fact, you are consuming wheat additionally. In our experience many individuals are allergic to both wheat and milk. In order to overcome the allergy, they must COMPLETELY eliminate these items from their diet for, at least, a period of 4-6 weeks. Since I have emphasized the word COMPLETELY, this also means the elimination of these food components in other foods – foods I call COMPLICATED, because ostensibly complicated foods contain multiple food components other than what you might think is in there by the label.

Recently here in Panama, I bought a box of “Minute 3 Brand” Quick, cooks in one minute, Oats. The single ingredient was: 100% Rolled Oats from Ralston Foods. Now, this is an UNCOMPLICATED FOOD! But how many of such foods are on the shelves of your local supermarket?

I just went to my cupboard to check the ingredients of Kellogg’s “Komplete” cereal which is touted to be “Natural, Healthy, and Zero Cholesterol. As expected with a multi grain cereal, it contained: corn, wheat, rice, oats, a touch of soy, and honey. But what about the artificial colors: Red Dye #40; Blue Dye #2; and Yellow Dye #5. Pray tell what is so natural about these three artificial dyes? These three dyes from petroleum and coal tar (scary is it not?) are allowed in foods subject to batch certification. There is a class of dyes usually from natural sources allowed without batch certification.

“YELLOW MEANS CAUTION

Two categories make up FDA's list of permitted colors: those the agency certifies by batch (derived primarily from petroleum and coal sources) and ones exempt from batch certification (obtained largely from plant, animal, or mineral sources--fruit juice, carmine, and titanium dioxide, for example). Colors found to be potentially hazardous have been purged from the list of permissible additives. What remains is a wide color spectrum approved for use in foods, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, cosmetics, or in medical devices such as surgical sutures and contact lenses.

Though these colors have a good safety record, one commonly used additive reportedly has prompted minor adverse reactions in some people. It is FD&C Yellow No. 5, listed as tartrazine on medicine labels, a color found widely in beverages, desserts, processed vegetables, drugs, makeup, and many other products. FDA certifies more than 2 million pounds of it yearly.

In 1986, an FDA advisory committee concluded that Yellow No. 5 may cause itching or hives in a small population sub-group. This kind of skin reaction usually is not a serious one, says Linda Tollefson, D.V.M., an FDA epidemiologist "Reactions are classified as hypersensitive and are not true allergic reactions, which would be more severe."

Nonetheless, since 1980 (for drugs) and 1981 (for foods), FDA has required all products containing Yellow No. 5 to list the color on their labels so consumers sensitive to the dye can avoid it. (As of May 8, 1993, labels must list all certified colors as part of the requirements of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.)”


Portions of this information by John Henkel originally appeared in the December 1993 FDA Consumer magazine.
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/col-221.html

So when we place our patients on our special diet to help determine food and other allergies and to overcome drug (both so-called “HARD” and prescription) we ask them to follow our SPECIAL diet letter-by-letter. We now caution against the eating of COMPLICATED foods. In this business, we MUST begin to read labels and take nothing for granted.

It is my opinion that most cannot eat the same foods everyday without eventually developing allergies or sensitivities to them. With respect to milk that might be another situation where the infant baby is fed cow’s milk and formulas made with cow’s milk so early in life that the infant’s immature digestive system allows the foreign cow’s protein to enter the blood stream undigested setting the baby up to develop sensitivity reactions later. My Treatise on “Milk Allergy and Sensitivity” soon to be available in our web site’s Order Online Bookstore.

If you have a nutritionally related health condition, or, if you are addicted to drugs (prescription or otherwise) and wish to get off of them, Email me. We might be able to help you.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

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