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Hi as a new member I would like to start a walking plan to increase my health and loose weight because I have to have a major operation within the next few months. Unfortunately I cannot eat nuts, grains and dairy. What do you suggest food wise? Protein Bars are OK???
Question sent in anonymously
Firstly it is important to find out why you exclude grains, nuts, and dairy from your diet. Allergies are very common and affect about one in three New Zealanders at some time in their lives. But allergies should be properly diagnosed by a medical practitioner. The term ‘allergy’ is often misused to describe annoying symptoms such as bloating after drinking a cup of milk. As a result, many people think they have a food allergy when it is, in fact, an intolerance. If you are intolerant you can still consume a small amount of the food that 'triggers" the reaction. With an allergy you can't consume any of the foods that "trigger" the reaction. Therefore it's important to know if you are allergic or intolerant.
Always be careful when you exclude a whole food group (e.g. grains, nuts and dairy) out of your diet. If you take some foods out you have to replace them with alternatives to get the appropriate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Just excluding foods without replacing alternatives often causes deficiencies. You can find more information about allergies and intolerances at the allergy New Zealand website www.allergy.org.nz. I would also strongly recommend to visit a registered nutritionist or dietician when you exclude this many food groups.
Nut allergy could be a peanut and/or tree nut allergy. A small percentage of people with peanut allergy react to other legumes, such as peas, beans and lentils. Care is needed, but most will find they can tolerate these other legumes without problems. If you belong to the latter group you could replace your low fat dairy with soy products (e.g. unsweetened soy milk). It is recommended that you have two serves of calcium fortified soy milk / yoghurt and 1-2 serves of lean meat, chicken and fish to make sure that your protein needs are looked after. Consumption of protein bars is not necessary if you follow these recommendations.
As for the exclusion of grains out of your diet I need to know if it is based on a gluten or wheat allergy. A wheat and gluten-free diet can be achieved by including flours like soy, buckwheat, chickpeas, and rice bran. Or by including grains like amaranath, barley, buckwheat, millet, brown rice. The Manufactured Food Database
www.mfd.co.nz provides a list of foods available in New Zealand that are suitable for people with wheat and gluten allergies. Make sure that you include enough carbohydrate rich foods to support your activity.
As mentioned before I strongly recommend you to see a registered nutritionist or dietician to write you an individualised nutrition plan.