Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Food intolerances: yes they're real



Delicious Magazine August 2013

In 2011, after months of unexplained stomach pains and doctors' tests, I was diagnosed with a lactose intolerance.* Which is a pain in the ass when you make your living as a food writer. What makes it worse is that a lot of people think food intolerances are a fad, or a product of fuss-pot imaginations. So I've written a column for this month's Delicious Magazine standing up for the millions of Brits with food intolerances.

On the plus side, in the past year and a half I've had lots of fun experimenting in the kitchen with dairy-free and low-lactose ingredients. Coconut milk, cocoa powder and sheep's cheese have been among my firm allies in this quest (many lactose-intolerant people, including myself find goats' and sheep's milk dairy easier to digest as the lactose levels are far lower than in cow's milk). I'm currently working on a new dairy-free project which I'm very excited about...watch this space for more info.

In the meantime, do check out the beautiful August issue of Delicious Magazine, and let me know what you think. If you have a food intolerance and have similar troubles when eating out, I'd love to hear from you.

*Just in case you're wondering about those erstwhile Cafe of the Week posts featuring flat whites and fat cakes, alas it's a little trickier these days as I can't eat lots of those things any more! But I'm planning a new series for Pinch of Salt which will include the best cafes from my travels.

10 comments:

Emma said...

I saw your column this week and as someone who has avoided wheat for the last 13 years after almost having to drop out of uni because i was so ill, can completely relate.

I have denied myself lovely food for 13 years which isn't a fad but find myself not mentioning it or eating lasagne at a friends house and being ill for the next week as I don't want to be tarred with being awkward or faddy.

belleau kitchen said...

I must check it out. Most if my family, apart from me thankfully, have an intolerance of one kind or the other which makes eating out sooooo much fun!

S said...

More courage to you! Wish I could get a hold of this here in TO - it must be a lovely feature x

Katy Salter said...

Emma - thanks so much for your comment, sorry to hear you've had such trouble - I completely relate to not wanting to be tarred as awkward or faddy. If you haven't got it already, The Intolerant Gourmet is an excellent book by Pippa Kendrick.

Dom - it makes eating out so tricky! At home, it's much easier to substitute ingredients and play around. I think/hope in five years' time it will be much easier - gluten-free options are getting much easier to find, for example.

tori said...

Thank the heavens for the delights of sheep milk cheese. I swear the stowaway was built on hunks of sheep cheese and green apple for the first five months. Wishing I could get my hands on a copy... xxx

Susanna said...

Just read your article in Delicious magazine, I've been a lactose intolerant for years so I know exactly what's it like eating out etc. but wanted to ask you, if you knew that there are lactase enzyme tablets that help to break down the lactose, which you need to take just before eating dairy and they help with the digesting it. In Finlad, where I'm from these widely available and used. Over here I've seen them in Holland and Barrett, and called something like Super lactase. So basically I can enjoy ice creams and cream cakes whenever I fancy one! Word of warning is that they won't help if you go on a mega dairy splurge...

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

Hi Susanna - thanks for your comment. Glad to hear lactase tablets helped you - I came across them last year when I was living in the States and I do keep a supply for emergencies i.e. when I'm in a social/work situation where it's hard to avoid dairy. However, I find they only have limited effectiveness & the more I use them, the less they work. Do you find different types of dairy products easier to digest than others? For me, milk and chocolate are the worst and sadly the tablets don't help with those. I hope to look into these tablets a bit more as part of my new dairy-free project. Watch this space and thanks for your comment!

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

S and Tori - thanks for the kind words ladies x

Holly Bell said...

Hi Katy, A friend of mine has recently had to cut dairy from her diet as her son is lactose intolerant and she is still breastfeeding. I made some biscuits for her which seemed to go down well. Thought I'd pass the recipe on: http://www.recipesfromanormalmum.com/2013/07/17/squidgy-chocolate-ginger-cookies/

I hope you're feeling better now you have a diagnosis. x

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

Hey Holly, thanks so much for the link - I'll put them on my dairy-free Pinterest board! x

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