I try to follow Michael Pollan's advice of only eating foods with ingredients you can pronounce and know where it came from. To avoid "edible food-like substances". Just because you can eat it, doesn't mean you should, nor that it is good for you.
But it is extremely hard to truly avoid all that stuff! Exhausting even. I have to be alert at all times and remember hundreds (thousands?) of little details! This is especially hard when I don't have control of what's to eat (restaurants, potlucks, etc).
I do definitely notice a positive difference when I am eating cleaner and usually notice when I try to sneak something in. (guinea pig that I am these days)
Last night, dh and I finished a tub of ice cream together since the kids were gone...and my throat itched all night! Ugh! I also found it a little difficult to get a full breath, though I wouldn't call it wheezing.
Obviously, my guard was down. Especially since I have finally revived from the salad dressing incident on Monday. How quickly one forgets.... *sigh*
I read the ice cream label this morning--there is carrageenan, locust bean gum and guar gum(soy) in the ice cream. Should have read it before I ate it, huh? (I so wish our local grocer carried the Haagen-Dazs 5...maybe I should request it.) I have suspected Carrageenan before and faithfully avoid it in half 'n half and other dairy products(so hard to find half 'n half w/o it!) ...didn't think about it in the ice cream last night, as I've had small portions here and there w/o any noticeable problems. So, it's probably a proportional thing....I did have a full bowl last night...
I did a little research this morning and it turns out Carrageenan is pretty harsh on the gut. That same gut that I am going Gluten- and Nightshade-free to try to get some healing action going on.
Apparently, there are two types of Carrageenan. One type is undegraded (food grade) and the other is degraded (hydrolyzed with acid) and is not food grade. Although undegraded Carrageenan is GRAS(generally regarded as safe) by the FDA(who you all know I don't 100% trust...), according to this article, Joanne Tobacman, a teacher of clinical internal medicine at the University of Iowa College of Internal Medicine, has found evidence in human trials that may show that carrageenan is not as safe as we once thought.
Quoted from the above article:
Dr. Tobacman shared studies that demonstrate that digestive enzymes and bacterial action convert high weight carrageenans to dangerous low molecular weight carrageenans and poligeenans in the human gut. These carrageenans have been linked to various human cancers and digestive disorders. Again, Tobacman's evidence and conclusions are based upon human tissue samples, not animal studies.
So, yeah, something good to note for those who have digestive issues. And my digestive enzymes probably didn't do me any favors last night with the ice cream/Carrageenan.
One real bummer is that Carrageenan doesn't always have to be labeled if it is in foods/products. So it's hard to avoid it completely.
I actually took 2 Benadryl last night in hopes of sleeping through the itch that began within an hour of eating the ice cream...but it didn't help...which really leads me to believe that in this case it's not a histamine issue, it's a gut issue. Or maybe it's just a LOT of histamine and the Benadryl couldn't suppress it all. Not sure...
I think it's really weird that I get these itchy throat reactions when things irritate my gut.