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Food allergies or intolerances?

by | Oct 9, 2017 | 0 comments

It is increasingly common to hear these terms and more common is to confuse their meanings. Being important to be clear about the differences between a food allergy and a food intolerance, we will help you clarify these concepts for better nutritional management.


Food intolerances occur when the body can not properly digest certain foods or any of its components.


Food allergy, however, occurs when a particular food or one of its components activates the immune system. It means, our body identifies that food as a threat – what we call allergen – and, therefore, it generates antibodies to neutralize and eliminate it. Usually these allergies take place when the body’s immune system does not work well.



Some allergic reactions can take hours or even days to develop. And although normally most allergic reactions are relatively mild, such as: nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, rashes, itching, swelling, abdominal pain nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; there are a small number of people who may experience life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis.



The most common allergies are: cow’s milk, eggs, soy, gluten, crustaceans, fruits, peanuts and nuts. Allergies to egg and cow’s milk may disappear in children after age three, but allergies to nuts, legumes, fish and shellfish usually remain throughout the life of the individual.



Gluten intolerance or celiac disease (CD) is estimated to be 1% of the population, which is more common in women than in men (twice as many).

It is an autoimmune disorder that mainly affects the small intestine and incapacitates it to digest gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye.

Foods containing gluten: bread and wheat flour, rye, barley and oats; Italian pasta, soup pastas, biscuits, muffins and pastry in general; wheat semolina; manufactured products in the composition of which any of the aforementioned flours; malted foods; chocolates (unless expressly stated by the merchant); infusions and beverages prepared with cereals: malt, beer, barley water.



In the case of food intolerance, it may be sufficient to limit the size of the rations consumed from the food, to avoid the symptoms.

However, the only way to prevent allergic reactions in sensitive people is to eliminate such food or component from their diet or their environment.

It is also important to ask about the ingredients and culinary methods employed when eating away from home, to avoid foods that cause problems.



To offer consumers a choice, Herbalife Nutrition has developed a range of gluten-free products, including our Formula 1 Healthy Eating Nutrition Shake Mix.

The Formula 1 Free is a nutritional drink with the same benefits as the original but free of the most common allergens like gluten, lactose and soy, providing an excellent balance of high quality pea protein, essential micronutrients and herbs and botanical ingredients added.

Here is a list of our products certified as gluten free:

  • Formula 1 Healthy Eating Nutritional Blend for Whipped
  • Custom Protein Powder
  • Protein Drink in Powder
  • Original Aloe Concentrate
  • Herbal Concentrated Tea



We hope this article will help you manage your condition in the best nutritional way, and know that at Herbalife we have options for you.

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Ronny Schuerch

Herbalife Nutrition Independent Member

Post office box 4242
4002 Basel

Tel: +41 58 255 06 59
Email: contact[at]

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