Common Dietary Restrictions You Should Know

Food allergies are on the rise, although it’s not clear why. Food Allergy Research & Education advocacy group estimates that roughly 15 million Americans have them. Among children, food allergies increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. Here are some common dietary restrictions you should know,

Eight food groups cause about 95 percent of food allergies.  These are cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, and certain fruits and vegetables, such as kiwi, peaches, and celery. There are also lesser-known allergies, like vitamin K, which is found in soy, cereal grains, and cabbage.

In addition, 14 percent of Americans follow a vegetarian diet, which is still growing. Many people are also trying to cut back on or avoid gluten.

With all of these dietary restrictions, menu planning has become more challenging. Many people who are always thinking about food are more adaptable and experimental with their food preferences. People are trying to cut back on animal protein, not going vegan or vegetarian, but looking for more meatless options. Here are some dietary restrictions you should know:

Lactose Intolerance

People with Lactose intolerance cannot digest lactose, a sugar present in milk and other dairy products. This occurs because they have little to no lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Symptoms can include gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Lactose-free dairy options include lactose-free milk, ice cream, and yogurt.

If you are lactose intolerant and want to avoid it, you can use a dairy substitute. In this case, it is good to have lactose-free ice cream. You can use almond milk instead of cow’s milk.

Gluten Allergy

Gluten is a protein in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Allergies to gluten can cause various adverse reactions to your skin, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system. However, these allergies can be challenging to diagnose, as the symptoms are similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome.

If you have a gluten allergy, you must avoid wheat, barley, or rye foods, like bread, pasta, pretzels, and cereals. Suppose you are considering going to a restaurant. In that case, you can look at the menu online and call ahead. Because then you can find out if the restaurant can accommodate you.

Nut Allergy

Peanut allergies are relatively common and are usually transferred to other tree nuts by parents who already have one of the tree nut allergies. Six percent of children under three have some sort of allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, or both.

If you have a nut allergy, you should avoid foods that contain nuts, such as peanut butter, ice cream, and peanut oil. However, it’s tricky to live your way around avoiding these ingredients. Nuts can appear in unexpected places, such as clam chowder, and restaurants may not know what foods are nut-free.

Protein Allergy

A protein allergy is caused by an abnormal immune system response to a particular protein. There are many proteins in food, and some of them, like salmonella, carry risks that cooking cannot eliminate. These allergies can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hives.

If you have a protein allergy, you should avoid foods like peanut butter and bananas. You should look at the ingredients of the food you are going to eat.


Diabetes patients are more prone to have food allergies than non-diabetics. When they eat foods that they are allergic to, they develop symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, skin rashes, and blood sugar drops.

If you have diabetes, you should be aware of what you eat. People with diabetes should eat a healthy diet, including various foods. People with diabetes should also check their blood sugar using a glucose meter.


If you have any of the allergies above, some restaurants can make special meals for you. You should ask the waiter about their ingredients and ask if they can make your food from scratch. 

Some people do have special diets to accommodate their allergies. If you have a food allergy or dietary restriction, you can also decide to hire a private chef to endure your personal preferences are followed. 

Food Fire + Knives strives to provide the finest private chef experience possible. We supply skilled chefs for a variety of occasions. Contact us immediately if you need a private chef in Jacksonville or elsewhere for your event!

Published By Kim Gandhi Kim Gandhi began cooking at 8 years old with a love of food driving her to experiment with her Hispanic and German heritage. She gained a BBA in Marketing and turned to the business world for much of her career. Her strong customer service background and her passion for great events that involve chefs, customers, and amazing food allows her to indulge in her love of cooking and enjoying what FFK chefs bring to the table.