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05 December 2023

Dubai veg has been eating meat – is allergic

Certain foods with hidden ingredients can still trigger reaction (Shutterstock)

By Amal Al Jabry

Dear Vegetarians…are you sure you haven’t been eating all kinds of meat?

Well, one strict non-meat eater had the shock of her life when she had her blood checked through a food intolerance test.

"People will come to us to do this test when they have problems," said Dr M. Jay Al Khatib, Laboratory Director of York Diagnostic Laboratories.

Speaking to ‘Emirates 24|7’, Dr Khatib said that he has checked thousands of individuals who complain of symptoms such as  morning fatigue, bloating, runny nose, water retention, rashes, headaches, and not be able to lose weight. “About 90 per cent of my patients have tested positive for intolerance for certain kinds of food," he added.

And one of those patients includes a vegetarian who was informed that her symptoms were linked to intolerance to a particular kind of meat.

Dr Khatib explained to her: "We have checked for a protein of chicken that your body does not agree with."

"But I’m a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat, so how come I have an intolerance to meat?" exclaimed the patient.

Dr Khatib explained: "I have bad news for you, you’ve had chicken here and there without knowing it, in your diet indirectly."

He added that patients sometimes get annoyed when they discuss the results of the food intolerance or allergy test, because they find the information, at times, too shocking to be believe.

According to Dr Khatib, most people miss out a lot of the ingredients listed on products that they regularly buy. 

"If you check out the ingredients, just look at how many protein codes are listed on the back," he said.

Dr Khatib added: "Imagine one protein is in fact from chicken, and there are colours, there are preservatives and flavouring agents, but at the end of it they’re chemical compound amino acids coming from proteins."

He also recalled a similar incident that occurred with another patient, who was informed, after the food intolerance test, that he had a reaction towards blackcurrants.

"What blackcurrant? But I don’t eat blackcurrants!" exclaimed the patient.

Dr Khatib responded by asking him: "Don’t you eat muffins? Don’t you eat cereal? Cheesecake? Cocktail juices? All these things have traces of such fruits."

As certain foods with hidden ingredients can still trigger a reaction, he reiterated the need to watch what we eat and drink.

"Our body is like any machine, if you give it the right fuel, the right suitable ingredient, it will perform at its best, but if  you put something out of sync, out of harmony, it will start to act up, with sneezing, sniffing, water retention, irritable bowel syndrome, the hidden food allergies."

And the longer people keep reintroducing that bad food into their system, the longer the intolerance will always be there.  

Dr Khatib continued: "At the end of the day, certain foods will either trigger a healthy lifestyle or it will give you trouble in your daily life, so you need to be really vigilant about what you eat."

  [Image Courtesy; Shutterstock]