Food Allergies

Common question I receive:

I just found out recently that I’m allergic to [insert five to ten common plant foods]. Can I still be vegan?


Whenever I see that someone is allergic to so many different things, it makes me think they probably have leaky gut syndrome which can give the impression on some food allergy tests that someone is allergic to some foods when they actually are not. I hope to eventually write an article on treating a leaky gut, but do not have one at this time.

I would also be skeptical of food allergy tests as they can give false positives. If I really thought I had a food allergy, I’d go to an allopathic doctor and get a referral to someone who can use the most reliable tests for determining allergies. Click here for a decent article on food allergy testing.

In addition to food allergies, there are food intolerances which will not show up on food allergy tests. The best way to deal with these is to do an elimination diet in which you do not eat the offending food for two to four weeks, see if the symptoms abate, and then add the food back in and see if the symptoms return.

The Food Allergy Survival Guide is a book about eating a vegan diet for people with food allergies.

7 Responses to “Food Allergies”

  1. Rick Says:

    Jack, are you familiar please with studies showing increased gut permeability, food intolerance and/or allergy correlated with gmo* food intake? Similarly, increased IGF-1** from rBGH*** cow’s milk?


    *genetically modified organism
    **insulin growth factor
    ***recombinant bovine growth hormone

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I am not. You could check PubMed. If you find anything, please pass it on.

  3. Elaine Vigneault Says:

    Someone recently told me they are “allergic to vegetables” and couldn’t be vegan. At first I thought they were joking, but they’re not. They seriously think that they cannot eat any vegetables. They subsist on meat and cheese.

    Any ideas what’s up with that?

  4. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I do not know what’s going on with them. It would be very unusual for someone to be allergic to all of any food group – especially vegetables which come from so many different types of plants. It’s more likely that they are intolerant, but you never know.

  5. Elaine Vigneault Says:

    That’s what I thought. Thanks 🙂

  6. Lia Says:

    So what vegan diet would restore a leaky gut? I keep hearing about ancestral/gaps diets and bone broth is disgusting. I am now reacting to nuts, gluten, soy, corn, and legumes besides eggs, dairy, and poultry, which I don’t want to eat. So many online experts recommend even cutting out quinoa, millet, rice and buckwheat which I usually soak 6-8 hours before using. I will be looking for quercitin, dgl licorice, and alpha lipoid acid. I am guessing l-glutamine is animal in origin.

  7. Jack Norris RD Says:


    There are a couple posts here on leaky gut syndrome:

    I don’t know of any way to treat it that is reliable.

    > I am guessing l-glutamine is animal in origin.

    There’s plenty of vegan l-glutamine.

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