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Food Allergies
Food Allergies

Learn English with this health English lesson

Date: Feb 20 2013

Themes: Food, Health

Grammar: Zero Conditional


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We eat so many different kinds of food every day, it’s no wonder that our bodies are confused by some of them. It’s no fun when you have an allergic reaction to something you ate.

Food allergies can be very serious. Some common allergens, like shellfish or peanuts, can even kill the people who are allergic to them. Other people are only mildly allergic to foods and simply feel a little bit sick when they eat them.

No matter how serious the food allergy is, when you can’t have something, it makes you want it more. Just ask someone who is allergic to milk how good an ice cream cone sounds, and you’ll find out.

Sara has to be very careful about what she eats. She has an allergy to a very common food. Listen to her tell Mason about it in this health English lesson.






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Sara:  Sometimes it’s such a drag when I try to go out to eat. I have a pretty major food allergy.

Mason:  That can be a real bummer. I count myself pretty lucky that I don’t. I mean, I can’t do spicy food, but that’s just because I’m a wuss.

Sara:  I have an allergy to gluten, so I can have no wheat, no rye, and no barley, but wheat is the main thing.

Mason:  What happens to you if you do?

Sara:  It just really messes up my digestion. It sort of throws my whole system off and my body can’t even absorb nutrients properly if I eat any.

Mason:  That’s terrible! How long did you take to figure that out? Or was it just something that happened out of the blue?

Sara:  I found out about 6 years ago, but my whole life I knew I didn’t want to eat wheat. I would, instead of bringing sandwiches to school, I would bring a little baggie with bologna in it or something. I just knew I didn’t want to eat bread.

Mason:  Well, I guess you knew, when you have control, but how do you avoid it in stuff? Packaged food is probably pretty easy, but do you just not eat street food or things where it might be sneaking in?

Sara:  I try to ask really explicitly if I go to a restaurant, and if the waiter says,”Oh, I don’t think that has wheat in it,” I need to say, “Can you go and ask the chef if it has wheat in it please.” But I’ve been pretty lucky.


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Sara has a difficult time going out to eat because she is allergic to gluten. She can’t eat wheat or rye. It makes her sick.

When she was young, Sara didn’t know about her allergy, but knew that she didn’t like bread because it made her feel bad.

Mason wonders how Sara is able to find out if something has wheat in it. She says she sometimes has to ask the waiter to ask the chef.

Do you have any food allergies? Is it hard to avoid the foods you’re allergic to?



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Allergy can be a real nightmare..poor Sara..If I’m were you..and I couldn’t even order my favourite burger king Triple WHOPPER!!!..oh my dear god!!!..thanks god I don’t have allergy to any foods except for beet..!!!

08:22 AM Feb 20 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I have an allergic reaction to eggplants, although I like them, I get a stomach ache when I eat them.

One of my friends has an awful allergy to almonds, I didn’t know about his problem, one day I gave him a bar of chocolate having a few almonds, when he ate it, he vomited instantly, I stared in disbelief, it is an incredible allergy that I have ever seen!!

08:19 AM Feb 20 2013 |



I have allergy to egg. I can eat egg and I like it but if I eat day after day then I have troubles.

08:15 AM Feb 20 2013 |



if you have an allergic problem with some kind of food so be careful dont eat it again.


08:10 AM Feb 20 2013 |


Russian Federation

I haven’t any food allergies so I can eat everything :)

07:53 AM Feb 20 2013 |




if I eat sunflower seeds too much, my nose itches after a while..

07:01 AM Feb 20 2013 |

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