As you probably know, at Savor Culinary Services we not only make healthy food, but we serve clients who have food allergies and food intolerances. I get asked frequently what the difference is between the two, which is a great question that I believe everyone should learn the answer to.

I’ve created an infographic to illustrate the difference between these two different reactions to food. The main difference between them is that food allergies are an immune response, while a food intolerance is a chemical response. Let me explain.

When your body is having an allergic reaction to food, it is creating antibodies known as immunoglobin (IgE) to fight it off. More times than not, this response to a food is inherited. Most food allergies are developed within a year of birth. Thus, most food allergies are common in childhood  but it can persist into adulthood. Anyone at any age can develop a food intolerance and it is not always inherited.

With a food intolerance, the body sees that particular food as a foreign object, as if you swallowed a penny. The symptoms of a food intolerance are not triggered by an immune response but rather a chemical response where you body has a hard time digesting a certain protein or component of the food. For instance, if you are lactose intolerant it usually means that you are deficient in lactase an enzyme that helps you digest lactose. On the other hand if you have a milk allergy, your body will overreact to the proteins in milk and cause symptoms like hives. See the difference?

Did you know that 9 out of 10 people have a food intolerance and don’t even know it? Food intolerances are more common than you think and the symptoms can be hard to trace back to certain foods. There can be a range of symptoms which can leave you scratching your head as to why you have dark circles under your eyes or why you have unexplained weight gain.

To better serve my clients, I provide ALCAT (Antigen Leukocyte Cellular Antibody Test) testing to identify any food intolerances you might have. Sounds fancy right? It is! If you’re interested in learning more about what ALCAT testing we offer, visit