Christmas is a time of family, celebration and feasting. Since we’re eating a lot of foods we wouldn’t usually around Christmas (and aren’t exactly eating them in moderation), it’s helpful to be aware of the common food allergies and intolerances that may arise this festive season.

Yeast, wheat and gluten

With mince pies, yule logs and Christmas cake galore, it’s hard to avoid any of these common problem foods over Christmas completely. If you’ve historically had issues with any of these ingredients, it might be worth getting an allergy and intolerance test to find out what the reason is for sure.

Barley and hops

Many of us celebrate with a few alcoholic drinks over the festive season, and that means more barley and hops for many of us. Especially those beer drinkers among us. While a few drinks won’t hurt most of us, anyone with barley or hops intolerances is likely to notice some bloating after one or two pints. This can quickly bring down the Christmas spirit, so make sure you know if either of these don’t agree with you before any merry making!


Nuts are practically a staple of yuletide. We all suddenly see the supermarkets stocking up on nutcrackers and promoting them in gift sets for distant family members (you know, the ones you haven’t seen since last Christmas?). I don’t have to tell you how common nut allergies are these days, but did you know that nut intolerances are also quite common? Pistachios, almonds and cashews are especially common intolerances.

Lactose and Dairy

If you’ve got kids in the house, no doubt they’ll want to leave something out for St. Nick. Depending on the house, that either means a glass of milk or a sip of brandy (accompanied with a mince pie or two). If you don’t leave a glass of the hard stuff out, the milk could give Santa an upset stomach – especially if there’s a glass for him at every house!

Dairy intolerance (not to be confused with Lactose Intolerance) isn’t all that uncommon, and dairy can easily lead to discomfort and bloating for those afflicted.

Sudden Change in Diet can Unveil Allergies and Intolerances

There are also a few flavours we associate more with Christmas than the rest of the year. Cinnamon and ginger flavoured cakes, pastries and beverages are peddled by all manner of cafes, restaurants and stores.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that we eat a lot of different foods around this time compared to our usual diet.

That’s where the risk for allergies and intolerances lies.

The best course of action is to learn how your body responds to all these festive foods before the Christmas season is in full flow. You can do this either by testing each food yourself, one at a time or with allergy and intolerance tests. However you decide to handle the risk of allergies and intolerances over Christmas, make sure you mitigate any risk of big severe reaction before it’s too late – you don’t want it ruining the festive cheer!