Elimination diet generally involves completely eliminating a suspected food from your diet for a period of time usually from 2 weeks to 2 months and waiting to regulate whether symptoms resolve during that particular period of time. Occasionally, a health professional may want to use an oligoantigenic diet to relieve a patient of symptoms they are having.
About Elimination Diet
An elimination diet is a way of identifying foods that a person can’t eat without adverse effects. Adverse effects can be due to food intolerance, food allergy, some other physiological mechanisms (as toxins or metabolic) or a mixture of these 1 .
If you’re experiencing food intolerance or sensitivity, an elimination diet can be the best dietary experiment you will ever try.
What to Eliminate?
The best elimination diets can eliminate the largest number of foods. In general, the more restricting – the better. Yeah, it is more work. However, as with most stuff, the more work – the greater the payoff.
At the outset, a good diet will eliminate eggs, gluten, dairy, pork, corn, coffee, beef, chicken, nightshade vegetables, beans/lentils, nuts, citrus fruits, and soy. That may sound like a lot, but it leaves numerous options for a pretty satisfying diet comprised mainly of meat, rice (i.e. fish, lamb, turkey), most fruit, and almost all types of vegetables.
In order to get a clear picture of the elimination diet and the foods you can eat and cannot eat during the process, Your Health Tubers prepared a list of foods of what to exclude and include during an elimination diet 2 :
|Foods to include||Foods to exclude|
|Fruits||Most types of fresh fruit||Citrus fruits|
|Vegetables||Most types of fresh raw, sautéed, roasted or steamed vegetables||Eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes (yams and sweet potato are fine)|
|Starch||Buckwheat*, rice*||Barley, wheat, spelt, corn, rye, Kamut, oats, and all gluten-containing products|
|Legumes||Tofu, soybeans, tempeh, all beans, peas, soy milk, lentils|
|Nuts and seeds||All seeds and nuts|
|Meat and fish||Fish, wild game, turkey, lamb.||Chicken, beef, cold cuts, pork, bacon, eggs, hotdogs, sausage, canned meat, meat substitutes, made from say, and shellfish|
|Dairy products and milk substitutes||Coconut milk, and unsweetened rice milk*.||Cheese, milk, cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, non-dairy creamers|
|Fats||Coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and cold-expeller pressed olive oil.||Butter, margarine, hydrogenated and processed oils, spreads, mayonnaise.|
|Beverages||Drink plenty of spring water, herbal teas (e.g. peppermint, rooibos, etc.)||Alcohol, caffeine (green tea, coffee, soda, black tea).|
|Spices and condiments||Fresh pepper, sea salt, fresh herbs and spices (i.e. cumin, garlic, oregano, dill, ginger, thyme, parsley, rosemary, turmeric)||Mustard, chocolate, ketchup, soy sauce, relish, chutney, vinegar, barbecue sauce.|
|Sweeteners||Stevia (if needed)||Brown or white sugar, maple syrup, honey, corn syrup, desserts, high fructose corn syrup.|
*May also be eliminated if you suspect certain sensitivities to grains.
How Long Should the Elimination Diet be?
The time of this diet can vary depending on the severity of symptoms and your age. Usually, children can see benefit from about 7 to 10-day program while adults seem to do well following the elimination diet for around 3-4 weeks.
Just do not make things too complicated on yourself. Calorie intake, macronutrient ratios, etc. are not really important during an elimination diet. The only truly important thing is to entirely avoid the foods discussed above.
Moreover, during the diet, ensure to consume an adequate amount of water. Anywhere from two to four liters per day should do the trick
When to Consult Your Doctor
In order to help diagnose a food intolerance or food allergy, your doctor might ask you to temporarily remove specific foods from your diet 3 . Lactose intolerance is one of the most common problems in people 4 . Read more how to recognize and solve this issue here: LINK
This diet generally lasts 2-4 weeks. During this time period, you’ll avoid the suspect foods while your GP monitors your symptoms. If one or more of the foods is causing an allergy, the symptoms should vanish by the end of this period of time.
In certain cases, your GP may add another phase, gradually reintroducing a problem food to the diet. So, if your symptoms return, it’s likely that you are actually allergic to that particular food.
If the elimination diet is indecisive, your doctor may recommend an oral food challenge in order to confirm the results.
An elimination diet should only be started under the supervision of a health care professional.
Tips for Success
You need to realize that the elimination diet is not necessarily easy. But it is not that hard either. All you need is to have a plan and you truly pay attention. Therefore, here are some amazing tips for having success with this diet program.
Individuals that spend the week prior to starting the program looking up recipes which are elimination diet friendly do much better than people that jump right into it.
- Have the foods that you’ll need on hand
It is important to know how to cook those foods, and prepare as much as possible in advance. We suggest you to make a large pot of rice, full with vegetables, seasonings, and protein ahead of time could help increase obedience during some times when you get hungry and have just a few options nearby.
- Clean out the kitchen
People are not really good with willpower. Hence, try to get rid of foods that are not part of your elimination stage (or hide them well).
- Keep a journal
Record symptoms, mood, and energy throughout the day in order to help identify any patterns with nutrients intake. Remember that this is a self-experiment, and great scientists need a lab book in which they can keep notes and trial details.
If you think you may be suffering from food allergies, you may want to try an elimination diet. Find more about food allergies and natural remedies: http://yourhealthtube.com/food-allergies-natural-remedies/
Food is the most powerful thing that creates disease or promotes health, and following this diet can be an eye-opening and rewarding experience. Elimination diet helped numerous people in the world to live healthy and normal. So, give it a try if you consider your gut health requires a check-up.