Should you go on an elimination diet?

woman-687560_960_720Elimination diets are not for everyone. They require hard work, planning, and dedication in order to get desired results.

What are the common foods that most people eliminate from the diet?

  • Fatty meats: beef, pork, veal
  • Eggs
  • Dairy and products made from dairy like yogurt, ice cream, and cheese
  • Gluten and products made from gluten like bread, cakes and crackers Corn and products made from corn including high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, and corn flour
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Foods containing yeast or promoting yeast overgrowth: processed foods, refined sugar, cheese, peanuts, vinegar
  • Simple carbohydrates: white sugar, white flour, processed foods, soda, juice
  • Inflammatory fats/oils: margarine, shortening, hydrogenated oils
  • Peanuts
  • Strawberries and citrus fruit
  • Foods containing high FODMAPs (fermentable carbohydrates): apples, onions, garlic, dairy, legumes, etc.
  • Additives and preservatives

Types of elimination diets:

  1. Full elimination diet:
    • Most challenging and restrictive. Best results.
    • Remove most foods from the diet and only consume five to 25 of the “safest”, hypoallergenic foods (i.e. rice, lamb, pears, carrots)
  2. Modified elimination diet:
    • Less challenging and restrictive. Mixed results.
    • Remove certain food groups that are most likely problematic (i.e. gluten grains, dairy, soy, sugar)
  3. Basic elimination diet:
    • Least challenging and restrictive. Poor results.
    • Remove one food or food group (i.e. legumes, nuts, grains)

Elimination diets may come with “trendy” names like Paleo diet, Low FODMAP diet, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, etc. In the end, they are all variations of elimination diets that provide you with specific instruction on what foods are “safe” and what foods are potentially “harmful.”

Due to their restrictive nature, elimination diets should be used by select populations that are experiencing current health concerns.  Review the list below to find out if an elimination diet may be right for you:

  • You suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms or have a medical diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Chronic Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease
  • You suffer from chronic migraines or headaches
  • You suffer from an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Psoriasis, etc.
  • You experience year-round, severe allergies with symptoms like chronic sinusitis, rhinitis, hives, itchy skin, watery eyes, asthma etc.
  • You have skin issues like acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea
  • You suffer from mood disorders like anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD or experience other neurological issues like brain fog, poor memory, or difficulty sleeping
  • You experience chronic fatigue, poor energy levels, and/or chronic pain

Many people have more than one medical diagnosis or set of symptoms that prompt the pursuit of an elimination diet. If food sensitivities are in fact an issue, then a wide variety of your symptoms may improve simultaneously! Take our symptom survey to find out where you stand.

To learn more about food sensitivities, please check out our programs and services.

Erin ImageERIN PEISACH IS A REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST (RDN) AND CERTIFIED LEAP THERAPIST (CLT).  SHE IS CO-FOUNDER OF FOOD SENSITIVITY SOLUTIONS, “YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR FOOD SENSITIVITY TESTING, EDUCATION AND SUPPORT”.

 

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