Elimination Diets: What You Need to Know

Elimination diets are an increasingly popular way to identify food allergies. These cuisine-curbing diets typically eliminate several foods for at least four weeks and then gradually add them back in one at a time to see if the reintroduced food causes a reaction. If you’re thinking about giving this a try, Cynthia Sass, a registered dietician, recently told the Huffington Post some key things to know:

  • Common elimination foods. Most elimination diets cut these eight common allergens: Wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios), and peanuts.
  • Non-allergy related elimination diets. In addition to food allergies, elimination diets can be helpful for other health issues. For example, eliminating refined sugar, processed foods, and nightshade vegetables (as well as gluten, dairy, and soy) may be helpful for people with arthritis or psoriasis. And eliminating foods that can contribute to gas buildup, like apples and onions, may be recommended for those with irritable bowel syndrome. If you’re dealing with multiple conditions, you may need to develop a custom elimination diet tailored to your needs and that goes beyond the traditional eight allergens.
  • Common elimination beverages. Sometimes it’s necessary to eliminate certain beverages like sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks, as well. For example, coffee and alcohol may contribute to digestive issues, so giving these up along with other potential problem-causing foods could be the only way to narrow down what is causing your symptoms.
  • Elimination strategies. Elimination diets can require careful planning and dedication. You’ll need to strictly adhere to the diet: Check food labels to ensure that you’re not unknowingly eating hidden ingredients, like soy or milk. And you’ll need to maintain a balanced intake of healthy foods so you don’t get too tired or hungry.
  • Expert guidance. Elimination diets can be life changing when they work, but they also can require a lot of work. A registered dietician nutritionist or other qualified healthcare practitioner experienced with elimination diets can offer guidance to help you succeed.

Source: Huffington Post

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