What Is An Elimination Diet?
An elimination diet is a window of time (typically 2-3 weeks) that you eliminate specific foods in your diet, which may be causing an allergic response and/or digestion issues. This eating plan reintroduces the foods one at a time (for 2-3 days) in order to determine which foods are not agreeing with your body or are not tolerated well. (Axe) During the re-introductory phase, it is best to document your observations to keep track of which foods cause a reaction. *Note: sometimes it takes up to 1-2 weeks to experience a reaction such as brain fog or lack of focus.
Why Do An Elimination Diet?
To eliminate unpleasant allergic responses, digestive issues (especially IBS) and/or skin issues that may be occurring due to consuming certain foods.
Signs You May Need To Do An Elimination Diet
- Low Energy/Lethargy
- Lack of Focus
- Erratic Behavior
- Digestive Issues
- Skin Rashes/Eczema/Acne
Food Allergy vs. Intolerance
A true food allergy means that a certain food triggers an immune system response, which can affect numerous organs in the body. Allergic reactions can be so severe that they can lead to hospitalization or even death, such as an anaphylaxis response to foods like peanuts and shellfish. On the other hand, with an intolerance or sensitivity, symptoms are less severe and usually cause digestive issues; the digestive system creates the response.
Common Food Intolerances
- Refined Sugar
- Natural Flavors
- Artificial Coloring/Flavors
How To Do An Elimination Diet…
- Stop eating all common allergen/sensitive foods from the list below for 3 weeks.
- During this time, read food labels to ensure you are avoiding even trace amounts of these foods. Keep a food journal during the 3 weeks to record how you are feeling. This is very helpful when you start to reintroduce these foods later on.
- After 3 weeks, reintroduce one food group at a time. Eat the suspicious food daily if you can for 1-2 weeks and record your symptoms. Notice any changes in symptoms between the elimination phase and the reintroduction phase.
- If symptoms return after beginning to eat one of the suspicious foods, you can confirm that this food is a trigger by eliminating it once again. The main goal is to see if the symptoms clear up when the food is removed. It should take about 4-6 weeks to pinpoint foods that you may be sensitive or allergic to.
Foods To Eliminate
Wheat (all gluten grains), Dairy, Soy, Corn, Peanuts, Hydrogenated Oils, Added Sugars, Caffeine, Alcohol, Additives, Preservatives and Food Coloring.
Foods To Include
How to Be Successful
- Reduce inflammatory foods, such as processed vegetable oils, packaged foods and refined sugar.
- Avoid excess sodium found in packaged foods. Instead use sea salt for healthy sodium intake.
- Foods should be organic, local, seasonal and anti-inflammatory to minimize reactions.
- Consult with your healthcare professional or certified nutritionist for additional support.
- Get your family, friends and co-workers on board so you won’t be tempted to quit!
- Get my free “Guide to an Elimination Diet” below for a reference to all of the above information.
Guide to an Elimination Diet – Note: Citrus should be eliminated for issues such as Ulcerative Colitis.
Wishing you Divine Health!