Food elimination diet – a brief introduction.
It is possible to be suffering from multiple food sensitivities, food allergies and environmental sensitivities. If you have a suppressed immune system or suffer from food intolerance symptoms, or leaky gut syndrome for example, then you may find your body unable to tolerate many foods.
If you suffer from food intolerance symptoms then you need to do a food intolerance test. This is best conducted by doing a food elimination diet. What this means is that you take your food right back to basics.
When doing a food elimination diet you introduce certain foods for a limited time to see if you have a reaction to a specific food. You then remove those foods, wait until it is out of your system or have a food reaction then wait for a specified period of time and then try the next food.
Five Steps to Take
Because we suffered from food problems, these are the steps we took to do restricted food diet.
- Consult a dietitian. It is a good idea to work with a dietitian who is familiar with food intolerance and they can assist you in identifying the foods you react to.Do not choose just any dietitian as not all understand food intolerance. To find out the best dietitian for you, ask them questions such as:
- “have any of your clients come to you to do a food elimination diet?”
- “What is your understanding of food intolerance?”
- “What do you see as a possible solution for food intolerance symptoms?”
- “What is the age of most of the people you have assisted with an elimination diet or those suffering from food intolerance symptoms?”
- Consult a naturopath or homeopath about your food problems. While I am not a believer in using vitamins for health or supplements in your diet, consulting this type of professional will help you with allergy tests and food intolerance tests.
I’d like to reiterate that it is preferable to find someone who has an understanding and experience dealing with intolerance and allergies.If you drop some comments in your social circles about food allergy or food problems, you may find a great referral in your local area. You will be surprised how many other people are suffering from health problems related to food and they just don’t talk about it to others.
- Go through your pantry, food cupboards and fridge, and remove any food that has additives, colors, preservatives, nature identical flavours (read: hidden nasties that we cover up with this word), HVP (hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein), MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), natural colours and flavours.
As mentioned in the Food Intolerance Symptoms article I wrote, Additive Alert is a book I highly recommend. It will assist you in identifying the nasties in foods is called . This step is a must regardless of what you do.
- Sue Dengate has years of experience writing books related to food and doing a food elimination diet. She tours to conduct seminars for those interested in learning more about food reactions.
She has written, to name just two, Fed Up, and The Failsafe Cookbook . Friendly Food is written by the crew at the Royal Prince Alfred Allergy Unit (RPA) in Sydney Australia and all books are well worth purchasing to use during this phase while you are working out what is causing your food reactions.These books will assist you with food intolerance information, understanding salicylate intolerance symptoms, amines, and recipes to use during an elimination diet including reference material.
From personal experience, we purchased all three books because you will find a larger variety of recipes that you feel comfortable using. And believe me, when you are limited by the food you can eat, the more recipes you have, the easier life is in the kitchen. It certainly was stressful finding foods you could eat, so you want to minimize your stress.
- Save this free example of a Food Diary to use for your elimination diet because you will need to record what you or your family have eaten and what food problems you have had, if any. If you consult a dietitian as part of your restricted food plan, they will want to see your food diary or have you use one to assist you in sorting out your food symptoms.
Once you have conducted your food elimination diet, you will have a clearer idea of what foods you can include in your diet and when. The time at which you eat them can be important depending on the level of naturally occurring chemicals in each food and your body’s threshold.
For example, to keep your reactions minimised, you may decide to have avocado in your lunch which according to the Friendly Food cookbook, is very high in salicylates and amines. As a result, you would not have avocado at dinner or even the next day possibly but you might have lentils which are low in salicylates and amines.
This keeps your possible reaction or symptoms to a minimum because you are below your body’s reaction threshold.
Once you have empowered yourself with the knowledge of what you can or cannot include in your diet through doing an elimination diet, you will find your food intolerance symptoms will diminish.
When you are comfortable and settled into your restricted diet, it is a good time to take that next step which is to look at healing the body so that you can increase the variety of food you can eat.
After all, no-one wants to be on a restricted diet all their life if they have the opportunity to heal themselves and live a fuller, healthier life.
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I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.