Have you recently been starting out with a diet process? Chances are that you might be doing an elimination diet without even knowing about it. If there is one food variant or even a category of foods that your body is struggling with, chances are that you need to get rid of it, or rather, eliminate it from the diet.
It is quite important to ensure that you take in the time to look through the signs and symptoms and remove the elements accordingly. Don’t just rush through the process because you might end up removing foods from the diet that your body needs.
By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of all that you need to know about the elimination diet plan.
What is an Elimination Diet?
An elimination diet is a type of diet in which you remove the foods from your eating habits that you think could be causing issues to your body. Saliently, these eliminated foods are then again reintroduced back to the diet one by one, keeping an eye out on the negative impacts it could be inflicting through the process as well.
This is the kind of diet which is amazing for identifying the anomalies associated with food sensitivity, intolerances and even the allergies as well.
It is also a much suggested diet plan by the certified dieticians and nutritionists to keep one’s health in check. This helps people rule out the kind of foods that have been causing trouble to their stomach all the more.
Check Out These Tips To Maintain Elimination Diet And 6 Benefits Of It.
How Does An Elimination Diet Work?
As we did mention before, the elimination diet works in two phases. The first phase, also known as the elimination phase is the one in which one removes the items of food from the diet that they think could be causing the problem to their health.
The second phase, also known as the reintroduction phase is the one in which the eliminated food item/s are reintroduced one by one to check if the person has overcome their intolerance or the same is causing further issues with their health.
Let us walk you through each of them one by one, shall we?
Elimination Phase – First Phase
The very first of the phase is when you eliminate the food that you think could be compromising with your gut health.
The time period for which it is removed tentatively skirts around 2-3 weeks following which the food is again reintroduced gradually.
Primarily, the food that you do add to the diet includes the ones which you find aren’t suiting your body and are inflicting negative impacts altogether on the body.
Once you do eliminate these foods, it becomes easier for you to assess whether it is the foods that have been causing the problems or it is something else that is behind the discomfort caused to your body.
Reintroduction Phase – The Second Phase
The second and the last phase of the elimination diet plan is when you start by reintroducing the eliminated food one by one. It is important to ensure that you reintroduce the food items one by one and not all at once.
Additionally, it should be done within a span of 2-3 days instead of doing so within a matter of consecutive days.
During the time period that you reintroduce the food back to your diet, it is important that you do look out for some of the signs and symptoms that could be affecting your health altogether.
Some of the common symptoms to look out for include:
- Rashes and skin issues
- Stomach ache
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Bowel irregularities
- And many more
If you don’t experience any of the symptoms along the way, it is best suggested to ensure that you take notes of the food isn’t the problem altogether.
Alternatively, if you feel any of the symptoms resurfacing following the consumption of the food item, chances are that you need to treat the same as a trigger and opt for better ways to handle the condition of the food intolerance or sensitivity.
You need to be assured that the entire process of the elimination comprising of both the phases is going to take around 5-6 weeks for completion. Don’t give into the desire and end up ruining the progress.
Things To Know Before Starting An Elimination Diet
While elimination diet is often touted for being a good option if you want to keep your health in check and prevent any kind of issues regarding the intolerance and sensitivity, there are some important factors that one need to keep in check as well.
Some of the important points to keep a note of include:
It Includes Main Food Categories
Experts suggest that the prospect of the elimination diet includes eight main food types which are predominantly responsible for the food allergies including wheat, milk products, eggs, soy, fish, peanuts and a few more.
Even though these are the primary ones that one does need to look out for, there are some other important food categories that one might need to end up eliminating based on the kind of symptoms that one is experiencing.
It isn’t Meant for Weight Loss
Many people have this notion that the elimination diet plan is for weight loss, when in reality, it actually isn’t.
If you are going into the diet with a perception that it will help with weight loss, you are completely mistaken. It is predominantly helpful in pointing out the food allergies and the kind of issues that some of the food items bring about to one’s health.
It isn’t Just for Targeting Allergies
While the main approach with the elimination diet is to target the problems associated with food allergies, it is not the only factor that this diet is helpful for.
Some of the other health conditions like arthritis, psoriasis, irregular bowel movement and such have also been found to be a lot better when you opt for this diet.
If you find things out of the way, it is best suggested that you consult a doctor and see which health issue can be targeted with this diet to cure it for the better.
Professional Support is a Must
While the prospect of elimination diet might seem easy and not complicated, it is very important to ensure that you do the same under a doctor who knows the ins and outs of the condition. This helps ensure that you have things in control and won’t have to repent about any part of it.
There are Different Types
One more thing that one needs to know of before they jet off to start with the elimination diet is the fact that it is always best to ensure that you do take some important points into consideration.
There are multiple types of elimination diet plans and not one standard one. This is why it is important to ensure that you have a dietician or even a nutritionist look out for your needs altogether.
It is not Easy
The process of the elimination diet plan isn’t easy as opposing to popular beliefs. It is thus important to ensure that you do look out for the process it involves.
Just giving up and then reintroducing a type of food to the diet is never an easy process. It is thus important to ensure that you look out for the pros and cons involved in it.
Don’t think that all you need to do is eliminate and food and then put it back into the diet, the process is way more than just that.
There’s no Guarantee for its Success
Given that this diet plan is more of a test and trial run with the food, there are chances that the results from it might not be as favourable as you think it to be.
If you have been struggling through with some persistent symptoms, elimination diet can be a way to check whether or not it is the food that is causing the discomfort. If that is not the case, chances are that the symptoms will persist.
Benefits of Elimination Diet
Often times, we experience a number of health issues that we either take for granted or brush aside because we don’t think much of it. This is exactly where the problem arises.
If you think that the consumption of a certain food is causing negative impacts on your body, it is important that you take the same seriously and do the needful to be able to brush it aside.
To help you understand this diet plan better, we have accumulated all the best benefits of elimination diet that you can take a look at.
1. Aids Relieve The Condition Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome, otherwise caused because of intestinal perforations is a condition which is caused when the lining of the gut is hampered. There could very well be a number of reasons associated with this condition, food being one of the primary causative agents behind it.
If you have been experiencing the persistent symptoms of this condition, opting for the elimination diet can actually come a lot in handy in handling the condition better.
Elimination of the possible trigger foods can prevent the further inflammation and thus allow the body to heal and get better from within without further worsening of the condition.
2. Get to Know About Food Allergies
Food allergies are a very prevailing condition which is one of the primary reasons one of the major benefits of elimination diet is that it helps in identifying such food allergies.
Often times what happens is that we don’t take the condition seriously, thinking it is something normal. The elimination diet helps ensure that we can take out the problem and understand what could be the reason behind the food allergies.
There could be a number of possible symptoms that one definitely needs to look out for, the prospect of food allergies and such being the primary reason altogether.
3. Improves And Cures The Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders are more prevalent than you can think of. Often times, it is the food intolerances which have been found to be the causative reason behind the condition of the autoimmune diseases.
Several studies (R) have found that the elimination diet is quite effective in getting rid of the condition associated with the same.
The same has been found for the people who have been consistently suffering from condition related to the gluten intolerance and the associated.
4. Treats The Condition Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is quite common and does affect one’s overall health and quality of life. It is thus important that you do look out for the prospects of the condition which could be inflicting these signs and symptoms.
Trigger foods are one of the common reasons behind the condition which is why it is important to look out for the signs and symptoms before it does get worse.
Adhering to elimination diet can effectively help in getting rid of the problems altogether without further worsening of the condition altogether.
5. Improves Skin Conditions
As we did mention before, the elimination diet isn’t just subjective for the food allergies and detecting the same. If you want to keep things in check, you would know that one of the benefits of elimination diet is that it helps in improving some of the skin conditions as well.
Acne and eczema have connections with food intolerances and thus this diet is fruitful in getting rid of the problems altogether.
6. Improves and Treats The Learning Disorders
Studies (R) have found that opting for elimination diet can actively help in improving the problems of ADHD in children and even help improve their concentration and learning capabilities.
It has been found that the elimination of the processed foods and the refined foods from the diet do end up contributing to improving the condition of the learning disorders.
It is important to also maintain a healthy balance of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet which further helps in the improvement of this condition all the more.
7. Improves Migraine
If you are someone who struggles with migraine, the elimination diet recipes can actually help in improving the condition all the more.
It has been found that both the gut as well as the brain does communicate through a series of events that can inflict inflammation. This can be a contributing trigger for migraine.
In a conducted study (R) in 2013, the researchers found that elimination diet can be of a lot of help with the migraine issues altogether.
How To Get Started With An Elimination Diet?
The elimination diet itself seems very complicating when in reality; the same is not the problem at all.
If you have been struggling with constant physical symptoms that have been causing you discomfort, the best way to combat that is by ensuring that you do adhere to this diet which works wonders.
So, if you are just getting started with this form of diet, one of the best ways to combat that is by ensuring that you find effective ways to actually start. In here, we are going to suggest some tips on how to get started with the elimination diet plan.
1. Plan things ahead of time
If you want to experience the benefits of the elimination diet, it is quite important to ensure that you have a concrete plan on how you will get around to doing it. This is where majority of the problem lies.
If you have a dedicated healthcare professional looking out for you, the best way to get around with that is by ensuring that you consult with them and see what kind of steps and precautions they advise to follow.
You might even be asked to maintain a proper journal around the same which is yet another factor that you need to look out for.
2. Keep Your Blood Glucose Levels Stable
Yet another important thing to keep in check while getting started with this diet is that you maintain your blood glucose levels in check all through the process.
It is important to keep track of the same from time to time so as to prevent any kind of abrupt changes as such which could be problematic for one’s health altogether.
The best way to keep that in check is by ensuring that you consume a balanced diet with the necessary proteins, fats and even the vitamins and minerals required for the proper functioning of the body.
3. Avoid any Distractions
If you have a set list of foods that you need to avoid through the elimination phase of the diet, it is quite important ensuring that you do look out for the same because of the fact that it ends up doing no good to your diet plan.
Instead of giving into your desires, it is important that you stay firm on your decision and don’t get deterred through and through.
If possible, supplement the eliminated food with something else that would help in keeping track of your overall health as well.
4. Do Organic Shopping
On an elimination diet, it is important that you eat as healthy as possible. If you want the best results, it is important that you do stick around with it as well.
It is best suggested to ensure that you hit up the farmer’s market every week to get the freshest and the best products that will help you through the diet plan.
5. Come up with New Recipes
Often time what happens is that we tend to miss out on some of the foods that we have eliminated from the diet just because we are too lazy to find better ways to spice things up in the kitchen. If you have been struggling with the same thing, it is best suggested to make healthier switches and find better recipes that won’t make you crave things.
Add in some spice and twist things to make them look tastier even when they are the healthy options in the kitchen.
6. Keep Water Handy
With the drive to keep the diet going, many people tend to end up suffering through and through with maintaining their hydration. Don’t be one of them and end up struggling with your hydration.
Ensure that you are at least drinking 8 glasses of water every day without compromising your health altogether.
Foods To Eliminate In The Diet
As we did mention before, elimination diet does not have standard criteria to hold around. You need to look out for a number of factors in this.
What kind of food is eliminated depends on the kind of allergies or intolerance one has.
But, on a standard basis, some of the common variants of food that are eliminated in this diet include the following:
- Citrus fruits
- Nuts and seeds
- Nightshade vegetables
- Meat and fish
- Starchy foods
- Dairy products
- Sugar and sweets
- Refined foods
Keep in mind that it is not necessary for one to give up on all of these foods but these are categorised under some of the primary types of foods that one predominantly has to get rid of.
Foods To Eat On An Elimination Diet
When it comes to the foods that one can consume while on an elimination diet, there is predominantly a varying amount that one can adhere to without any issues whatsoever.
As we did mention the possible foods that could be eliminated, it is important we discuss the foods that are to be added to the diet simultaneously as well.
Some of them include:
- Most of the fruits except for the citrus fruits
- All the vegetables except for the nightshade veggies
- Meat and fish, including the lean meats and the fishes rich in omega-3 acids
- Substitutes for dairy including coconut or almond milk
- Healthy sources of fats like oils and such
- Water and herbal tea for hydration
Side effects of Elimination Diet
Much like with any diet, even the elimination diet side effects are quite predominant that you need to take a peek into. It is very important to ensure that you take note of the possible risk factors to be able to prevent them from affecting you further.
- Possible risks of nutrient deficiencies
- Diet is restricting
- Can affect development and growth in children
- Possible risks of anaphylaxis in children upon reintroduction
- Heightened degree of food sensitivity
Elimination Diet is actually an amazing one if you want to keep your health in the best of conditions through the coming days in life. It is very important to assure that you do everything under the supervision of a doctor because the same otherwise can end up inflicting negative impacts on the body. We have mentioned everything there is to know about the prospect of elimination diet plan and the associated and we hope it comes in handy for you in the future.