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An elimination diet is the removal of certain foods and drinks from the daily diet and can be a powerful tool.

An elimination diet is the removal of certain foods and drinks from the daily diet and can be a powerful tool.

What is an elimination diet?

An elimination diet is the removal of certain foods and drinks from the daily diet and can lead to the prevention of symptoms. It can also be a powerful tool to identify and fully understand the food groups or items that are the most aggravating.

Eliminating items can be used by itself, in the absence of testing, and can help a person to determine problematic or intolerant foods. Done in this way a person can remove a food group or items that they suspect may be causing symptoms. However, an elimination diet done following on from food allergy or intolerance testing is that much more specific as a person can implement their elimination diet specific to the identified allergy or intolerance as well as their symptoms.

Elimination for allergy or intolerance

An elimination diet is used differently depending upon whether it is being used for allergy or intolerance. If the elimination of a food group or item is as because of allergy testing and symptoms then it is a step made for the long term. There would be no reintroduction of the food group or item. It is especially important to eliminate even small traces of an allergenic food if it causes serious allergy symptoms.

An elimination diet for intolerance can allow the digestive system time to ’rest’ through the removal of items that may have been aggravating it. The period of elimination also provides a level playing field from which items can be reintroduced and the person can evaluate which items lead to provocation of symptoms.

How does an elimination diet work for intolerance?

Generally this kind of elimination diet is conducted over a relatively short period of time, this can be between one and six months. After this period of elimination items can reintroduced one-by-one whilst monitoring symptoms.

The removal and reintroduction of items gives enormous clarity on those items or food groups, which may make a person feel good, function optimally and full of energy and those which may lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating or bowel movement changes, or make a person feel lethargic, sluggish or sap energy levels.

What can’t you eat on an elimination diet?

The items or food groups eliminated will be different for each person and will depend upon the test results and symptoms. The results report will provide clear guidance on which items to remove.

It is imperative that any known allergies or intolerances are also respected. For example if a person is allergic to wheat or lactose intolerant they must continue to abstain from this item.

 

After reintroduction

An elimination diet and then the reintroduction of items or food groups (only in the case of intolerance) should provide excellent clarity on which foods work well with the body, enable optimal function, reduce symptoms and improve energy levels and those which do not. If certain foods do provoke symptoms it is worth considering eliminating the item or greatly reducing it in the daily diet. In doing so always consider replacing the key nutrients from the item or food group.

Nutrient balance

When removing items from the diet, particularly if it is a whole food group and/ or for the long term, the resulting change in nutrient intake must be considered. Maintaining a good nutrient balance is important. The test results report and resources on the dashboard provide a level of guidance on alternative items and nutrient sources. Additionally there is always the option to add nutritional therapy with testing to benefit from professional guidance through the elimination of food items.

In order to support health, wellbeing and vitality the best possible diet would, in the most part, come from non-processed, natural sources and contain a breadth of vitamins and minerals.

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