The majority of diets are intended to assist you in losing weight or improving your health. An elimination diet is not the same as a regular diet. This plan’s purpose is to help you feel better by identifying the foods that make you unwell.
What Is an Elimination Diet and How Does It Work?
Though there are various forms of elimination diets, they all work on the same principle: you stop eating particular items for a few weeks and then gradually reintroduce them one by one. This method can be used to detect food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances that could cause unpleasant reactions.
“Reintroduction” is the next step. During this phase, you’ll gradually reintroduce foods to your diet while keeping track of your symptoms. Other tests may be performed by your doctor to determine which foods are causing your problems.
Once you and your doctor have identified the items that are causing your symptoms, you and your doctor can devise a new eating plan to help you avoid them.
People with a range of health issues linked to dietary reactions may benefit from an elimination diet.
To discover if certain foods are producing symptoms, consider an exclusion diet, such as:
• Bloating, gas, indigestion, or other stomach problems
• Joint pain
• Frequent colds or immune system problems might cause brain fog.
• Anxiety, depression, or mood swings
Because this diet is so complicated, it’s critical to follow it safely and precisely.
An elimination diet should only be followed under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
What Are the Health Benefits of Following an Elimination Diet?
An elimination diet can assist you in determining which foods are making you feel ill. For folks with food allergies or intolerances, this might be a game changer.
Food allergies are on the rise, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). Food allergies affect around 32 million people in the United States, including 5.6 million children under the age of 18.
An elimination diet can also help with the symptoms of various medical disorders that are prompted by food allergies. Here are a few examples:
• Other gastrointestinal illnesses such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal illness that causes symptoms such as diarrhoea, cramps, stomach pain, gas, and constipation. Elimination diets have been shown to assist some persons with IBS minimise their symptoms.
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric condition that affects roughly 7% of children and adolescents in the United States. An exclusion diet was successful in lowering symptoms for 30% of children with ADHD, according to a study published in BMC Psychiatry in 2020.
• Migraine is a neurological disorder marked by recurrent episodes of symptoms, most commonly debilitating headaches, that can have a negative influence on a person’s quality of life. Participants on an exclusion diet reduced their number of headaches from nine to six in a 2010 research.
• certain foods have been shown to exacerbate the symptoms of various diseases, particularly autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. An elimination diet can be used to treat a variety of health problems.
Effects of Weight Loss
An elimination “diet,” despite its name, is not intended to help you lose weight. In fact, for many people, eliminating foods or entire dietary groups makes calorie restriction more difficult.
On the other hand, some people with food allergies who follow an exclusion diet may feel better and lose weight, but this is unlikely to be due to the diet itself.
An elimination diet should be avoided by anyone with a history of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, as it may induce dangerous behaviours.
Elimination Diets (Examples)
An elimination diet can be done in a variety of ways. Some plans have greater limitations than others. For example, you may need to eliminate just one suspected item, or you may need to exclude six or more foods.
The amount of foods you eliminate will be determined by your symptoms, probable triggers, motivation, and other variables. The most restricted elimination diets usually produce the best outcomes.
These foods are not included in the famous six-food exclusion diet:
• Milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream are examples of dairy products.
• Wheat-based foods like flour, bran, and gluten may be restricted.
• Eggs and egg-based condiments, such as mayonnaise and salad dressings, are common triggers.
• Edamame, soy sauce, and tofu are all soy-based goods.
• Peanuts and tree nuts are the most common culprits to avoid.
• Shellfish is one of the most prevalent food allergens.
The following foods are typically prohibited on an elimination diet:
• Citrus-based foods it’s possible that oranges or grapefruits are on your list of fruits to avoid.
• a few vegetables Tomatoes and peppers are frequently left out.
• Sweeteners made from artificial sources you may need to eliminate aspartame and other artificial sweeteners from your diet.
• Oils Certain oils and dairy-based butters may need to be avoided.
• Beans, peas, and all soy-based items fall into this category.
• Sugars it’s possible that candy and sweets will be limited.
• Other spices and extracts, as well as caffeine and alcohol, may need to be avoided.
In case you need a professional help, you can contact Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, holding more than 18 years of experience in child nutrition. She is one of the best dietitians in Delhi if you are looking for nutritional advice for children.