There has been quite a buzz about the Elimination Diet, but experts urge caution before trying it. So what is it? The Elimination Diet is a procedure used to identify foods that may be causing an adverse effect in a person, in which all suspected foods are excluded from the diet and then reintroduced one at a time. The problem is that many people decide to cut out these foods without seeking a professionals opinion first and many people in fact do not need to cut these food groups out of their diet.
Experts suggest eating these foods in moderation as opposed to cutting them out completely, unless you have a medical condition. “For someone who has a medical condition that warrants eliminating certain foods or food groups, the quality of life improves dramatically,” according to Marjorie Nolan Cohn, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Some medical conditions include lactose intolerance, Celiac Disease and allergies to nuts or eggs. It is important to remember that elimination diets are a treatment, not a cure. If you do find that eliminating a certain item from your diet eases symptoms, you’ll have to permanently eliminate that food group to keep feeling the benefits.
Not sure if you have a food allergy or not? Here's are a few tips to help get you your answer:
- Keep a small notebook or diary.
- Record everything you eat at each meal and be sure to include every ingredient.
- Record your symptoms. Did you have diarrhea, runny nose or coughing?
- At what time did your symptoms occur? Immediately after eating or were they delayed?
- How severe were they?
After a few weeks, look for a pattern of foods and symptoms. It may take a month or more before you are able to see a pattern. If you have any systems make an appointment with an allergist to get a diagnosis.
Until next time, stay healthy!