‘Diet’ is a loaded word in the Western world, but its actual definition is very simple. A diet is essentially what we habitually eat. However, the term has changed over the years to mean something more marketable, often being the concept of a certain food plan to help you achieve a certain goal.
There are plenty of diets out there, but for the most part, they all operate around a calorie deficit with the promise of losing weight or attaining the ‘ideal’ body image. What makes the elimination diet different? And why should you try it?
Read on for the lowdown on the elimination diet and how it can help you!
What is the elimination diet?
The elimination diet is essentially a diagnostic diet formulated to cut out different food groups in a strategic manner in order to find out what might be possible food triggers, allergies, or intolerances.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 13 children have a food allergy, which is a significant number of people who have to live with uncomfortable symptoms or dietary restrictions.
By the process of elimination, this diet cuts out food groups that are known allergens such as wheat and dairy one by one to find out what might be causing the symptoms by when they appear.
The diet itself will help you learn which foods you can tolerate and at what amount, but also which foods give you which symptoms and how severe they might be.
Identifying food intolerance and management
The elimination diet is one of the most effective ways to identify food intolerance, which is done by following two main stages of the diet. The first is the elimination period, where you remove all allergens from your diet. The list can be quite extensive, but for those who don’t eat everything on the list, it will be much less of a challenge!
Removing these foods will mean that if any symptoms still remain after two to three weeks, you should see a health professional. Otherwise, they are added back in strategically.
Each food group is re-introduced over a 2-3 day period so you can spot any symptoms of intolerance or reactions to allergens.
For those who want to skip the lengthy and somewhat tedious process of finding an intolerance, why not consider food allergy testing? This can give you fast results without you having to go through the painful symptoms while you figure out which foods are the problem!
While food intolerance might be your main motive for trying the elimination diet, there are also other benefits such as calming down skin conditions like eczema, and dry skin. It can also help those who suffer from headaches and migraines, and those who have problems with irritable bowel syndrome. If any of these are symptoms you suffer from in your daily life, then the elimination diet could be worth trying!