Guest post from Leigh McDonald Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Leigh’s services are 20% off through June 15, 2020.

What is an elimination diet?

An elimination diet involves removing certain foods that cause uncomfortable symptoms and reintroducing them one by one while monitoring for a reaction. A reaction could be digestive issues (gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, difficulty swallowing), hives, skin rashes, acne, allergies, headaches/migraines, joint pain, mood changes, or low energy. The goal of an elimination diet is to cut out specific foods long enough to calm the immune system down so when you start adding foods back in, you will clearly notice if there is a reaction. Typically, a good time frame for achieving this is four to eight weeks. However, depending on how many items you are eliminating, you may need longer to complete an elimination diet. Be sure to work with your healthcare team when doing an elimination diet to identify which food(s) might be causing symptoms, confirm you are conducting the diet effectively and meeting your nutritional needs.

How to do an elimination diet:

  1. PLAN: Timing and planning are the two most important factors for whether or not you will be successful in trying an elimination diet. Plan a time when you will be home and know you can be successful. Vacation or holidays is not the time to start an elimination diet! Prepare by having the foods, you can eat on hand and prepare as much as possible in advance.
  2. ELIMINATE: Remove all of the foods that might be causing symptoms for 4 weeks. Don’t eat the foods whole or as ingredients in other foods. It is important to read food labels for hidden ingredients. Use caution when dining out where you have less control over the ingredients used.
  3. REINTRODUCE: Introduce ONE of the foods you stopped eating for 1-2 days. Then go back to a full elimination for two days to monitor your reaction. On the day you try an eliminated food for the first time start with a small amount in the morning. If you do not notice any reaction, eat two larger portions in the afternoon and evening. Record any reactions you do have. Reactions that may occur are digestive issues (gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, difficulty swallowing), hives, skin rashes, acne, allergies, headaches/migraines, joint pain, mood changes, or low energy. If the food does not cause a reaction or symptom then it is considered safe. Repeat this process with each food you are eliminating. It is important to wait to add any safe food back into your diet until the other foods have been eliminated and reintroduced.

6-FOOD ELIMINATION DIET

Foods to Avoid, Foods Allowed and Brand Examples

Dairy

Foods to Avoid Foods Allowed Brand Examples
Milk (cow, goat, sheep)
Buttermilk
Condensed milk
Cream/Artificial creamer
Evaporated milk
Butter, butter oil
Ghee
Margarine,
Cheese
Ice cream
Yogurt
Sour cream
Some mayonnaise and salad dressings

Ingredients that contain dairy:

Casein (curds), Hydrolyzed casein
Caseinates, calcium or sodium caseinate
Lactose
Milk powder
Milk protein
Milk sugar
Milk solids, non-fat milk solids
Modified milk
Whey, whey solids, hydrolyzed whey, hydrolyzed whey protein, whey protein

Coconut, hemp, oat or rice milk
Coconut ice cream
Hemp products
Coconut milk products
Coconut milk: Thai Foods, Thrive Market, Native Forest Hemp, oat and rice milk:
Elmhurst, Malk, Pacific Foods, Ripple, Good Hemp
Yogurt: Cocoyo, So Delicious, Oui by Yoplait, Coyo, Silk Oatmilk,
Chobani non-dairy cups (coconut based)
Cheese: Daiya
Frozen Dessert: So Delicious coconut ice creams, Coconut Bliss,
Cado (avocado base)

Wheat

Foods to Avoid Foods Allowed Brand Examples
Bran
Bulger
Couscous
Durum einkorn
Emmer
Farina
Farro
Flour (all purpose, whole wheat, cake, enriched, graham, pastry)
Gluten
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Kamut
Semolina
Spelt
Wheat (berries, bran, grass, malt, starch)

Ingredients that may contain wheat:

Artificial/natural flavoring
Caramel color
Dextrin
Food starch, gelatinized starch
Glucose syrup
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Maltodextrin
Monosodium glutamate
Oats
Soy sauce, shoyu, teriyaki sauce
Beer
Bouillon cubes
Brown rice syrup
Candy, licorice
Deli meats, hot dogs, sausage, imitation fish
Communion wafers
French fries
Gravy, sauces, soups

Gluten free foods
Wheat substitutes:
Amaranth
Arrowroot
Barley
Beans, legumes
Buckwheat
Corn
Oats (gluten free)
Potato
Quinoa
Rice
Rye
Tapioca
Grains: Bobs Red Mill
Breads: Katz, Bread Srsly (online)
Cereals: One Degree Organics, Barbara’s, Arrowhead Mills, Nature’s Path
Crackers: Mary’s Gone Crackers Real Thin, Plant Snacks
Pasta: Jovial Foods, POW, Banza, Tolerant, Cybele’s Free to Eat, Barilla
Wraps/Tortillas: Siete Cassava/Chickpea, The Real Coconut

Egg

Foods to Avoid Foods Allowed Brand Examples
Eggs (yolk, white, dried, powdered, and solids)
Egg substitutes (Eggbeaters, etc)
Egg noodles
Egg sauces (Hollandaise, bernaise)
Condiments containing eggs
Egg-free foods
Egg Substitutes:
Flax egg – 1 Tbsp. ground flax + 3 Tbsp. water
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup mashed banana
1 tsp baking soda + 1 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder + 3 Tbsp. water
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Egg Replacer

Soy

Foods to Avoid Foods Allowed Brand Examples
Edamame
Miso
Natto
Shoyu
Soy (soy cheese, Soy flour, Soy ice cream, soy yogurts)
Soy Sauce, Tamari
Soya
Tempeh
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Tofu, bean curd
Soy Sauce Substitute: Coconut Aminos Coconut Secret
Big Tree Farms
Thrive Market
Trader Joe’s

Nuts

Foods to Avoid Foods Allowed Brand Examples
Peanuts
Pine nuts
All tree nuts (walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, brazil nut)
Macadamia nuts
Coconut and coconut products
Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds
Sunflower spread
Sunbutter
88 Acres

Seafood

Foods to Avoid Foods Allowed Brand Examples
All fish
All crustacea (shrimp, crab, lobsters
All mollusks (Oysters, clams, mussels, scallops)

Note: If a food causes you to have an immediate allergic reaction, such as throat swelling, a severe rash, or other severe allergy symptoms, seed medical care immediately.

36 Shares
Share36
Tweet
Pin