The Elimination Diet 101

27 08 2014

When it comes to food sensitivities, there are several ways to test for them. One that my patients might be familiar with is the elimination diet. This diet is designed to remove and systematically reintroduce the most common food sensitivities to determine whether a patients’ symptoms are caused by the foods they are eating. However, food sensitivities can also be tested using a blood draw and ELISA analysis for IgG and IgE anti-bodies. So why, you may ask, are so many of my patients familiar with this diet when a simple blood test could suffice? The answer lies in the fact that, in practice, this diet not only removes food sensitivities, but sources of inflammation, hormone disrupting foods, autoimmune triggers, headache/migraine triggers, etc. It has a tendency to, when followed strictly for 4 weeks, begin to treat those conditions which are impacted by today’s standard American diet (otherwise known as the SAD diet for short). If you don’t know which conditions those are, I’ll tell you a secret. Almost all health conditions are impacted by diet. Even the genes that control whether or not you develop a disease that runs in your family can often be turned on or off through dietary means! Amazing! In short, the elimination diet helps many of my patients see how large a role diet plays in their health and allows them to experience, in a relatively short period of time, what “healthy” feels like.

The details:
Basically, I can eat any foods that are not on the “avoid” list. I often tailor this list for individual patients but the following are the basic foods to avoid:

Avoid
– Dairy
– Eggs and red meat/processed meat and pork
– Soy
– Gluten
– Vegetables in the nightshade family
– Citrus fruits (except lemon)
– Foods with a potential for mould and fungus
– Caffeine
– Sugar (this includes maple syrup, agave, honey, cane sugar, etc.)

I’ve completed this diet once or twice in the past and I know that it can be tough if you don’t have resources for shopping lists, recipes, tips and tricks. There are several books I often recommend to help. Here are two:

– Delicious Detox by Carol Morley, ND – This book can be ordered online at http://www.deliciousdetoxcookbook.com or I also carry it at my clinic, Tier 1 Health, in Selkirk.

– Hypoallergenic Diet: A Complete Guide – by Dr. Saeid Mushtagh, ND – this book can also be ordered online in print form or ebook form at http://www.hypoallergenicdiet.com

Recently I decided to tackle the elimination diet again from a different perspective. I want to share my ideas, recipes, useful websites, and meal suggestions right here on my website. I also want to overhaul my own diet as somewhere along the way I let a lot of unhealthy foods sneak back in. Even naturopathic doctors develop bad habits! Lastly, I want to support my patients as several are planning to begin this diet at the same time as me.

So here I go! Follow along!

Your Health, My Priority

Dr. Amy Kroeker, ND

Photo: Preparation…stocking up on vegetables!

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