What is the Elimination Diet?

First off, why would an elimination diet be helpful in the first places? Many symptoms of adverse food reactions may or may not be GI-related. Some common symptoms that arise are digestive problems, headaches, fatigue, irritability, depression, mood swings, skin problems, asthma, joint aches, and more. The food we eat is energy, information, connection, and medicine. On this diet we will learn so much our relationship with it and how it affects our body.

Adverse food reactions can be causes by an immune reaction known as an allergy or hypersensitivity, theses reactions can be immediate in the case of anaphylaxis or appear as long as two days after consumption. Non-immunological reactions can be due to enzyme deficiency, such as lactase, or intolerance to food additives, preservatives, gluten, fructose, histamines, and other components. Non-immunological reactions are not going to be picked up on a blood test. The elimination diet is the gold standard for detecting food allergy.

Food to remove: Corn, Dairy, Eggs, Gluten, White (table) sugar, Shellfish, Soy, Beef, Pork, Processed meats, Coffee, Tea, Chocolate.

Foods to eat: Fruits, Healthy oils, Lean meats, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, Vegetables, Non-gluten whole grains.

The elimination diet contains 8 features

Identifies food triggers

  • Helpful to investigating food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities
  • Removes most common source of food reactions and replaces with nutrient dense foods
  • Lifts the burden of on the immune system, lets body heal properly
  • Many patients start of eating poor diet.

Reduces inflammation

  • Trigger food cause inflammation, when removed body stops the immune response
  • Helps decrease leaky gut
  • Only anti-inflammatory food is included in its plan

Supports health microbiome

  • Diet rich in healing, nutrient dense food leads to better stricture in gut
  • More diverse gut microbiome
  • 70% immune system is in gut

Dairy-free, Gluten-free

  • Most common two allergies seen
  • Many substitutions are available

Phytonutrients to heal the gut

  • Broad variety of fruits, vegetable, legumes, nuts, and seeds that promote healing.
  • 6 different colors to incorporate each day: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple/black, white/tan/brown.

Reduces Toxic Burden

  • Avoiding processed foods and focusing on organic, non- GMO sources reduces exposure food born toxins and chemicals.

No Calorie restriction

  • Goal is not weight-loss although it may happen
  • Patients should no feel hungry constantly on elimination diet and should not be focused on constantly counting calories

Promotes body awareness to food

  • Introducing one food at a time to learn about specific triggers
  • People urged to play close attention to how they feel as they reintroduce foods
  • Can lead to changes in taste buds
  • Become more in touch with body’s response to food

General Guidelines

Wean caffeine consumption 2 weeks prior to starting to reduce withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.
Adhere to diet for 3-4 weeks

Reintroduce foods one at time, every 2 days and keep a detailed record of any reactions

Eliminate reactive food for three-six months

Re-challenge foods


The elimination diet may look overwhelming at first and it could seem like a sacrifice to give up some of your favorite foods. However, three weeks is a manageable time frame to complete and usually the first couple days of participation are the biggest hurdle. Unfortunately, you may feel worse before feeling better. However, this is a big investment in your health. Imagine how you would feel with more energy, no headaches, or whatever symptoms caused you to make the investment in the first place.

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