We all have heard about numerous diets like the Ketogenic diet, Raw food diet, low-Carb diet, vegan diet, ultra-low-fat diet, etc. But have you ever heard about the elimination diet? No? No worries! The elimination diet is a short-term diet plan assumed under the supervision of healthcare professionals. There is a term called leaky gut, in which the intestinal barrier gets loosened and allows the undigested food particles, bacteria, chemicals to enter the bloodstream. It evokes the immune system and causes more inflammation.
Food allergies can make the intestinal wall more porous and lead to a leaky gut condition. But did you know that reverse cases also arise where a leaky gut can enormously increase the development of food sensitivities? In such scenarios, an elimination diet comes to your rescue. Do you want to learn about the elimination diet, types of elimination diets, and their health benefits? If yes, you have come down to the right place. This blog has every possible information that you should have about it. So, let's plunge into it.
What is an elimination diet?
Food sensitivities and intolerances are pretty standard. As per studies, around 2–20% of people may struggle with food intolerance globally. An elimination diet involves subtracting specific food or food group from your diet for a set period of time that you presume your body can't endure well and reintroducing food later while testing for symptoms.
An elimination diet helps individuals recognize foods that cause distress or manifestation of an allergic reaction. This diet helps people with a sensitive gut. It continues for five to six weeks and acts as a gold standard for specifying food sensitivities, intolerances, and food allergies through diet.
If you assume that you have a food allergy, don't start an elimination diet immediately. It is always better to take medical advice before you start it. You may experience different signs of allergy like hives, rashes, swelling, and hardship in breathing.
Do you know the types of elimination diets?
Five popular elimination diets are used widely:
- Elimination diet
- Low-FODMAP diet
- Gluten-free diet
- GAPS diet
- Specific Carbohydrate diet
A basic elimination diet is an effective method to identify food allergies or sensitivities. This type of diet removes several possible food allergens from the diet and identifies which foods are causing issues such as migraines, bloating, etc.
The low FODMAP diet is specifically developed to relieve irritable bowel syndrome IBS. People suffering from IBS should avoid high FODMAP foods. As per studies, following a diet containing low FODMAP foods may lessen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.
In this diet plan, you have to remove certain foods from your diet that have the protein gluten—for instance - barley, wheat or wheat products, rye, triticale, and seitan. When on a gluten-free diet, you should remember that gluten is also present in food additives, salad dressings, and many sauces, so keep your eye on labels before eating them.
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. The core motivation behind this diet plan is gut lining healing. This diet plan has two phases; an introduction diet and a complete GAPS regimen. People with severe digestive issues like IBS, chronic diarrhea, Crohn's disease, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis follow this diet.
Specific Carbohydrate diet
This diet plan eliminates most carbohydrates and restricts grain products and other products with lactose and sucrose. The primary purpose of this diet is to maintain intestinal health through diet. This diet is recommended for people suffering from chronic intestinal distress.
Health benefits of an elimination diet
Relieve Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
An elimination diet can help to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It triggers food you are sensitive or allergic to and eliminates them from your diet. Studies say that people who follow the diet strictly reduce IBS symptoms by up to 25 to 28%. You have to eliminate dairy, gluten, fried foods, beans, legumes, caffeinated drinks, processed foods, Sugar-free sweeteners, chocolate, alcohol, garlic, onion, etc., from your diet.
Improve the Eosinophilic Esophagitis symptoms
An elimination diet improves the Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE) symptoms. It is a chronic condition in which inflammation is caused in the esophagus. The tube does not contract adequately and can get narrowed. The person feels hardship engulfing dry and viscous foods and increases their chance of choking. A study conducted on 146 Eosinophilic Esophagitis patients showed that 75 percent of patients reduced EE symptoms via an elimination diet.
Dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, and seafood/shellfish are the most common foods that should be eliminated to improve Eosinophilic Esophagitis conditions.
Makes your skin texture smooth and leaves you with flawless, radiant skin
People with stubborn skin issues like redness, itchiness can get help from an elimination diet. The right food consumption improves the skin texture and gives radiant skin. Remember, fresh vegetables and fruits are more affordable than beauty serums. It cleans your system from the inside, and your skin starts glowing naturally from the outside.
Do you know there is a skin condition called eczema? An elimination diet helps to reduce eczema symptoms and identify trigger foods that worsen the situation.
Ease Chronic Migraines condition
Studies show that around 213 million people suffer from migraine and 374 million people have a tension-type headaches. The main reason for migraine is ambiguous. But the study says that inflammation can be the trigger point behind chronic Migraines condition. An elimination diet withdraws the foods that induce inflammation. It helps to reduce the chronic migraine condition gradually.
Did you know how the elimination diet works? No? Let me break the ice for you! An elimination diet is conducted in two phases- the elimination and reintroduction phases. In the elimination phase, suspect foods are removed from the diet that activates your symptoms for a short period, around 2–3 weeks. After that, you slowly start adding eliminated foods back into your diet in the reintroduction phase.
Summing it up
An elimination diet helps identify the foods that your body cannot take in a good way. But it is not for everyone, especially kids. Kids should not follow the elimination diet without the recommendation of a medical adviser. If you have suspicious allergies, you can try an elimination diet but under the supervision of a medical adviser only. However, an elimination diet helps relieve the symptoms of various diseases. Still, the healthcare adviser doesn't recommend it for a longer period because it can cause nutritional deficiency if we eliminate certain food groups for a longer period.