It’s estimated that over 20% of the world’s population has a food intolerance or allergy.
Intolerances won’t threaten your life, but they can still cause discomfort and other issues. It can be difficult to figure out which food is triggering your symptoms, so an excellent way to pinpoint problem foods is to try an elimination diet.
If you’re curious about starting this diet, then read on. We’ll give you some great tips on starting one and clean eating.
Make a List of Suspected Intolerances
For some, you may have noticed some digestive troubles or other symptoms when you eat certain foods. Write these down on a list so you know which foods to avoid for the upcoming week. Even if you’re not sure whether a food gives you issues or not, it’s better to err on the side of caution and include it in your elimination diet.
You should also write down common foods that people have intolerances to, such as dairy products, gluten, and nuts.
Start the Elimination Phase
After you’ve made a list of suspected intolerances, refrain from eating them for 2 to 3 weeks.
If your symptoms go away during this period, then it’s highly likely that you’re intolerant to one or a few of the foods on your list. This means you can move onto the next phase: reintroduction.
Should your symptoms remain, then it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor. It could just be an intolerance to a food that you didn’t suspect, but it might also be an indication of other health problems. Because of this, the safest thing to do is to get some professional medical advice.
Move Toward the Reintroduction Phase
The reintroduction phase is longer than the elimination phase since you have to slowly reintroduce each food group into your diet.
Start off reintroducing 1 food group into your regular diet and stick to it for 2 to 3 days. If you don’t notice any symptoms, then you’re safe to add another food group.
Repeat this process until you’ve either found the food groups you have an intolerance to or until you’ve reintroduced all food groups back into your regular diet.
Overall, the entire process should take you 5 to 6 weeks.
If your list is a particularly long one, make sure you speak to your doctor first to ensure you don’t suffer from any deficiencies during the elimination diet.
Start Your Elimination Diet Today
Now you have a better idea on how to start and go through an elimination diet.
After you’ve successfully identified your food intolerance, the next step is to work on your nutrition for better health. Whether you’re looking at meat or plant-based nutrition, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a professional nutritionist. They can help you put together a clean eating diet plan full of whole foods that’ll keep you feeling good and energetic throughout the day.