What is an elimination diet?

You eat plenty of nutritious, whole foods, limit treats, and drink your water.

You feel like your diet has been entered, but you’re still dealing with unsavory GI side effects, such as gas, bloating, and feeling “off.”

What gives?

After talking to your doctor to make sure nothing serious is going on, it may be time to try an elimination diet to determine what’s going on in your gut.

“An elimination diet is a protocol in which a group of foods or ingredients are removed from the diet and then reintroduced to determine a response to that particular food,” explains gut health expert Erin Judge, RDN, owner of Gutivate. nutritional advice for people dealing with digestive problems.

Read on to find out what you do and don’t want to include in an elimination diet and what it can teach you about your digestive health.

What is an elimination diet?

What is the purpose of an elimination diet?

“Somebody would choose to do” [an elimination diet] if they suspect they are reacting, either with digestive or allergy-like symptoms,” says Judge.

Elimination diets can identify both allergens (such as soy, wheat, dairy, etc.) and food sensitivities, she explains.

The goal is to give you answers about your digestive problems so that you feel your best after you eat.

What to Expect from an Elimination Diet?

Chia pudding with raspberries and peaches in a glass jar.

Similar to a cleanse, an elimination diet has two phases: elimination and reintroduction.

“You go through a period of eliminating certain foods from your diet,” explains Welch.

“After that period is up, add foods, if you like, to determine if any of them could be the culprit of your gut symptoms.”

Elimination diets are not the time to set goals at the gym or keep up with your usual fitness routines.

“Go slow, support your body as you go, and keep a lot of records through a log,” suggests Judge.

The benefits of a cleanse focus more on resetting habits than on digestive triggers.

Sometimes that means cutting out an otherwise “healthy” food from your diet because it doesn’t make you feel good.

How do you know what to eat on an elimination diet?

What you can and cannot eat depends on the type of diet. A registered dietitian nutritionist like Judge can help you plan your meals so you don’t get hungry or feel too deficient already.

But since you’re limiting the variety of your diet, “maintaining a balanced diet is critical,” Welch advises. “It makes sense to have a nutritious daily safety net like Vegan Shakeology to meet your needs.”

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