Diet Review: 9 Elimination Diets You Should Be Questioning
Hi, you are probably wondering what you are about to read and why you should or shouldn’t try this diet. I’m sure you are expecting to solve your food intolerance or sensitivities with this one. For you first time elimination type dieters, good luck if you wish to participate.
Elimination diets try to help you find food sensitivities or food intolerances. According to the American Academy of Allery, Asthma and Immunology: “A food intolerance, or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea.”
Your friends have tried it, co-workers, neighbors, that one guy who lost twenty pounds and it’s even endorsed by movie stars and yogis. You are on the verge of taking the plunge and then you started to read this blog. What you are about to read is top secret, what the diet industry doesn’t want you to know! You may agree or disagree, but in the end you’ll be better informed about what challenges this diet may bring. So before you dive in like a fly into you know what, let’s get real and talk about those dirty secrets of elimination diets.
To make this as easy as possible, the format will be given in pros and cons format. This is a generalization on the most popular elimination diets out there right now. We shall start with the pros of elimination diets:
1. Eat Real Food
Yes, don’t eat anything that’s not real as it might cause problems. If you are trying to eat the plastic fruits in the fruit bowl, please stop. So I’d agree that’s some good advice.
2. This Does Require A Bit Of Effort
I see this as a positive. Does anything with great reward come with minimal effort? It may require social support, mental toughness, and it will make you question many things about your diet and what works for you.
Now on to the cons. The things you don’t think about because this diet sounds great, as it promises many things. Let’s see if you agree or disagree. Even better, if it’s an argument you haven’t seen made yet.
3. Do Not Consume Any Sugars of Any Kind, Real or Artificial
In most elimination diets, refined sugar seems to always get the boot. For good reason, too much of this bad boy can cause some serious harm. The question is, is it necessary to get rid of it at all?
I find that in America we have this slight problem when it comes to solving diet problems. It’s always an all or none approach. For example, many Americans eat way too much refined sugar as it is. Does it make sense to stop all the sugar in your diet? Even for 30 days? I don’t think so, but people need goals and suffering.
It’s not as fun to say, I’ve just cut my sugar consumption down cause that’s not Instagram worthy. Now cutting all the sugar out, that’s admirable in a weird way and you might get some followers and even become a no sugar role model. Then you can start your own blog, how to eliminate everything and love it.
4. Do Not Consume Alcohol In Any Form, Not Even Cooking
Okay, so this could go in pros and cons. If you are an alcoholic, have liver or kidney disease, this is great advice. If you are trying to reduce your alcoholic beverages for health purposes, even better. If you like to cook and make Michelin star meals that require grapes from the gods, I think you would have a hard time following this rule.
I commend those who can do the 30 days of no alcohol. I hope it helps you realize how annoying people are when they are drunk.
5. Do Not Eat Grains
Ok I get it. Paleo is the new cool kid, and cool kids don’t eat grains. If you are a human being, good luck on this one. Or better yet, if you live in other countries that rely heavily on grains, I’m guessing starvation and malnutrition is cool. All in the name of elimination diets!
I guess grains don’t fit in the real foods category. I do understand that some grains may cause some uncomfortable issues in your gastro-intestinal tract. There are other elimination diets out there that don’t restrict all grains. Remember, this diet is fit for those who are not in the third world and have plenty of options. Just remember the amount of food abundance we have in America, and what restricting grains might mean for our fellow humans in other countries. So if you are reading this from a country where grains are a staple, good luck with your experience.
6. Do Not Eat Legumes
I’m assuming because they make you fart? So if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can’t eat any beans, soy products or any other form of plant protein containing foods. But, if you can make it through the starvation and malnutrition, you may find out if these foods are causing you the symptoms you are looking for. To all my vegan and vegetarian humans reading this, good luck in trying this. To all other humans who are lucky enough to afford the foods on the approved list, touché!
7. Do Not Eat Dairy
Many elimination diets do restrict dairy products. I understand if you are lactose intolerant and get bubble guts and sharts. You probably already eliminating dairy or taking lactose pills. If you are from a country that relies heavily on dairy products, you may have a hard time giving it up. But hey, you might find out if you need to eliminate dairy right?
8. Do Not Consume Carrageenan, MSG or Sulfites
OK I get it, don’t consume anything that’s not real “food”. It’s not like there are naturally occurring sulfites in foods, right? Um, unfortunately there are real foods that contain sulfites in them. Such as fruits and vegetables, and seafood. Well crap, what is there left to eat besides meat in this diet now? I can understand if you don’t want to try the other 2 listed. I think fruits and veggies may be hard to get rid of. If you are still interested in this diet, read on.
9. Do Not Try to Recreate Baked Goods, Junk Foods, or Treats with “Approved” Ingredients
Yes, if you are going to do something do it all the way. What does this look like, a normal way of eating to you? There is no type of cheating in this diet. Most hardcore diet because it is scientifically proven. I laughed at that last statement. Seriously, if your gut issues out weight eating normal foods that you enjoy, then you may want to consider this diet.
This is my quick review of popular elimination diets and I hope I gave you some valuable insights. These diets are restrictive. As I kept on writing, I actually had to drink some beers as it depressed me. It’s depressing that you people out there need help, but have not received the help you need.
Diets like these I would try as a last ditch effort. If you haven’t seen an Allergist, Dietitian, Gastroenterologist, or any other relevant medical professional first, please do. I understand that sometimes they don’t have the answers, but it’s better to find out medically if you do have any serious complications.
The appeal of diets on the internet are strong. They use the force in an evil way through fear tactics, appealing to your emotions, and making nutrition seem black and white. I’m here to help balance the force with a different message.
Final points about this diet. If you are the type of person who likes to be punished, loves rules, thinks in a way of “no pain no gain”, “no glory without suffering”, then this is something you may love. If you are the type of person who will try anything for the short term, and go back to the way you eat but there’s a small chance you may benefit, then it’s a split 50/50 call. If you know you won’t ever do this type of diet and just want a normal way to eat and be healthy, then bravo to you for enjoying food.
If you're in the Mission Valley area of San Diego, give me a call or email me! I'm a personal trainer, and I'd love to answer any question you have about fitness and dieting.