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Elimination Diet Introduction

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Jul. 12th, 2006 | 11:55 am
posted by: ankoku_jin in elim_diet_food

Long story short, I was feeling pretty terrible until I found a doctor who recommended that I try an allergen elimination diet. Given that I have many allergies to begin with, this made sense. Bottom line: it's working, and worth every extra minute that it takes to make almost all my own food.

Here are the rules I have to cook by, and why:

- No corn.
I am definitely corn-intolerant. Since almost all common processed foods contain corn derivatives, this means that I must make the majority of my food from scratch.

- No gluten.
The jury is still out on gluten. This means not only no wheat, but no oats, barley, spelt, amaranth, quinoa or whatever other weird heritage grain you might name. Buckwheat (not really a grain) is an exception.

- No tofu.
The dense soy protein can mimic the effect of gluten in sensitive people. The smaller amounts in soymilk are OK.

- No dairy.
I became intolerant to dairy over time. I do find that I can tolerate pure ghee, which has had the lactose and casein removed.

- No chemical sweeteners.
This includes Splenda (sucralose) and sugar alcohols like xylitol and mannitol, which are all frighteningly pervasive these days. Of course, aspartame and saccharine are right out. Stevia is OK.

There are some additional rules I need to follow to regulate my blood sugar levels and to ease digestion:

- No refined sugars.
This means white table sugar. Small amounts of raw (turbinado) sugar, honey, real maple syrup, blacstrap molasses, and similar are OK.

- Limit starch intake.
This helps regulate blood sugar, avoiding "crashing" and the sugar cravings that follow.

- Make protein the centerpiece of the meal.
This slows digestion, increases satiety and helps regulate blood sugar.

- Always add healthy fats.
Again, slows digestion, increases satiety. Also, I was lacking in certain fatty acids found in healthy oils like flaxseed, olive, and similar oils.

So what can I have?

- Lean meats of any kind (although pork seems to give me an acid tummy)
- Fish (though I avoid shellfish due to dislike, not allergy)
- Poultry
- Eggs (I prefer to buy the veg-fed eggs that are high in omega-3s)
- Rice (in small quantities, preferably brown)
- All vegetables (though I have to watch starchy things like potatoes, taro, and tapioca)
- All fruits (especially dark red fruits, but being careful of bananas because they are starchy)
- Healthy oils (peanut, olive, flaxseed, grapeseed, canola, avocado... the list is endless)
- Small (~6 oz) glasses of super-juices like pomegranate, acai, blueberry, or Kagome juice blends
- White tea (and small amounts of green tea) - the antioxidants outweigh the very small amount of caffeine.

Interestingly, this diet puts me very much in line with the South Beach type of diet - high protein, balanced fat, low starch (but NOT "low-carb" - fruits and vegetables provide plenty of healthy carbs). And it's amazing what you can make when you have a little bit of "from-scratch" skill.

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Comments {1}


From: simsabalim
Date: Oct. 2nd, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)

I just thought you should know that you're incorrect in saying that amaranth and quinoa contain gluten. They are gluten-free, and a vital part of a celiac (gluten-intolerant) diet. And yes, buckwheat is also safe.

Wheat, rye, and barley, and their derivatives, all contain gluten, and must be avoided on a GF diet.

Whether or not oats contain gluten is still under debate. However, they are almost always mixed with a gluten-containing flour, so avoid it just to be safe.

I pulled this information from the Canadian Celiac Association. I realise you're in the US, but I couldn't find this info on the American site, and much of the restrictions are the same in the US and Canada.

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