Elimination Diets- Who Should Follow Them

I think we all know someone who claims following a gluten free diet increased their quality of life; a work colleague who feels more energized on the Atkins Diet, by minimizing the consumption of carbohydrates; or my personal favorite when fitness bloggers say how great they feel after removing toxins from the diet during a cleanse. Every single one of you has a different gastrointestinal (GI) tract and can tolerate different foods. Therefore, no one food will fix every persons problems. Elimination diets are beneficial in individuals who are experiencing chronic GI distress and are suffering from very unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, or constipation. In some individuals, the removal of a certain food can be very beneficial in removing gastrointestinal distress. However, the majority of the population lives symptom free and elimination diets are not necessary for improving their health.  If you are unsure what specific foods are causing your symptoms to arise, a temporary elimination diet might be what you need to take control over your dietary practices.

An elimination diet is a short term eating plan where you eliminate certain “suspect” foods, that may be causing an allergic reaction or other unpleasant digestive reaction, for 4 to 12 weeks. It is critical that you keep a food and symptom diary during the elimination phase to be able to pin point exactly how you feel before and after you consume various foods. After a minimum of 4 weeks, you can start reintroducing the “suspect” foods, one at a time, to determine which foods are, or are not, well-tolerated. During the reintroduction phase, you should continue maintaining your food and symptom diary to provide a detailed look into how your body digests, and tolerates, certain foods. If you experience unpleasant symptoms after the consumption of a certain food, you should remove it from the diet. 1

Food and Symptom Diary 

So, what are considered suspect foods that should be removed during an elimination diet? It is recommended to eliminate the top 8 allergens: milk, egg, wheat, fish, shellfish, soybeans, peanuts, and tree nuts. As stated above, once these foods have been avoided from the diet, add them back in one-by-one each week to see which foods are trigger foods.1

What’s the big deal about the FODMAP diet? Consuming low amounts of Fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) has been found to decrease symptoms in 50-86% of patients presenting with irritable bowel disease.2 The FODMAP diet follows a similar pattern to an elimination diet as stated above. Recommendations include limiting the amount of high FODMAP foods including 3:

Fructose– fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup, etc

Lactose– Dairy products, such as milk, ice cream, and soft cheeses

Oligosaccharides (Fructans or Galactans)- wheat, onion, garlic, beans, lentils, legumes, soy

Polyols- Sorbitol, Mannitol (sugars ending in- ol), avocado, appricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches plums

Ok, I know… that’s super restrictive..! If you are serious about relieving your IBS symptoms adding these foods back into your diet, slowly over time, and maintaining a detailed food and symptom log will help you regain control over your body and feel empowered about knowing which foods cause distress. Individuals who are not presenting with IBS do not need to follow a low FODMAP diet, if the elemental diet, that was first discussed, is successful.

Elimination diets aren’t for everyone, and should only be considered in individuals who have chronic GI distress or IBS. As with anything, if your symptoms are uncontrollable or you feel like you are in over your head, I highly recommend working with a Registered Dietitian. He or she will be able to address your concerns or perceptions, and go over your food and symptom diary to assist you in reducing symptoms and regaining control.

Feel free to comment below on nutrition or wellness questions you would like answered.

Until next week.



  1. K. Mahan SE-S, J. Raymond. Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process. Vol 13. 2012.
  2. Hill P, Muir JG, Gibson PR. Controversies and Recent Developments of the Low-FODMAP Diet. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2017;13(1):36-45.
  3. Gibson PR, Shepherd SJ: Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: the FODMAP approach, J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 25:252, 2010.



  1. small business services

    June 6, 2017 at 4:35 am

    Hello there, I discovered your blog by the use of Google even as searching for a similar subject, your web site got here up, it appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    1. hannahfeinberg

      June 6, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you!

  2. job postings sites

    June 6, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write once more very soon!

    1. hannahfeinberg

      June 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you for subscribing!

  3. dep of education

    June 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    1. hannahfeinberg

      June 8, 2017 at 2:43 am

      Thank you! If you have any specific questions please let me know.

  4. financial planning help

    June 8, 2017 at 2:17 am

    You’re so interesting! I do not suppose I’ve read anything like this before. So great to discover another person with some original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!

    1. hannahfeinberg

      June 8, 2017 at 2:44 am

      Thank you!

  5. health medical news

    June 8, 2017 at 2:19 am

    I am extremely impressed together with your writing talents as smartly as with the format to your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it is rare to look a great weblog like this one these days..

    1. hannahfeinberg

      June 8, 2017 at 2:44 am

      Thank you!

  6. small business adviser

    June 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    This excellent website truly has all the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  7. home and family recipes

    June 9, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Howdy I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a remarkable post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great work.

  8. what is insomnia

    June 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally discuss with my web site =). We may have a hyperlink alternate arrangement among us

  9. learning styles

    June 28, 2017 at 1:00 am

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the web for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  10. education sites

    June 30, 2017 at 2:02 am

    It is truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. business finance

    July 2, 2017 at 4:02 am

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

  12. Warez

    July 17, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Thanks for the post!

  13. cours de theatre

    July 19, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I appreciate you sharing this blog.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  14. dani

    August 1, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Wonderful work! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared around the internet. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this put up higher! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

  15. Cherish Bollards Definition

    August 4, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Great news, I think this blog post is outstanding. I like what you pointed out in the 4th paragraph.

  16. Rey Craigslist Chicago

    October 3, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Great post. I will share it on my Facebook page. Thank you so much. My friend will also share.

  17. Nidia Sholty

    November 8, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    It’s tricky finding gluten free but after a few weeks you can comfortably get used to such a life style.

Leave a Reply