Many people attribute diets to losing weight, and this attribution is often strengthened by popular culture’s depiction of a “diet”, which is usually just a character eating salads and being wistful about not eating fast foods. This depiction is not only an incorrect view of diets, but actively works against those actually wanting to live healthier lives and better themselves.
This stigma that has built up around the diet makes it feel like something to do as a last resort, and to be unhappy about. It’s making many people feel that they can’t go on a diet for any reason, not even medical reasons that would require a strict diet. One such medical diet is known as an Elimination diet, and is a vital part to determining what foods one may or may not be intolerant of. If you believe you may need to try an elimination diet, but are unsure, we have put together a pros and cons list for you.
Elimination diets are unlike many of the fad diets that make their way through the magazines and friend groups every few years. Utilizing the scientifically proven method of trial and error, they remove everything from your diet that is likely for you to be allergic to, and then reintroduce these things one by one whilst monitoring you for signs of returning symptoms.
Dietician services are needed to run these diets, as they require a lot of monitoring of your vital signs, as well as in-depth recordings of your feelings during the diet. This all leads to the major benefit of the diet- a successful targeting of exactly what is making you unwell, which gives you everything you need to know to avoid that thing in the future. Whether it be fructose or gluten or egg, or a certain kind of preservative, the elimination diet can pinpoint it and from there you can build a database of every kind of food that contains that ingredient, effectively taking away your digestion problems altogether.
The risks associated with this diet are few and far between, but there are some things that bear mentioning. If you are reacting to natural ingredients to things, like fructose for instance, there will suddenly be a lot of things you can’t eat. The risk here is hypoglycemia, or a lack of blood sugar running through your body. The symptoms of this are shakiness and sudden weariness, and an inability to perform fine motor skills, such as using chopsticks or typing on a smartphone.
You can avoid this by planning your meals out meticulously, and always carrying snacks that adhere to the rules of the diet. This way if you find yourself at a restaurant that cannot accommodate your dietary needs, you don’t need to avoid eating altogether. Some people might see this as being a little extreme, and that there is almost always food to eat in one’s vicinity, but continuing our example from before with fructose, onions and garlic contain fructose, as does onion and garlic powder. Take those ingredients and try to find a wide array of foods that don’t contain those ingredients in any given supermarket, and you’ll see just how far and wide fructose is spread in our day to day foods.
With that, our risks and benefits have been outlined. Elimination diets are an absolutely necessary part of finding out whether or not we are intolerant to certain foods, and undertaking one is a great idea if you have found yourself feeling sick more often, or having a lack of energy in a general sense.