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Elimination Diet to Determine Food Allergies


Food allergies can cause a wide array of symptoms. We may not readily associate many of these symptoms with allergic reactions. For most of us, when we think of an allergic reaction we think of red splotches on the skin or maybe difficulty in breathing. Allergies can also cause high blood pressure, pain in the digestive tract, constipation, headaches, fuzzy thinking and disorientation and a whole host of other problems. In fact, many undiagnosed physical ailments can be attributed to unrecognized food allergies.

In a study published in Lancet 1:92 in 1987 by T. Sethi, it was revealed that commercial allergy tests are not very reliable.  The elimination diet is the most reliable method for determining food allergies.


If it is not clearly obvious what food or foods might be causing your symptoms then you can consider the elimination diet as a means to this end. On this diet it is permitted to eat the foods that are the least likely causes for an allergic reaction. When you start on this diet, you should allow the space of one week in order to allow the body to completely clear itself of any allergenic foods that might have been eaten prior to starting the elimination diet. At the end of this first week, most persons will find their symptoms relieved if their trouble was, in fact, caused by foods. During the period of elimination, all foods consumed should be cooked thoroughly because cooking causes a change in the proteins rendering them less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Accepted Foods on an Elimination Diet

Starches (everything cooked):

Brown rice
Puffed rice
Sweet potatoes
Tapioca rice flour
Taro (poi)
Winter squash

Yellow, orange and green vegetables (everything cooked):

Beet greens
String beans
Summer squash

Fruits (everything cooked) - most non-citrus fruits can be eaten including:



Salt is the only spice that is allowed if it is not already restricted for other health concerns. During the elimination diet there can be no other condiments of any kind including vinegar, mustard, salad dressings, ketchup or lemon juice.


Only water is allowed.

At the conclusion of one week of eating this diet the symptoms of your food allergies should have come to an end and your overall feeling of health should be much improved. If this is true, then you can start to introduce additional foods into your diet. However, the most important thing is to do this one food at a time. This will allow you to observe whether or not any of them will invoke an allergic response. For purposes of testing, each newly introduced food should be consumed in large quantities three times each day for a period of two days.

If there is no reaction following the consumption of the food being tested, you can add it to your list of acceptable non-allergenic foods. In most cases you will see an allergic response within only a few hours of consuming the food. Some reactions will not occur for several days. Each food item must be tested alone and individually. Never introduce two new foods at the same time. When you notice an allergic reaction to a food, you must then wait at least four days before beginning to test the next food. This time period gives your body the time it needs to clear and eliminate the allergenic food.

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