Are food sensitivities making you sick? Most of us know when we're allergic to a certain food, but do you know if you have food intolerances that leave you feeling somewhere between off-kilter to downright miserable? Sensitivities, while not as alarming as allergies, can have a significant impact on your health and overall wellbeing. Often times food sensitivities cause annoying or
uncomfortable problems. In comparison to an allergy's immediate reaction, food sensitivities rear their head a little slower, usually showing up 12 to 24 hours after eating. Where allergies can be life-threatening, sensitivities usually aren't, even though they can make your life feel like a roller coaster of ups and downs.
Outside of generally feeling "blah," or like something is sitting wrong in your stomach, food sensitivities can trigger the following:
- Weight Gain/Inability to Lose Weight
- Heart Burn
- Sinus Infections
- ...many more symptoms
Eliminating foods that cause sensitivities
If you think you're dealing with food sensitivities, it wouldn't hurt to talk to your doctor about what you're experiencing. Together, you and your doctor might be able to eliminate the trigger food that's causing the problem. More importantly, you'll be able to rule out anything else that could be more serious.
If you want to try a DIY approach, an elimination diet (often called food sensitivity diet or four-day rotation diet) might help you as well. Eliminating all foods that are known to cause symptoms for several weeks, then re-introducing them back into your diet one at a time often works to help people pinpoint the food that's giving you grief.
Here's how to go about doing it.
- Eliminate all the foods mentioned in the list below for about four weeks. Completely cut them all out.
- After about one month, introduce one food category for one day.
* On day 1 you can eat dairy (for instance). Eat a reasonable amount of milk, yogurt, cheese, or whatever you would normally eat. You don't have to go overboard.
*On days 2 and 3, eliminate it again, and eliminate all the foods your were originally eliminating. Basically, you're avoiding all the "do not eat" foods again.
*On day 4, eat from another food category. Maybe it's grains and starches. Eat the foods you'd normally eat from the grains/starches category.
*Follow this cycle through all groups of foods. If you notice you're not feeling well after eating from one particular food group, narrow it down from there.
Foods to Temporarily Eliminate
- Ice Cream
- Mayo (and all spreads with dairy)
- Creamers/Cream-based sauces
YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE: rice milk, coconut milk
YOU CAN EAT: rice
YOU CAN EAT: any other fruit
YOU CAN EAT: any other vegetable
Seeds & Nuts
Shellfish & Meats
- All Chicken
- All processed or cured meats (deli slices, hot dogs, bacon, sausage etc)
- All canned meats
- Any meat made from or with soy
YOU CAN EAT: turkey, lamb, fish
Alcohol & Caffeine
- Soy Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Anything in a jar in the door of your fridge that you add to foods
YOU CAN EAT: Any singular dried spice that isn't a combination of other spices and may contain MSG, pepper, sea salt
- Corn, Canola, Soybean Oil
- Nut Butters
YOU CAN EAT: coconut oil, olive oil
- All, including honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc.
YOU CAN EAT: stevia
Hopefully these tips will help get you on the right track. It may seem like a lot of foods to eliminate, but remember, it's short term. If foods are creating the problem, there's a good chance you might be able to determine what the trigger is through this process. A life with better digestion, less bloated and more energy is well worth it!
I just launched my new program, The 10 Pound Club. Want more information on that? Here you go!
Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.