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Elimination Diets! Should you remove gluten and dairy?

If you do a simple Google search for the best diet, you’re guaranteed to come across at least 2-3 (and probably A TON more) articles and blogs telling you to get rid of gluten, dairy, eggs, alcohol, corn, soy, or meat…or all of them!!!

Gluten and dairy are the most common.

So… should you remove these foods if you want to live a healthy life and look and feel good?

Not necessarily!

Some people 100% need to remove one or more of those foods mentioned above either because they have an allergy or an intolerance.

But a large majority does not…which means you don’t have to remove them! That’s right, you can still drink 2% milk and eat bread and 1. be healthy and 2. reach your goals be it weight loss or muscle gain.

This article will teach you how to determine IF you have a problem with any of these foods, what that problem is, and then what to do about it. This article will be a bit different. With each section and major, point, you’ll see a link to another article. Tons of professionals have done extensive research: coaches, doctors, etc. I’m going to let them do the talking. I’ll just organize it and guide you along the way.

But first…why?

Why does this even matter? These foods, if problematic to YOU, most often cause issues with your gut. Gut health is probably one of THE most important factors in overall health and is crucial to losing weight, performing well, gaining muscle, improving mood, and sleep. Cody McBroom with Boom Boom Performance says it all here. If you’re serious about your health and your goals, your gut health MUST be a priority. Now there are a ton of factors that go into gut health like prescription drugs, stress, overgrowths, etc. but one of the biggest factors is food, which is what we’ll focus on here.

Now to the fun.

The first step in determining if you should remove one or more of these problematic foods is to find out if you have an allergy OR an intolerance (there’s a difference) and WHAT that allergy and intolerance is.

You have two general options: take a food sensitivity test or follow an elimination diet.

Food sensitivity tests:

You could get allergy tested or take a food sensitivity test. This isn’t my favorite option, though, so don’t go getting yourself tested before reading this entire article. Food sensitivity tests and allergy testing don’t always tell you the full story. They’re expensive and answer most of the questions that a free elimination diet can test.

There are some instances where you 100% should get tested. For some, just having the certainty of knowing is all they want. Elimination diets are tedious and don’t always answer the questions.

To determine if you should do one of these, follow this link to an article written by Christina Rice.

Elimination Diets:

An elimination diet is my personal favorite way to learn if you have an intolerance or allergy to certain foods. It gives you the total control over what is or is not happening in your body. It teaches you how your body responds personally to the food. Most importantly, it gives the most individualized answers to how your body responds to certain foods and what those foods are. It’s also a fun little experiment.

The basics of elimination diet are as follows:

1. Eliminate. You eliminate the suspected foods for a certain amount of time.

2. Reintroduce. You reintroduce the suspected foods one at a time while recording any potential side effects indicative of a reaction.

3. Lifestyle. You learn how to live with the foods again!

To learn how to do an elimination diet, first check out this article written by Cody McBroom. Then, consider purchasing Healthy Gut, Healthy You by Dr. Ruscio which is a book written by physician Dr. Michael Ruscio which goes over extensively 8 steps to follow the elimination diet, what supplements to include, and the timing of everything. If I could recommend ONE source, it would be this. He even prioritizes the stages of an elimination diet, starting first with the most simple approach detailing to the most complex approach possible. Whether you have a simple gluten irritation or 15 different allergies on top of 10 bacterial overgrowths, his plan is for both. He also provides a simple approach to elimination diets here.

The next resource I couldn’t recommend enough is Dr. Jolene Brighten. Now fellas, don’t be deterred, because she’s just as much a resource to you as for the women she’s often speaking to. Dr. Brighten specializes in working with women either on hormonal birth control or coming off of hormonal birth control. She recently wrote and published a book called Beyond the Pill that could be a resource to anyone. The reason I’m including her in this article is because the end of her book has a 30-day reset program that is an elimination diet. If you are looking for a mapped out plan with recipes and direction that is guaranteed to work…then she is the resource for you.

Do I have to remove it for life?

No! Elimination diets are only temporary. They first give your body a break from any potential irritants, then as you bring the food back in, lets you see if you have any intolerances and what those intolerances are.

Elimination diets are healing diets. They aren’t the same as a healthy diet, which is what the final goal is. Christina Rice wrote an excellent article on this exact concept detailing the differences so you can first heal but then move on to a sustainable and happy way of eating.

One last thing

The final resource I’m including is a podcast episode from Cody McBroom’s The Boom Boom Performance podcast. In it, he interviews Christina Rice, who I’ve mentioned several times and they talked about “Gut Health, Autoimmune Disease, and Overcoming Depression”. Her story is one of the most profound stories I’ve ever heard and shows exactly HOW important gut health is and how much damage it can cause. She went through a pretty traumatic time in her life where she had several bacterial overgrowths. She dropped below 100lbs and was eating 7,000 calories… and still losing weight. Her body slowly healed when she started healing her gut…showing just how important your gut health is. It’s a fascinating story and something you definitely want to hear!

And there you have it. Everything you need to know in order to determine if you actually should remove any of these "problematic" foods from your diet. You also get to see some of the resources I rely on for my education and expertise.

Questions? Not sure if an elimination diet is right for you? Sign up for a strategy call to ask me your questions!

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