Natural Cures For Dummies
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Fewer than ten foods are responsible for triggering most cases of inflammation and numerous autoimmune disorders in humans: wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, corn, eggs, peanuts, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats. To find out whether any of the items on this list ails you, get tested for food allergies and sensitivities or perform a modified elimination diet. The table lists the most common culprits to test.

Performing a Modified Elimination Diet
Category Include These Foods Exclude These Foods
Fruits Fresh or unsweetened frozen fruits, unsweetened fruit juices, avocado Oranges, orange juice, dried fruit
Vegetables Raw, fresh, steamed, sautéed, juiced, or roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, and yams Corn, creamed vegetables
If you have arthritis, also exclude nightshade vegetables and spices made from those vegetables: tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplants, peppers, paprika, salsa, chili peppers, cayenne, and chili powder
Starch, bread, cereal Rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff, tapioca, buckwheat, gluten‐free oats processed in a plant that doesn’t process wheat Wheat, barley, spelt, khorasan, rye, triticale
Legumes Any beans, lentils, peas, and hummus not listed in the “Exclude” column Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy sauce, edamame, other soy products
Nuts and seeds Almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds (tahini), sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds; butters made from these nuts; seeds that do not contain added ingredients Peanuts, peanut butter
Meat and fish All canned (water‐packed), fresh, or frozen low‐mercury fish; wild game; pastured, hormone‐free, antibiotic‐free chicken, turkey, and grass‐fed lamb Beef, pork, cold cuts, frankfurters, sausage, canned meats, eggs, shellfish
Dairy Rice, hemp, almond, or coconut milk — all unsweetened and without soy Milk from animals; products made from milk or cream (cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, frozen yogurt); non‐dairy creamers
Fats For cooking: Coconut
oil, palm oil, ghee,
cold‐pressed olive oil
No heat: Flax, safflower, sunflower, sesame, walnut, pumpkin, and almond oils
Margarine, butter, shortening, processed (hydrogenated) oils
Beverages Filtered or distilled water, herbal tea, seltzer, or mineral water Soda, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee, nonherbal tea, other sweetened or caffeinated beverages
Herbs, spices, and condiments Vinegar, any spices not listed in the “Exclude” column Chocolate, ketchup, mustard, relish, chutney, soy sauce, teriyaki, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, and sandwich spreads

You can do an elimination diet in a couple of different ways.

  • Remove a suspect food from your diet for 28 days. If you feel better without it, you can eliminate that food from your diet for good, reintroduce it to see whether it really does cause problems, or get tested to confirm or rule out your suspicions. If you notice no difference whether you eat or abstain from eating the food, you can add it back into your diet.

  • Eliminate for 28 days foods that are most likely to cause problems and then slowly re‐introduce them, one every two to three weeks, until your symptoms return. Then eliminate any food(s) that triggered symptoms.

Don’t eat even a small amount of the food you’re testing for the entire duration of the 28‐day period. If you’re allergic to that food and you eat even a small amount, the antibodies to that food remain elevated in your system, and you may not notice an improvement in symptoms, defeating the purpose of the elimination diet.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Dr. Scott J. Banks has been in clinical practice for more than 30 years. In 2013, Banks joined an elite group Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioners. He is uniquely trained in the Functional Medicine model to identify and treat the root causes of illness, disease, and chronic disorders.

Joe Kraynak has authored and co-authored numerous books.

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