Did you know food sensitivities are on the rise? According to the most recent estimates, up to 20% of the world’s population deals with a food intolerance1.
The problem: not everyone knows what they’re intolerant to.
Meal planning or trying an elimination diet is hard enough without going through the hundreds of ingredients we consume weekly. That’s where a sensitivity test comes in. It helps narrow down the candidates to identify the most likely culprits behind your sensitivity.
What is an Elimination Diet?
Sometimes a food intolerance or allergy is obvious. People with lactose intolerance, for example, may experience bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and more in the hours following dairy consumption. For others, however, it’s more diffuse.
Symptoms can be delayed for up to 48 hours and last several days, making pinpointing the food culprit impossible. Moreover, if the foodstuff is consumed regularly and the symptoms are mild, people may spend their lives in a malaise, always tired, always in discomfort, without ever realising it doesn’t have to be this way.
Enter the elimination diet. Just as the name suggests, it involves removing foods suspected of causing an intolerance one by one. They’re then reintroduced gradually to see if symptoms return. If they do, bingo, you’ve found the cause.
Common symptoms include:
- Abdominal Pain
- Flushing of the Skin
- Runny Nose
Elimination diets aren’t without their risks, however. Reintroducing a potential allergen can cause an anaphylactic reaction. And identifying the harmful food can take several weeks, even months, especially if it’s an uncommon ingredient (e.g., lupini beans).
How to Do an Elimination Diet
Usually, elimination diets involve a lot of meal planning and prep. You have to be sure you’ve removed all potential triggers from your diet. Individuals typically start with the most common intolerances:
- Milk, including dairy products
- Tree nuts
Once you’ve identified some potential triggers, you should avoid these foods for at least two weeks – meal prep is key. After the elimination phase, you should see a reduction in symptoms. You’ll then want to introduce one possible food trigger back into your diet. If the symptoms don’t reappear after three days, you can tick the foodstuff off the list. However, if you do see symptoms commence, you’ve identified the trigger.
Always consider that there might be more than one trigger. For example, individuals who are allergic to latex are often sensitive to avocados, bananas, and kiwis, while lupin and peanut allergies go hand in hand. This is called cross-reactivity.
Why Meal Prep for Food Sensitivities
Some food allergies aren’t whole foods. If you’re allergic to fish, cutting it out of your diet is relatively easy. That’s not the case for other ingredients.
Lupini beans, for instance, are found in everything from baked goods to protein powders. To truly avoid these foods, you’ll need some serious meal planning – often cooking with rare ingredients to ensure your food isn’t contaminated.
Meal prep is also critical during an elimination diet. If, somehow, you accidentally consume a trigger without realising it, it can give a misleading result. Knowing precisely what you’re eating and what could be a trigger is, therefore, critical.
How Does a Sensitivity Test Help Meal Planning
Sensitivity tests identify potential triggers behind food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. Some, like our Individual Ultimate Test, identify up to 975 sensitivities. These include mould, latex, gluten, dairy, vegetables, eggs, wheat, meats, fish, nuts, seeds, and much more.
Providing a comprehensive overview of your sensitivities, with a percentage likelihood, allows the elimination diet and your meal planning to be an informed process, not random luck.
Consider these potential benefits:
- Identification of Specific Triggers: Sensitivity tests can pinpoint the specific foods or ingredients that may be causing issues, making the process of elimination more precise.
- Time-Saving: Sensitivity tests can significantly shorten the time it takes to identify problematic foods compared to the lengthy process of an elimination diet.
- Personalised Meal Planning: Knowing your specific sensitivities enables you to tailor your meal plans to avoid these triggers, fostering better health and wellness.
- Prevention of Unnecessary Restriction: Without a sensitivity test, you might end up avoiding foods that aren’t actually causing a problem as part of your meal planning, leading to unnecessary dietary restrictions.
- Safety and Health: Sensitivity tests can help to avoid the risks associated with reintroducing potential allergens during an elimination diet, which can sometimes lead to severe reactions.
- Cost-Effective in the Long Run: While there is an upfront cost to sensitivity testing, it may save money in the long term by reducing the need for multiple doctor visits and treatments for unresolved issues.
Do you suspect you’ve got an underlying food allergy? Have you tried elimination diets with no luck? Try integrating a sensitivity test to help streamline your meal planning and discover the root cause of your symptoms.
Order your Individual Ultimate Test today and start your journey towards more focused and comfortable living. With over 975 sensitivities tested, you can create an informed dietary plan tailored to your body. Take the guesswork out of your meal prep and get a diet that’s right for you!