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Elimination diets are the new detox. With people swearing off gluten, dairy, and other foods, elimination diets have become very popular. But here’s the thing with elimination diets: they’re most effective under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Elimination diets, according to webmd.com, help to determine a food allergy to milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, and soy. Because the process is complicated, a doctor can walk you through the steps. Here’s what you can expect.

1. You’ll have to become type-A about food.

It will be tough to eat packaged, prepped, and restaurant foods at this time. So reading ingredients lists, asking questions about what’s in what, and so on. You’ll have to research food alternatives. Seek the advice of a dietitian for meal planning, recommends webmd.com. As for social events, it’s best just to explain to colleagues, friends, and family what you’re doing. They’ll understand if you have to oblige.

2. You’ll stop eating food you like.

The list of foods you may be told not to eat is long, according to wholehealthchicago.com. It all really depends on what your healthcare provider suspects of your food intolerance or allergy. So it may include dairy (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, whey, casein, sodium caseinate, and calcium caseinate), wheat (most flours, including bread, pasta, baked goods, as well as durum semolina, farina, and gravy), corn (corn oil, corn syrup, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, corn chips, tortillas, and popcorn), eggs and egg products, citrus fruits, coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar (table sugar, candy, soda, pies, cake, cookies, as well as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, corn syrup, corn sweetener, fructose, maltose, and levulose), honey, maple syrup, barley syrup, food additives (artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, texturing agents, artificial sweeteners, and more), as well as other foods in your diet that are suspect.

3. Ask for a shopping list.

Part of sticking to an elimination diet is to be prepared. Ask for a shopping list (and recipes, too!) from your dietitian or doctor. This will help ensure that your diet is still balanced, reports Women’s Health. And the “tiniest little slip up can skew your results.”

4. You’ll have to be careful when reintroducing foods back into your diet.

Once your system is clean of any irritation from food, your healthcare provider will get you to slowly add foods back to your diet. But it won’t happen all at once, says robinberzinmd.com. And it may take up to 48 hours for a reaction to occur, so give it a few days.

5. Enjoy eating healthy!

The great thing about elimination diets is that you’ll fall in love with eating vegetables, writes huffingtonpost.com. Don’t get wrapped up in what you can’t eat. Instead, get inspired by what you can eat. Research recipes. Check out food blogs. Play with the ingredients of your own signature dishes.

Finally, talk to your healthcare provider about an elimination diet if you feel you may have a food allergy or intolerance. And if you decide to go for it on your own, here are four elimination diets that might be worth considering:

• Elimination Diet No Fiber

• Elimination Diet With Added Fiber

• Dr. Oz Elimination Diet

• Easy Elimination Diet

About the Author: LISA HANNAM

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