Welcome to part 2 of our detox series! Missed part 1? You can read about it here. This post comes to us from Dr. Andrea Gansner, ND and it takes you through the second pillar of a great detox: eliminate! Dr. Andrea wants to teach you how to follow a diet that is focused on optimal nutrient intake, and a detox that removes common allergens, towards building healthy habits and keeping these changes for the long-term. Here is what you need to know:
An elimination diet is commonly used in order to identify hidden food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances that may be contributing to your symptoms. This break from the common allergenic foods enables the body to heal and decreases potential sources of inflammation in the body. It is also great for a detox period, because it gives the body a break from common triggers.
If you have any known allergies or sensitivities, work to eliminate them entirely from your diet and minimize environmental exposures. Eliminate all forms of the food by carefully reading food labels and inquiring as to how foods are prepared at restaurants to avoid triggers if eating out.
Prior to beginning a detox, I recommend my patients remove the following list of foods from their kitchens and replace them with healthy whole food alternatives.
Read labels thoroughly;
Try to eat fresh organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. If cost is an issue, begin by eliminating the Dirty Dozen These are the most pesticide residue laden fruits and vegetables so buy organic to minimize exposure;
Avoid foods high on the glycemic index. The glycemic index of a food calculates the carbohydrate and fiber content and determines how much the food will increase blood sugar. Aim for foods that are lower on the glycemic index and do not spike blood sugar;
Avoid deep fried foods, canned vegetables, and frying vegetables. Instead, bake, steam or eat your vegetables raw to ensure optimal nutrient density/concentration.
Foods to eliminate during a detox:
Processed foods, the common allergens, sugar, alcohol, caffeine (exception: green tea);
Avoid anything with added colour, flavouring, preservatives;
Avoid all sweeteners, including: honey, molasses, glucose, fructose, maltose, maltodextrose, brown rice/corn/maple syrups, white/brown sugar;
Avoid all carbonated beverages such as pop, fruit juices high in refined sugar and processed vegetable drinks;
Grains that contain gluten (wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, barley, oats). These are usually found in pasta, bread, products made from refined flour, but can be found in hidden sources such as soy sauce. Avoid yeast containing bread and crackers;
Avoid eggs and dairy products, such as: milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, butter;
Avoid shortening, margarine, and refined oils;
Avoid red meats such as beef, pork, deli meats, sausages, hot dogs, canned and smoked meat;
Avoid canned fish, tuna, catfish, shellfish;
Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, which are common allergens;
If you have a ragweed allergy – remove sunflower seeds and oil, safflower oil, dandelion, chicory, chamomile, iceberg lettuce and artichokes;
Avoid peanuts, cashews and pistachios, salted or flavoured nuts;
Soy products (soy milk, soy beans, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, TVP) because they are common allergens;
Avoid bananas, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, melons and dried fruits.
I hope this food elimination list helps you navigate the sometimes confusing information available and instead makes these changes ones that will last a lifetime. After the detox period, or after checking that you are not sensitive to these foods, please feel free to slowly add them back in (using moderation for some, or eliminating entirely for others - ie. processed foods).
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Dr. Andrea Gansner, ND
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