The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) elimination diet is a widely-used approach for identifying food sensitivities and allergies. The diet is based on the idea that certain foods can trigger inflammation in the body and contribute to a wide range of health problems.
In this guide, we will walk you through the IFM elimination diet, including what foods are eliminated, why they are eliminated, and how to properly implement the diet. We will also discuss tips for ensuring adequate nutrition while following the diet, reintroducing foods, and identifying specific food triggers.
What is the IFM Elimination Diet?
The IFM elimination diet involves eliminating common allergens and irritants from the diet for a period of time, typically between 3-4 weeks. The following foods are eliminated:
– Gluten (found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other grains)
– Nightshades (such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes)
– Nuts and seeds
– Processed foods
– Refined sugar
– Non-organic meat and fish
How to Implement the Diet:
Before starting the diet, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any medical conditions.
Make a list of all the foods that you will be eliminating, and plan your meals accordingly.
Gradually eliminate the foods on the list, rather than cutting them out all at once. This will make the transition easier and less overwhelming.
Keep a food diary to track your progress and any symptoms that may arise.
Tips for Ensuring Adequate Nutrition:
Eliminating certain foods from your diet can make it more challenging to get all the nutrients you need. Here are some tips for ensuring adequate nutrition while following the IFM elimination diet:
– Choose nutrient-dense alternative food options. Eating a wide variety of fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can help ensure you get the nutrients you need.
– Consider taking a multivitamin or other supplements as recommended by your
– Consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist for personalized recommendations and meal plans.
Reintroducing Foods and Identifying Triggers:
After the elimination period, foods are slowly reintroduced one at a time, and any reactions are monitored and recorded. This process helps identify the specific foods that may be causing problems and allows individuals to tailor their diets to their unique needs.
When reintroducing foods, it is important to do so slowly and in small amounts. This will make it easier to identify any reactions or symptoms that may occur.
Resources for Additional Support:
The IFM elimination diet can be challenging to navigate, but there are resources available to help.
At The How Clinic, we understand that navigating the IFM elimination diet can be challenging. That’s why we offer a range of resources to help our patients achieve their health goals. Our team will work with you to develop a personalized plan tailored to your unique needs, and provide guidance and support throughout the process.
We also recommend working with our nutritionist for specific recommendations and meal plans and we encourage our patients to join an online community for individuals following the IFM elimination diet, to provide additional support and a sense of community.
It’s important to note that the IFM elimination diet should always be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and should be accompanied by a well-rounded, nutritious diet that supports overall health and well-being. With The How Clinic, you can discover which foods may be causing inflammation and improve your health. We invite you to schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.