the hypoallergenic diet

The Hypoallergenic Diet, aka Elimination or Brown Rice Diet, is a diagnostic and therapeutic diet based on research and clinical successes by Naturopathic and Medical Doctors.

For more details see printable handout.

how can a hypoallergenic diet help you?

The purpose of following a Hypoallergenic Diet is to determine if there are any foods in your diet that may aggravate or be the cause of your specific condition or symptoms. In addition to reducing or eliminating your symptoms, you will also become more aware of which foods optimize your own individual health.

what is a food allergy?

Food allergies, just like other allergies, are controlled by your immune system. The immune system uses antibodies (protein complexes used by the immune system) to attack any foreign material in your body. It is unknown as to why you may be allergic to one thing and someone else may have no reaction to the same thing and may even have an allergy to something entirely different than you.

what is a food sensitivity/intolerance?

Sensitivity to food is much more subtle and difficult to determine than a frank allergy. Food sensitivities do not necessarily involve responses from the immune system. Rather they are mediated by physiological responses to the offending foods and are undetectable by blood tests or skin scratch tests. Food sensitivities are a common trigger for a wide range of physical and emotional disorders.

hypoallergenic dietary guidelines

It takes approximately 6 to 12 weeks to properly complete a Hypoallergenic Diet. For some conditions it may take longer.

The diet is divided into three phases:

1) the food elimination phase

This phase lasts for 3 weeks. During this phase you will stop eating the most common foods that have been shown to cause allergy or sensitivity. These are foods that are harder to digest and/or have a high allergenic potential.

2) the food challenge phase

When your symptoms have decreased and your gut has had enough time to repair, the eliminated foods are reintroduced into your diet one item at a time. This reintroduction will reveal the foods that are the potential cause of allergy or sensitivity in your specific case.

3) the food retesting phase

Once you have reintroduced all the various foods into your diet, you need to try eating those foods that you were had a reaction to and stopped eating during the Challenge Phase. See how you react to them again. If you have any adverse reactions to that food or food group, then you should avoid that food or eat it sparingly.

It is advised to follow the diet under the supervision of a trained Naturopathic or Medical Doctor. Your doctor can modify the length of the diet and restrict or expand the eliminated food lists to reflect your specific needs and condition. Additional therapies and supplements may also be used to facilitate your healing process.


In the majority of cases of food intolerance, no mechanism can be indentified to explain why symptoms occur.

Symptoms of food intolerance

The following symptoms may be caused or aggravated by certain foods:
chronic headaches
skin eruptions
bloating & gas
abdominal pain
chronic ear infections
runny/stuffy nose
high blood pressure
chronic fatigue
and more...

Foods to Eliminate & Reintroduce

These are the most common foods to cause intolerance and are eliminated in a Hypoallergenic Diet:
red meats
gluten containing grains
shellfish, catfish
soy products
corn, mushrooms
tomatoes, peppers, potatoes
melons, bananas
mangoes, strawberries
citrus fruits
dried fruits
caffeinated drinks
all sweeteners
food additives & preservatives
peanuts, pistachios, cashews

Allergy resources

The Hypo Allergenic Diet
by Saeid Mushtagh, N.D.
Food Allergies: Enjoying Life with a Severe Food Allergy
by Tanya Wright
Complete Guide to Food Allergy & Intolerance
by Prof Jonathan Brostoff & Linda Gamlin


Action Against Allergy
Foods Matter - magazine for food sensitivity issues

see recipes on this site

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