Understanding the benefits of Total Elimination diet

Total Elimination Diet (or TED) is a strict diet regimen, which is used to detect the food allergies in people, especially babies. Developed by William G. Crook, it was published in 1987. It involves controlling your diet to determine which food item is causing allergic symptoms. Breastfeeding mothers often use it, if their babies have allergy symptoms while nursing. The allergens are often passed on to the baby via mother’s milk.

The diet involves eating the least allergic food in each of the food groups. The items that are allowed to be eaten are range-fed turkey and lamb, baked or boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes, cooked green and yellow squash, and rice and millet. The only fruit allowed is pear. Dairy and soy products do not stand any chance in this diet. You can take this diet for two weeks and when the symptoms start improving, you can add other food items to your diet gradually, ones in every four days, to see if the illness returns.

Start with those items that are known to be less allergic such as salmon, carrot, beet, grape and peaches. Dairy products, soy products, gas producing vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage), peanuts, and beverages containing caffeine should be avoided for the longest time. Using this method, you can determine exactly which food item is causing your symptoms.

For breast feeding mothers, TED is a very effective method to give relief to their babies. Adults who are suffering from food intolerance can also use TED; however, it is a very strict diet plan and therefore is not used very frequently. It is also not intended to follow for a long period. Moreover, it is not a very easy diet regimen, and the person who is on TED cannot eat at restaurants or at their friend’s place.

It is not advisable to put very young children on this diet as it may endanger the child’s nutrition and affect his normal growth. Nevertheless, colicky babies usually respond to their mother’s diet plan very quickly, sometimes in a day or two. This is a huge respite for nursing mothers. Older babies may take longer.

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