Using a Rotation Diet to Control Food Allergies
A rotation diet is a great way to control food allergies because it gives you time to see how you react to certain foods, helps you find alternatives that work for you, and may even help prevent new food allergies from developing. Eating foods in rotation means that you eat related foods on one day and then rotate them out by not eating them again for at least four days. Rotating certain foods in and out of your diet helps you see which foods you are allergic to and makes sure that you don’t develop new allergies. Using a rotation method, you can also eat foods that you have mild reactions to more often because you aren’t eating them every day. While this diet may seem confusing at first, with a little practice, you will be able to use it effectively.
Plan Your Rotation
Before you get started, take the time to list the foods you know you are allergic to and group them together. For example, if you know that you’re allergic to wheat and milk, then put all wheat foods like bread and cereal in one group, and all milk products in another group. Then you can plan your rotation. Most rotation diets work on a four day plan. This means that if you eat wheat on Day One, you wait four days before eating it again, on Day Five. If you are very sensitive to certain foods, you can use a seven day rotation plan instead.
Pay Attention to Food Families
Foods are grouped into families by their biological origin, and foods in the same family may cause similar reactions. For example, the cereal grain family contains wheat, oats, rice, rye and others. In a rotation diet, foods from the same biological family should be eaten every other day. Using the wheat example, if you had wheat bread on Day One, you should wait until Day Three to have another cereal grain like rice. You would still wait until Day Five to have wheat again.
If you start your rotation plan with one food group at a time, it won’t be overwhelming. The easiest food group to begin with on a rotation diet is proteins. Start by rotating meats like chicken, beef and fish. Once you are comfortable with the rotation method, you can then choose the group which you are most sensitive to and begin to rotate those foods.
Listen to Your Body
As you give your body four days to clear your system, you will begin to see how foods affect your body and which foods give you the most trouble. The goal of a rotation diet is to uncover food allergies and help you understand how certain foods affect you. Once you have identified the foods that you are allergic to, you can continue to use the rotation plan, avoiding these foods for four days at a time. Eating small amounts of these foods in rotation will help your body eventually overcome the allergy, and that can’t happen if you never eat those foods. Eliminating certain foods entirely can also cause you to develop allergies to the alternatives you are using.
There are many alternatives to foods that commonly cause allergic reactions. These foods are available at health food stores and even large supermarkets if you read labels carefully. Some wheat alternatives include rice, barley, amaranth, quinoa and other grains. Many milk alternatives are also readily available in large supermarkets, including soy milk, rice milk and almond milk. Be careful, however, to not eat too much soy because some people have developed soy allergies. To keep from getting frustrated, look at finding alternatives as a culinary adventure instead of a chore.