Food elimination, and elimination diets are not a new fad. But are a common approach in holistic health to identify food allergens and sensitivities. There is a great main stream diet out there called "The Virgin Diet" , author JJ Virgin discusses and explains in her book why the following 7 foods in your diet may be hindering your weight loss. JJ Virgin is one of the nation's renowned fitness and nutrition experts, she recommends avoiding the following 7 foods for rapid weight loss. This is also the successful premise of an elimination diet, also known as an anti-allergen diet in nutrition circles. I have seen clients reduce not only weight by eliminating these foods, but also support their digestive systems healing a wide variety of health issues. Below I will go into some detail on each of these foods. Knowledge is power, and wisdom is for sharing.
5. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
Comments from the Nutritionist:
1. Soy - Most is genetically modified (GM). Our bodies are not designed to process GM foods. Therefore, ALL GM foods should be avoided. In addition, soy has very high levels of estrogen-like compounds that interfere with our natural hormonal balance. It is also a heavily processed food that can cause irritation and inflammation.
2. Corn - Most is genetically modified (GM), like soy, and should be avoided. It is a grain found in most processed foods that converts to sugar in the body and contributes to chronic illness such as Type II Diabetes. Corn is also used to produce the ever popular sweetener added to most foods in the form of high fructose corn syrup. A concentrated, highly allergenic sugar in all processed foods.
3. Gluten - Found in grains, especially wheat. It makes grain products "sticky" & ”spongy”. It interferes with digestion, especially in Celiac patients who are highly sensitive and contributes to "leaky gut" syndrome. It also increases inflammation in the body and bloating after meals as well as gas. Gluten has also been linked to food craving especially for sugar following a meal.
4. Dairy - No animal drinks milk after it has been weaned from its mother. Animals also don’t drink the milk of another animal. From this perspective, dairy is very unnatural to our diet. Commercial dairy is especially harmful because of its pharmaceutical & hormone content and because homogenization and pasteurization destroy much of its nutrition, including its natural enzymes. It is not natural, normal nor necessary to consume dairy. After weaning age we naturally produce less and less lactase. This is why lactose intolerance is felt by teens, adolescents and adults. About 40% of people are never able to digest dairy.
5. Sugar and artificial sweeteners - The average American consumes more sugar in one day than our early ancestors did in an entire year. Sugar leads to increased insulin production, insulin resistance, and Type II Diabetes. Artificial sweeteners are man-made and our bodies are not designed to process them. They are neurotoxic and contribute to a wide variety of health problems. AlAlzheimer disease has been called diabetes of the brain, as sugar intoxication hardens the ganglia. It is by no mistake that eliminating sugar from the diet is linked to people feeling more energetic, happy and full of life.
6. Eggs - Many people are sensitive or allergic to eggs.
7. Peanuts - Many people are sensitive or allergic to peanuts. They are also among the most heavily sprayed crop with high levels of pesticides and molds. Follow the elimination guidelines below.
What to do:
Eliminate the above foods from your diet for 3 weeks and watch the weight melt off, perhaps one pound per day or more. Start with 1 week, then keep going to keep those feelings going good. Then, add back one of these foods at a time and notice your body's reaction. Add back the one item for 3 days before adding in another to truly see how you feel. If you develop any symptom - headache, fatigue, digestive upset, congestion, mood changes, or others - you'll know you are sensitive and should continue avoiding such food. Even if you are not sensitive, items 1-5 should always be kept to a bare minimum in a healthy diet.
What to eat instead:
Concentrate your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of organic, hormone free meat, and filtered water.
Instead of consuming soy from tofu and processed food, eat small amounts of organic, fermented soy a few times a week - but only if you have no thyroid or estrogen related health problems.
Replace corn oil with palm fruit oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Replace corn meal with fresh-ground flaxseed meal.
Instead of consuming gluten, replace wheat pasta with rice pasta, quinoa pasta, or spaghetti squash. Eat brown rice wraps or romaine lettuce wraps instead of tortillas. Use almond or coconut flour instead of wheat or rye flour. Substitute a slice of eggplant or portobello mushroom for pizza crust.
Instead of dairy, use ghee (clarified butter) from grass-fed cows in place of butter. Drink coconut or almond milk instead of cow's milk. Replace other dairy products with coconut creamer, coconut yogurt, and raw and fermented kefir or yogurt from goat or sheep's milk.
Replace sugar with xylitol or stevia or a mix of the two.
Eggs may be ok but only if they are organic, free range, and raised with feed void of corn or soy.
Replace peanuts with tree nuts such as brazil nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, or cashews. Replace peanut butter with cashew, almond, macadamia, or pecan butter.
For more details on the Virgin Diet, go to amazon.ca and you can purchase the book, or find it at your local library. JJ Virgin includes lots of fun healthy recipes to keep you motivated, to achieve the weight loss and overall improved digestion you will experience.