The prevalence of food allergies is a daily concern for over 15 million people around the world and what we eat has an impact on the body’s immune system as 70 percent of the cells that make up the body’s immune system are found in the wall of the gut, so food allergies can be the cause of many other health problems.
There is a difference between food allergies and food intolerances. If you have food intolerance you cannot properly digest a substance in certain foods, often because you have an enzyme deficiency and often symptoms will appear later.
With a Food allergy, symptoms appear soon after eating the culprit food and not really caused by an enzyme deficiency and signs and symptoms can vary. Symptoms can be as mild as just a tingling in the mouth, or can be more serious and present with a severe rash or invoke breathing difficulties. When an allergic reaction is severe and life-threatening, it will lead to anaphylaxis.
Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans,) wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. So how do we deal with dealing with allergies?.
One of the best elimination diets I have come across and used in the last 20 years with clients for food intolerances and allergies, is Doug Kaufman’s Fungus Link, Phase 1 Diet. Doug Kaufmann is an author and host of a televised health talk show available through cable and satellite. Upon returning from the Vietnam war in 1971, Kaufmann experienced fatigue and other health problems of unknown origin.
Kaufmann claims that he discovered changing his diet and eliminating sugar relieved his health problems and used this as a basis for creating the Phase 1 diet.
Doug’s approach comes from the basis that food allergies are simply macromolecules of certain foods that escape the lining of the gut and cause an immune response. Eventually, through his work he was to conclude that fungi and mycotoxins where the culprits that made the lining of the gut permeable and by eliminating certain foods you could clear up the symptoms.
The goal of the Phase 1 diet is to minimize sugar intake because it feeds fungi, says Kaufmann. Phase one lasts approximately 30 days and is designed to starve fungus.
Dieters following the Phase One diet cut out all added sugar and use stevia and other alternative sweeteners. Phase 1 calls for eating lean meat such as beef, poultry, lamb, turkey and fish, most fresh vegetables, except mushrooms, corn and potatoes, and low-sugar fruits such as berries.
Generally, improvement is noticed within the first week, but for some people, it may take 2-3 weeks. It took many years or decades for your health problems to begin, so please be patient and give this diet time to work for you.
Doug also recommends probiotics, in tandem with the Phase 1 diet, for relieving symptoms of allergies.
The following are the foods that you are allowed to eat over the next 30 days:
Beef, Fish, Poultry, Lamb, Turkey, Pork
Raw nuts, including pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. Stored Nuts tend to gather mold, so be careful!
No Peanuts and No Pistachio’s
Most fresh, unblemished vegetables and freshly made vegetable juice. (avoid mushrooms, corn, and potatoes)
Bottled or filtered water, non-fruity herbal teas, stevia sweetened fresh lemonade or limeade, freshly squeezed carrot juice.
Berries, grapefruit, lemon, lime, green apples, avocado, fresh coconut
Organic butter, organic plain yogurt, (use the following very sparingly) cream cheese, unsweetened whipping cream, real sour cream
Apple cider vinegar
Olive, grapeseed oil, flax seed, cold pressed virgin coconut oil, Avocado oil.
Beyond phase 1
After phase 1, you begin reintroducing some otherwise healthy foods such as mushrooms, high-sugar fruits and starchy vegetables one at a time, in what’s is called Phase 2. This will enable you to determine which foods are potential allergens.