If you haven’t eliminated at least one food group in your life, you are a rare creature! So many diets focus on excluding one or more food groups. But should you eliminate foods from your diet? This is how I view it as a qualified nutritionist.
Should you eliminate foods? The argument for yes
- You may alleviate symptoms if you eliminate the right food group
- Restriction of less healthy options can encourage more healthy foods
- You will often educate yourself about nutrition and grow your knowledge
- You’ll often become more aware of how food affects how you feel
Should you eliminate foods? The argument for no
- If you eliminate foods without balancing nutrients, you can become deficient
- You may end up eating too few kilojoules for your body’s basic needs
- You may be eliminating foods that aren’t even causing issues
- Eliminating can restrict your social life to varying degrees, depending on how much is restricted
- It can trigger disordered eating patterns in people who are vulnerable
The best option
As we’ve seen, eliminating foods can have drawbacks that can cause more problems. If you eliminate foods that aren’t causing issues but are nutrient-dense, you could make yourself sicker.
If you do want to eliminate foods, do it under the supervision of a qualified nutrition professional. They can monitor your normal food intake and help you avoid deficiencies.
But the way that I encourage people who want to DIY their diet is to take an additive approach instead. So instead of getting rid of the bad guys, you focus instead on adding in good guys.
The foods I encourage people to add in are those that are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and packed to the brim with nutrition. It might include:
- High-quality proteins (can be animal or plant-based)
- Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Green and herbal teas
- Herbs and spices
Of course, not all of these will always suit everyone. If you know you have a dietary requirement such as low fibre, keep to that! But there are still healthy options for almost every dietary need out there. So if you’re in doubt, add in more wholefoods, instead of eliminating foods.
Is it time to bring someone on board as you eliminate foods?
I’m here to help. Learn more about my nutrition approach here.