It's hard to have a conversation about food without hearing someone talk about how they are restricting certain foods or food groups. Sometime it's because of a fad diet such as the 1:1 diet, or the keto diet, or a paleo diet. Sometimes it's because they've heard foods (such as gluten and dairy) are 'bad' for them. But sometimes it's because their body just can't tolerate certain foods.
Have you fallen into the trap of cutting out food groups, in the hope it cures you of your acne, IBS, eczema, anxiety or weight gain? Maybe it worked for you and you are now happily gluten and dairy free as well as being symptom free. Or maybe it didn't, but now you can't eat those foods without getting a different kind of reaction. Or maybe it kind of worked in that it cleared your initial symptom, but now you have a whole host of other symptoms and/or what you believe to be food intolerances?
One reason could be what I like to call the Diet Restriction Cycle
You limit diversity in your diet by cutting out a food group. This then means you are:
limiting the diversity of your gut bacteria, because you are essentially starving some of them of the foods they need to thrive.
missing out on important nutrients needed to keep your gut lining nice and strong (and the nutrients needed to keep your skin healthy, your weight steady, your anxiety levels low... the list goes on)
A less diverse gut bacteria, alongside a shortfall in key nutrients means you are more prone to having an inflamed gut.
An inflamed gut is a reactive gut and it may start reacting to foods.... either ones you are still eating, or ones you try to reintroduce.
You further restrict foods that you believe you are now intolerant to.
It's likely that you haven't actually made yourself intolerant of the food, you are just likely having a hard time digesting it, primarily due to the change in your gut bacteria.
Even for weight loss, food groups do not need to be cut out. The right kind of carbohydrates are absolutely vital for a healthy, robust gut microbiome not to mention supporting your blood sugar balance to help manage cravings, keeping you fuller for longer and providing you with key nutrients.
That's not to say I'll never ask you to cut foods out. But don't make it your first port of call. If you think foods might be causing you problems then work with a BANT Registered Nutritional Therapist to get to the bottom of what's driving your symptoms.
If you are ready to chat about the foods that are concerning you, then book in for a free call with me here
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