If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms and think they might be the result of a food allergy or intolerance, an elimination diet can be an easy way to establish which foods are friends and which foods are foes. But, if you are on an elimination diet you might want to still enjoy some sweets.
That brings up the question of which elimination diet desserts you are able to eat. As a wellness counselor from Cornell University, below I am sharing my top treats that you can still eat on an elimination diet.
An elimination diet involves eliminating certain food groups and foods from your diet and then slowly reintroducing them to try and establish the cause of your imbalances. While you can’t eat added sugar on an elimination diet, you can still enjoy tasty, healthy desserts.
Depending on what foods you are removing, you’ll need to consider other things you may be unable to eat on your elimination diet. If you suspect gluten is causing unpleasant symptoms, for example, you need to avoid desserts that contain gluten.
Let’s review my top recommendations for elimination diet desserts. All the ideas listed below are simple and easy treats that you can enjoy without ruining your diet progress.
While added sugar shouldn’t form part of an elimination diet, natural sugars are fine. Such natural sugars are found in fruit, meaning you can enjoy a fruit salad as a healthy treat after a meal or even just as an elimination diet snack between meals.
Fruits contain tons of important vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Berries in particular, such as blueberries and strawberries, are great for your health. You might want to avoid fruits like pineapple that tend to be higher in sugar. You can even enjoy your fruit with a dollop of dairy-free yogurt – more on that next.
>>Interesting read: What Fruits To Eat To Balance Hormones<<
Dairy is one of the main food groups worth eliminating on an elimination diet. But just because you’re going dairy-free, it doesn’t mean you have to be yogurt-free.
Look out yogurt made of cashew or almond milk, but not soy milk. Soy is another common food to cut out of an elimination diet. The yogurt should be free from added sugar too. If you want to make it a little more interesting add some fruit or grain-free granola.
Smoothies are a great way to get in some vitamins or minerals without having to eat a lot of fruit or veggies in one go. They can be seriously filling too. While it’s not necessarily recommended to have a large smoothie every single day because they can be high in sugar, they’re definitely allowed on an elimination diet.
The catch is that you can’t use dairy milk on an elimination diet, You’ll need to use an alternative milk like almond or coconut. Again, avoid soy because not only is it an allergen, but it can negatively impact your health.
As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples can even lower your risk of developing cancer and diabetes. They’re low in calories and full of important nutrients. If you’re looking for a dessert that’s delicious and filling yet tasty, pair slices of apple with almond butter.
The almond butter works as an alternative to peanut butter, which is not only an allergen, but also high in fat. The protein present in almond butter will help keep you fuller for longer. If you’re not a fan of apples, celery or bananas also pair well with a non-peanut nut butter of your choice.
Nuts are great for your health and are allowed within the rules of an elimination diet. A nut bar can be a satisfying snack or dessert to enjoy after a meal. The high protein content in nut bars help keep you fuller for longer.
There are still a few rules though. Steer clear of peanuts where possible because they have a high fat content, are often salted, and can cause allergic reactions. Read the labels of the nut bars to ensure they fit the diet (or your version of it). These LARABARs are a good option.
All the desserts listed above are okay to eat when you join my Mindful Elimination program. In this 40 day program you use an elimination diet to remove dairy, added sugar, and more to find which foods are hormonal disruptors for you.
Before we move on, you might want to grab this helpful FREE printable anti-inflammatory food list. Learn which foods and ingredients you can have on an elimination diet when treating gut problems, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances. Just fill in the form below to get it!
You might not always want dessert on an elimination diet or you might be trying to cut down on snacks. In these instances there is an alternative. Treating yourself to a decaffeinated tea or coffee can be a great option to see if cravings subside once you’ve had something fun to drink. Even something as simple as swapping out your still water for sparkling can make your evening more interesting and therefore reduce food cravings.
While it’s normal to be tempted on an elimination diet, in the face of temptation remind yourself of your goals and why you’re undertaking the diet in the first place. And honestly a ripe juicy strawberry can be just as, if not more, delicious than that chocolate bar you were considering!
Surprisingly, elimination diet desserts are okay to have, but you have to be careful they abide by the elimination diet rules.
There’s no need to cut out all treats on an elimination diet, as shown by these healthy dessert options that can form part of this approach to food. Desserts such as fruit, nut bars, and dairy-free yogurt are perfect for providing that sweet hit you get from a dessert without any of the harmful side effects. Just make sure you don’t eat any of the foods you’ve removed from your elimination diet.
Common food groups to avoid include refined sugar, gluten, dairy, and caffeine. You should also remember that when following an elimination diet, it’s important to take a slow approach to reintroducing foods. That way you can correctly establish which food types or groups are causing issues for your body. But mostly, just enjoy the positive effects that an elimination diet can have on your mental and physical health.