Elimination Diet

Access a free Elimination Diet Plan for your clients. Learn how to use the template to identify food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances.

By Ericka Pingol on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is an Elimination Diet?

An Elimination Diet is a short-term dietary plan that involves removing specific foods or food groups from your diet for a while and then gradually reintroducing them to determine if any particular foods are causing adverse reactions. This type of diet is often used as a way to identify food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances.

It works by systematically eliminating certain foods or groups from the client's diet for a specific period, typically between 2-6 weeks. During this time, they will keep track of any symptoms or reactions that occur while on the diet.

After the elimination phase, the client will gradually reintroduce the eliminated foods or food groups one at a time and monitor their reaction. This can help determine which specific foods are causing negative reactions in the body.

Healthcare professionals, especially registered dietitians and nutritionists, often use an Elimination Diet Plan to help clients identify food sensitivities and intolerances, as it is a non-invasive and cost-effective method.

Download our free Elimination Diet Plan PDF

Check out our free Elimination Diet Plan here

How does it work?

Carepatron's free Elimination Diet Plan template can help you create a customized plan for your client. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Download the template

Get a copy of the printable Elimination Diet Plan using the link on this page or the Carepatron app. It's also available from our practice management software's handy resources library.

Step 2: Identify the client's dietary restrictions and preferences

Before creating an Elimination Diet Plan, it is crucial to understand your client's dietary restrictions and preferences. This could include allergies, intolerances, cultural or religious beliefs, and personal food preferences.

Step 3: Choose the elimination phase

Based on the client's dietary restrictions and preferences, choose which foods or food groups to eliminate for the initial phase of the diet. This could include common allergens such as dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, or specific foods that cause individual reactions.

Step 4: Plan meals and snacks

Using the template, plan out various meals and snacks that are free from the eliminated foods. This will ensure your client receives adequate nutrition while avoiding potential trigger foods.

Step 5: Monitor symptoms

During the elimination phase, clients must keep track of any changes in their symptoms or overall well-being. This can be done through food journals or symptom diaries.

Step 6: Reintroduce eliminated foods gradually

After a set amount of time in the elimination phase, start reintroducing one food at a time into the client's diet. This will help identify any trigger foods that may have been causing symptoms.

Step 7: Adjust and repeat if necessary

If trigger foods are identified, work with the client to make dietary changes. If all of the foods that were eliminated are successfully reintroduced without any negative reactions, the elimination phase can be repeated as needed.

Elimination Diet Plan Example (sample)

We have created a sample Elimination Diet Plan PDF to help you understand how this template works. The sample plan includes a variety of meals and snacks that are free from common allergens such as dairy, gluten, soy, and nuts. This is an example of using a fictional person's dietary needs and should not be used as a substitute for personalized medical advice. Feel free to view the sample here or download the PDF copy for reference.

Download the free Elimination Diet Plan Example (sample)

When would you use this plan?

You can use our free Elimination Diet Plan template to guide clients through an Elimination Diet for various reasons, including food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances. It can also help identify potential triggers for digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Moreover, this template can help you to:

Track symptoms and food intake

The Elimination Diet Plan template includes a progress tracking section for recording symptoms and food intake. This can help you and your client to see patterns or correlations between specific foods and symptoms.

Create personalized meal plans

You can use the template to create personalized meal plans for your client based on their dietary restrictions. This can help them to stay on track and maintain a balanced and nutritious diet while eliminating trigger foods.

Provide structure and guidance

An Elimination Diet can be overwhelming, especially for clients who are used to a particular way of eating. Our template provides structure and guidance on what foods to eliminate and how to reintroduce them gradually.

Educate on food labels and ingredients

The Elimination Diet Plan template can also be an excellent tool for educating clients on how to read food labels and identify potential allergens or trigger ingredients. This can help them to make more informed choices when grocery shopping and dining out.

Encourage self-reflection and mindfulness

Eliminating certain foods from one's diet can bring up feelings of discomfort and cravings. Our template encourages clients to reflect on their thoughts and emotions during the elimination process, promoting mindfulness and self-awareness.

Tips for using the Elimination Diet Plan Template

To harness the full potential of the Elimination Diet Plan template, we've gathered a set of valuable tips for you. Whether you're a nutritionist guiding your clients through this journey or an individual embarking on this path towards better health independently, these tips can help make  the Elimination Diet a fruitful and manageable experience:

�?�  Encourage your client to share their preferences and favorite foods with you so you can create a plan that is not only tailored to their dietary restrictions but also enjoyable.

�?�  Create a detailed grocery list based on the meal plans for easier shopping and preparation. This will save time and make it easier for your client to stick to the plan.

�?�  The Elimination Diet can be an opportunity to expand one's palate and try out new, healthy recipes. Encourage your client to experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and protein sources to keep things interesting.

�?�  Ask your client to document their food intake, symptoms, and emotions throughout the elimination process. This can help them identify any potential trigger foods or patterns in their eating habits. Check out our resources library for a downloadable food diary template.

�?�  Remind your client to drink enough water throughout the day to support digestion and flush out toxins from the body.

�?� Encourage your client to take their time while eating, paying attention to their body's cues of hunger and fullness. This can help them reduce overeating and improve their relationship with food.

Research & Evidence

Elimination Diets, like the 6FED, have shown significant benefits in managing eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) in adults. Reed et al. (2017) found that these diets resulted in long-term control of symptoms, endoscopic findings, and histologic changes in responsive patients.

Another study by Kim et al. (2013) investigated the effects of an Elimination Diet on individuals with atopic dermatitis. Participants with food allergies showed lower nutrient intake, with specific deficiencies varying based on the allergen. The number of food allergies was directly linked to nutrient deficiencies, highlighting potential risks.

Elimination Diets can also alleviate symptoms in individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In a randomized controlled trial, Atkinson et al. (2004) demonstrated a 10% greater reduction in IBS symptoms with a true Elimination Diet than a placebo over 12 weeks. Fully compliant patients experienced a 26% improvement. The true Elimination Diet group also showed overall enhancement according to global ratings, affirming its effectiveness.

However, adopting an Elimination Diet comes with risks, particularly for children and breastfeeding mothers. Arvola and Holmberg-Marttila (1999) highlight potential disruption to normal nutrition and growth in children. Adequate nutrition is critical in these developmental stages. For breastfeeding mothers, the risk lies in potential harm to their health.

Another risk involves malnutrition if substantial food groups are omitted (Bora & Rindfleisch, 2018). Clinicians must ensure adequate intake of fiber, nutrients, and protein for individuals following an Elimination Diet. This is especially important when limiting dairy, including providing sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium. Over time, individuals on gluten-free diets may become deficient in essential nutrients such as zinc, selenium, copper, B6, and B12. Gluten-free grains also lack vitamins B1, B2, B3, folate, and iron.

In conclusion, while Elimination Diets have shown promising results in reducing IBS symptoms and potentially other conditions, caution and professional supervision are necessary. The risk of nutritional deficiencies and their impact on growth and development, especially in children and breastfeeding mothers, cannot be overlooked. When considering any dietary intervention, the potential benefits must be weighed against the possible risks, with the individual's overall health and well-being as the priority.


Arvola, T., & Holmberg-Marttila, D. (1999). Benefits and risks of Elimination Diets. Ann Med, 31(4), 293-298. https://doi.org/10.3109/07853899908995893

Bora, S., & Rindfleisch, J. A. (2018). The Elimination Diet. In D. Rakel (Ed.), Integrative Medicine (Fourth Edition) (pp. 849-862.e6). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-35868-2.00086-4

Atkinson, W., Sheldon, T. A., Shaath, N., & Whorwell, P. J. (2004). Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Gut, 53(10), 1459-1464. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.2003.037697

Kim, J., Kwon, J., Noh, G., & Lee, S. S. (2013). The effects of Elimination Diet on nutritional status in subjects with atopic dermatitis. Nutrition Research and Practice, 7(6), 488-494. https://doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2013.7.6.488

Reed, C. C., Fan, C., Koutlas, N. T., Shaheen, N. J., & Dellon, E. S. (2017). Food Elimination Diets are effective for long-term treatment of adults with eosinophilic oesophagitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 46(9), 836-844. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.14290

Are Elimination Diets Bad?
Are Elimination Diets Bad?

Commonly asked questions

Are Elimination Diets Bad?

Elimination Diets can benefit some individuals, but they may also have potential risks. It is essential to evaluate your client's health and needs before recommending an Elimination Diet.

How long should someone follow an Elimination Diet?

The length of time for an Elimination Diet may vary depending on the individual's specific needs and health concerns. Some individuals may only need to eliminate certain foods for a short period, while others may need to eliminate them for a more extended period to see improvements in their symptoms.

How are Elimination Diets used?

Elimination Diets are typically used to treat individuals with specific health concerns, such as food allergies or sensitivities. They involve eliminating certain foods from the diet and then gradually reintroducing them to determine which foods may be causing adverse symptoms.

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