An elimination diet is used to detect foods that might be the cause of allergies and consists of fasting or consuming foods which have a low allergic rate (such as rice, lamb, cabbage) for 4-7 days until symptoms clear.
If symptoms disappear during this period, commonly consumed foods are then reintroduced one at a time in the hope of finding the culprit. An elimination diet can be accurate, but difficult at the same time. Most food allergy symptoms do not appear soon enough after consuming the food to easily make the connection. However, after avoiding the food for some time, as in an elimination diet, reintroduction of the offending food results in a more rapid and pronounced symptom onset. This makes it easier to identify which food is causing the problem.
Although most people with asthma do not suffer from food allergies [J Asthma 1991;28: pp.5-9], unrecognized food allergy can be an exacerbating factor. [JAMA 1959;169: p.1158] A medically supervised allergy elimination diet followed by reintroduction of the eliminated foods, often helps identify problematic foods. A healthcare professional must supervise this allergy test because of the possibility of triggering a severe asthma attack during the reintroduction. [N Engl J Med 1992;327: pp.380]