Elimination diets, which call for cutting out a certain food or group of foods, are growing in popularity, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal.
Many Americans do not start such diets to lose weight, but to cure a symptom that doesn't necessarily seem worth seeing a doctor about: headaches, skin irritation, joint pain, digestive problems, or general fatigue.
The idea is to identify subtle, gradual reactions to common food groups such as dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, gluten, sugar, and alcohol, experts tell The Journal. They completely avoid those foods for a few weeks, then gradually add them back one by one to test the body's response.
There is little science to suggest there are significant benefits to elimination diets, but many people swear by them.
Is that because "they are eating healthier or because, say, wheat was taken away?" said Linda Lee, director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine & Digestive Center.