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What Is the ALCAT Diet?

By Adam Fonseca ; Updated July 18, 2017

The ALCAT diet is a nutritional plan that focuses on avoiding your potential food allergies or sensitivities as opposed to helping you lose weight. This diet plan is usually recommended by a doctor or licensed nutritionist to determine what foods are safe for you to eat on a regular basis, and which items may be harmful to your health.

History

According to the ALCAT.org website, the test for food sensitivities or allergies was formulated 24 years ago. The diet plan based on the test results is used by a wide range of health care professionals during patient treatment, especially once a patient presents with an unknown illness or gastrointestinal condition. The ALCAT diet plan can also determine a patient’s intolerance to a particular food item or food group.

How it Works

The ALCAT test is available for order online or from your doctor and can be done in the comfort of your own home. A test kit consists of three vials, prepaid postage for returning the vials to the ALCAT testing center, a requisition form, and instructions. You will take your vials to an ALCAT lab in your area for a series of blood draws. You then send the vials of blood to the appropriate testing center using the kit’s included postage. Results and food sensitivity readings are then determined by examining your blood. Your new everyday diet, then, is determined by these results.

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Benefits

Food allergies or sensitivities can be linked to the onset of a wide range of diseases, conditions and other symptoms according to the Holistic Help website. Symptoms often related to a food sensitivity include itchy eyes, stomach cramping, heartburn, diarrhea, nervousness, shaking, sleepiness, memory loss and others. Conditions caused by food allergies include weight gain, hyperactivity, insomnia, arthritis and depression. Removing harmful food items from your diet can prevent many of these symptoms.

Considerations

According to the Middle Eastern Journal of Family Medicine, your ALCAT test results and follow-up diet plan may differ slightly from your "normal" dietary regimen. Furthermore, removal of harmful food items from your diet can also increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your immune system. This immune-system strengthening can help your body fight other diseases or infections at a more successful rate.

Misconceptions

The ALCAT diet plan can assist in defining a particular food allergy or sensitivity; however, it is not meant to actually treat any medical condition or disease. Your doctor will likely prescribe additional treatment options for you once your allergy is determined by using the ALCAT test.

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