2

votes

Elimination Diet Ideas

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 10, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Hi, so I've been paleo/primal on and off since February. Overall I've been pretty happy with how I have felt. I've had a few weeks here and there where I was not eating that well, but I definitely had some pretty sustained period of 90% or higher paleo.

Anyway, going paleo has not particularly helped my acne. My dermatologist has prescribed accutane. I'm a little by wary of going on this because of potential long term side effects.

Alternatively, I was thinking about doing a more strict version of paleo for a while (at least 30 days), i.e. really cutting out fruit, having no dairy at all, and maybe even cutting out eggs/nightshades.

Has anyone done an elimination diet to figure out what was really causing an issue (such as acne)? What did your diet look like?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Whey is the whole reason I went paleo. So I strongly disagree with what you say, Ikco. Gut flora is important, but that doesn't say anything, does it?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:54 PM

How often do I have to tell people this : if you have acne, stay away from that horrible website. The only thing it's good for is causing eating disorders. Besides, the owner of the website is a douche IMHO.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I believe fish oil only causes acne it it's a bad brand.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:43 PM

If you wanna get rid of acne, you'll have to supplement. Fat-soluble vitamins + magnesium + cod liver oil.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on September 23, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Ya, I just reintroduced dairy a little over a month ago and I have the worst skin right now than I have ever had in my entire life. (Still not going off dairy just yet though..)

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on January 22, 2011
at 03:51 PM

It wasn't meant as an insult. If you perceive it at such, well you just do.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Ikco - that is an uninformed and unnecessary insult against Robb Wolf. happy face wink not withstanding..

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 12, 2010
at 06:09 AM

I disagree with you Ambimorph. It's not like you in state x, take Accutane and then if you stop it, you will be again in state x. That would be cool thought, but there are some people on here with defected gut flora still searching for a cure. For instance I took broad spectrum antibiotics. They worked for a while but after I stopped my condition (not to mention my gut flora) got A LOT worse. So again check out this combination and then decide. I wish you luck.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 12, 2010
at 06:04 AM

Well one would expect that from Robb Wolf. After all he was Cordain's protege ;)

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 12, 2010
at 02:00 AM

Robb Wolf mentioned this in a thread replying to readers on his blog that dairy is a big one for acne...

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 12, 2010
at 01:59 AM

I think he mentions it in one podcast at least. The dosage I'm taking is around 3.5g per day I think... Any time you are using fats/fat soluble supplements you need to allow anywhere from 1-3 months to see or feel a change. Many people see/feel them sooner but the time it takes to really replace fats in your body can be longer than the month you tried...

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 12, 2010
at 01:59 AM

I think he mentions it in one podcast at least. The dosage I'm taking is around 3.5g per day I think... Any time you are using fats/fat soluble supplements you need to allow anywhere from 1-3 months to see or feel a change. Many people see/feel them sooner but the time it takes to really replace fats in your body can be longer than the month you tried... but this question wasn't about this topic- oops :)

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on October 11, 2010
at 08:58 PM

Stay away from the accutane. It caused gallbladder issues for me, which now have a life-long affect on digestion. Which in turn causes some acne due to slowed digestion. Though they may have become better with the dose and testing in the last 11 years since I took it.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on October 11, 2010
at 08:57 PM

Stay away from the accutane. It caused gallbladder issues for me, which now have a life-long affect on digestion. Which in turn causes some acne due to slowed digestion.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:23 PM

If you "add to your neurosis" for one to two months out of your whole life and find out something about your health, I would say it was worth it. You can always go back to eating whatever if it didn't help.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:19 PM

My rosacea is almost completely gone, too, but it does get triggered by coffee, a vice I had hoped to keep.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:30 PM

Very valid comment. My concertn would be the effects on Accutane on the gut flora. Check that out.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:22 PM

Hm, is that the oil that Robb Wolf mentioned in one of his podcasts (http://robbwolf.com/2010/05/11/the-paleolithic-solution-episode-27/) ? If so, I tried it for a month but with no success despite taking a large dose (I think he recommends like itsy bitsy tiny one).

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:17 PM

Meh, as I remember, Cordain claims he can cure anyone in 30 days, if they stick with his diet which isn't really true.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:16 PM

Past antibiotics usage ? Vitamin D status ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:08 PM

Past antibiotics usage ?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 10, 2010
at 10:38 PM

You can fix the problem of eggs by just eating the yolks.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:59 PM

Yeah, it looks like it -.- I never knew that's what it was, but good to know. If that is what I have then it is the lesser of the degrees; the "alba". I'm not too worried about it, though. There's no cure and as long as I don't experience any more serious symptoms, I'm not going to bother. Thank you for the info :)

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:21 PM

I used to have bumps on my cheeks when I was little. My cheeks, arms and legs. I don't know what it was from, but it cleared up on my cheeks by itself. I still have them on my arms and legs, they're just not as noticeable.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:19 PM

Also, I guess I should add that I eat fruits and eggs on a daily-basis. Well, fruits at least. I eat eggs quite often, but not necessarily on a DAILY-basis.

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17 Answers

5
Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:08 PM

I have been strict paleo for almost 3 months now, without cheating ever. I have had skin problems all my life (acne, greasy skin, dry skin, cracking and bleeding skin, and skin cancer even. NOTE: I'm 21). My acne has gone from a new breakout every week to now I have 1, maybe 2 pimples on my face at a time. Definitely eliminate the dairy. If you get rid of the dairy, grains and legumes, you should see it.

The reason you probably haven't noticed a change is because you have been intermittent with your diet. You won't see changes right away, pimples can form under the skin for weeks before actually appearing. You need to stick to your diet, eliminate dairy completely and stop switching back and forth. The changes back and forth in your diet are not helping; whenever your body goes through a diet change or any major change, it reacts negatively at first. You need to be consistent with the way you eat.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 10, 2010
at 10:38 PM

You can fix the problem of eggs by just eating the yolks.

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:19 PM

Also, I guess I should add that I eat fruits and eggs on a daily-basis. Well, fruits at least. I eat eggs quite often, but not necessarily on a DAILY-basis.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on September 23, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Ya, I just reintroduced dairy a little over a month ago and I have the worst skin right now than I have ever had in my entire life. (Still not going off dairy just yet though..)

3
8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on October 10, 2010
at 09:13 PM

I have no experience with acne but I did have TERRIBLE Rosacia. I mean bad, ugly, bumpy, red rash standing out on both cheeks.

I went Paleo and gave up nightshades and ** POW ** my skin was clear in 3 months! It was incredible.

So my advice is to try dropping Nightshades. srsly.

Hope this helps!

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:21 PM

I used to have bumps on my cheeks when I was little. My cheeks, arms and legs. I don't know what it was from, but it cleared up on my cheeks by itself. I still have them on my arms and legs, they're just not as noticeable.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:19 PM

My rosacea is almost completely gone, too, but it does get triggered by coffee, a vice I had hoped to keep.

2
4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 11, 2010
at 02:35 AM

Agreed with the consistency issue. A REAL elimination diet needs to be pure for at least 2 weeks if not more like 4-8 weeks, then you reintroduce one item at a time and wait 3 days to see/feel any reaction thereafter.

Common food causes of acne include: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nightshades, nuts & seeds (yes, all of them really).

This is one of my only "health" concerns personally at the moment as well and I don't eat a very high omega 6 diet but I started taking fish oil last week and noticed my skin got worse immediately. I have now been switched over to evening primrose oil for a few days and plan to continue this for a few months. It can take 1-3 months for fat-related deficiencies to clear up as opposed to micronutrient deficiencies or issues.

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 12, 2010
at 01:59 AM

I think he mentions it in one podcast at least. The dosage I'm taking is around 3.5g per day I think... Any time you are using fats/fat soluble supplements you need to allow anywhere from 1-3 months to see or feel a change. Many people see/feel them sooner but the time it takes to really replace fats in your body can be longer than the month you tried... but this question wasn't about this topic- oops :)

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 12, 2010
at 01:59 AM

I think he mentions it in one podcast at least. The dosage I'm taking is around 3.5g per day I think... Any time you are using fats/fat soluble supplements you need to allow anywhere from 1-3 months to see or feel a change. Many people see/feel them sooner but the time it takes to really replace fats in your body can be longer than the month you tried...

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:22 PM

Hm, is that the oil that Robb Wolf mentioned in one of his podcasts (http://robbwolf.com/2010/05/11/the-paleolithic-solution-episode-27/) ? If so, I tried it for a month but with no success despite taking a large dose (I think he recommends like itsy bitsy tiny one).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I believe fish oil only causes acne it it's a bad brand.

1
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 07:07 PM

To sum up my own experiences : nuts, nightshades, dairy and seaweed cause acne. Saturated fats , grass-fed meat/offal, wild fish, vegetables, gelatin and apple cider vinegar do not. Fat-soluble vitamins (especially k2), cod liver oil and magnesium work wonders. Stress causes acne on my chin (its a phenomenon you often see in older women that are stressed out).

If you wanna get rid of your acne, be sure to focus on health and NOT on your acne. Acne is just a symptom.

Oh, and sleep well :) !

1
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:41 PM

Robb Wolf says that acne is evidence of inflammation in the body.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Check the foods that you eat for hidden sources of:
    • sugar
    • PUFAs
    • wheat
    • omega 6
    • anything else that can cause inflammation
  2. Do what you can to regulate your hormones
    • get adequate sleep before midnight (at least 9 hours / night)
    • eat enough quality fat
  3. Do a proper elimination diet by:
    • eliminating all foods that are known to cause inflammation and hormone disregulation for at least two weeks
    • after at least two weeks, reintroduce each food once per a 48-hour period (ie. Eat the food on a monday and see if it causes acne by the morning of the Tuesday. Don't eat the food on the Tuesday. Repeat with a new food on Wednesday.)
    • keep a food journel and document your results

At the end of the elimination period, continue to avoid the foods that caused skin problems!

P.S. You might also try supplementing with Evening Primrose Oil.

1
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on October 13, 2010
at 02:33 AM

If you still need possibilities, here is an excellent elimination diet:

http://failsafediet.wordpress.com/

Someone might be sensitive to salicylates, goitrogens, oxalates, or who knows what. There are charts and good explanations at this website.

I've never had acne, but, I did find that my skin improved by leaving out store-bought cheese. I make mascarpone cheese and yoghurt from heavy cream and eat those sparingly. I started throwing out the egg whites and eating only the yolks and my skin texture improved.

I am very strict about no grains, legumes, seeds/seed oils. Also no prepared/packaged foods.

I think your idea about no fruits and no nightshades is worth a try, due to wanting to reduce inflammation.

The website about the failsafe diet explains what is in foods that cause problems and why.

All the best to you.

1
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:13 PM

I think dairy as a mayor acne player is waaaay overrated and that gut flora is the key. Do we have any other sources than Cordain ?

Also what about diary ? I can't imagine that casein/lactose and fat all have the same effect on acne.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 12, 2010
at 06:04 AM

Well one would expect that from Robb Wolf. After all he was Cordain's protege ;)

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 12, 2010
at 02:00 AM

Robb Wolf mentioned this in a thread replying to readers on his blog that dairy is a big one for acne...

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Ikco - that is an uninformed and unnecessary insult against Robb Wolf. happy face wink not withstanding..

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on January 22, 2011
at 03:51 PM

It wasn't meant as an insult. If you perceive it at such, well you just do.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Whey is the whole reason I went paleo. So I strongly disagree with what you say, Ikco. Gut flora is important, but that doesn't say anything, does it?

1
Ce2deb4c58a06e73996d5f1fd3ddaacb

(145)

on October 11, 2010
at 06:16 AM

At acne.org there is a special thread to people on paleo fighting acne. There are a lot of usefull experiences on elimination, acne and paleo.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/paleo-diet-t261010.html&pid=2963379&st=820#entry2963379

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:54 PM

How often do I have to tell people this : if you have acne, stay away from that horrible website. The only thing it's good for is causing eating disorders. Besides, the owner of the website is a douche IMHO.

1
9f191a9fffd7c300d548135e269e7521

on October 10, 2010
at 10:01 PM

Check out Cordain's book on Acne and Paleo. Probably a lot of info there.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 12:17 PM

Meh, as I remember, Cordain claims he can cure anyone in 30 days, if they stick with his diet which isn't really true.

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:41 PM

The most likely candidate is the dairy. I don't see anything wrong with cutting it all out, and then adding things back in to confirm, but if you do end up cheating on something, make sure it isn't the dairy.

Are these the bumps you are talking about? If so, you may need to be careful about trace gluten. http://www.helpforkp.com/

Ddb0e3a41f15d69d30677339ccf9c7b6

(513)

on October 10, 2010
at 09:59 PM

Yeah, it looks like it -.- I never knew that's what it was, but good to know. If that is what I have then it is the lesser of the degrees; the "alba". I'm not too worried about it, though. There's no cure and as long as I don't experience any more serious symptoms, I'm not going to bother. Thank you for the info :)

0
Medium avatar

(291)

on December 11, 2011
at 08:59 PM

An elimination diet is definitely worth doing! I have an autoimmune disease and wanted to remove any potential allergens from my diet to give my immune system a rest, I saw an improvement pretty much straight away.

If you're looking for meal/recipe ideas, here's a few examples of what I ate...

0
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:21 PM

I'm on an elimination diet. I picked it by playing around with foods I like in a nutrition tracker (like cronometer, or fitday) to see what I could eat that would still maintain good nutrition for a few months. For breakfast and dinner I eat grass-fed ground beef sauteed with leafy greens and topped with either sweet potato or winter squash. Sometimes I add sauerkraut, spirulina, or onions/garlic. For lunch I have salad greens and canned salmon with oil and vinegar dressing. When I feel the need for fruit (about once a week), I have an orange, apple, banana, or blueberries. I also drink homemade water kefir and tea. About once a week I make some bone broth, and I try to get organ meats when I can.

0
D7b01bbfd0b91a12c4aea43fb20adf15

on September 23, 2011
at 07:01 AM

If you decide to take accutane, please take minimal doses.

Check online, but there are a lot of people that have success with 10g a day, or 10g every other day. I personally took 20g 2 or 3 times a week max. That way you limit and control better the side effects. Start with a very low dose. It cleared my acne and I was planning on going for a maintenance of 20g per week, but the triggered IBS in me and I dropped. The side effects are quite serious and it has been show that small doses help a lot and you will be able to evaluate along the way. My IBS healed after dropping it, but imagine if I had gone with the recommended dosages!

0
Medium avatar

on January 12, 2011
at 10:42 PM

I wish I could go back in time and undo the fact that I took accutane for what was, by any intelligent metric, insubstantial acne. Who knows what permanent side effects (in addition to my consistently dry skin) I have as a result. Whatever you do, don't take that stuff.

0
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 12, 2011
at 10:14 PM

I would avoid the accutane. My ex gf took it, twice, and dreaded it. My roomate also took it, and constantly speaks of how much he regrets it. I do wish you the best with your acne, I had it decently bad (pre-paleo) but it has since gone away.

0
461312f31b933638202e0308ab4011b4

(258)

on January 12, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Definitely cut out the dairy. You might consider eliminating fruit as well, then once symptoms reside, add in slowly and see what you have a reaction too. I'm cutting out fruit at the moment and am already noticing a difference. I just read that fruit is like candy on a tree :) Sad but true!

Cara http://primroseandpaleo.wordpress.com

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:10 PM

I had moderate acne (not even close to being severe) and I took Accutane for about 3-4 months roughly a year and a half ago.

My acne has completely disappeared and I'm not suffering from any long term side effects. I wasn't eating SAD at the time but it wasn't a fantastic diet either.

The only side effect for me was really dry skin. There are some supposed side effects of Accutane that get reported a lot like depression/suicide, joint pain, hair loss, etc. but that really wasn't my experience at all.

You have to weigh the risks/benefits yourself. Keep in mind that you'll only be on it for a relatively short period of time and you can stop taking it if there are side effects that you're not willing to cope with. On the other hand, the self-esteem/confidence boost is unreal: my quality of life skyrocketed after the acne dissipated. After the first two weeks or so, when the acne started subsiding, I can't describe how relieving it was to not have to constantly worry about my acne.

For me, the diet route is speculative at best and the added neurosis really isn't worth it. Of course, YMMV.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 11, 2010
at 01:30 PM

Very valid comment. My concertn would be the effects on Accutane on the gut flora. Check that out.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on October 12, 2010
at 06:09 AM

I disagree with you Ambimorph. It's not like you in state x, take Accutane and then if you stop it, you will be again in state x. That would be cool thought, but there are some people on here with defected gut flora still searching for a cure. For instance I took broad spectrum antibiotics. They worked for a while but after I stopped my condition (not to mention my gut flora) got A LOT worse. So again check out this combination and then decide. I wish you luck.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 11, 2010
at 05:23 PM

If you "add to your neurosis" for one to two months out of your whole life and find out something about your health, I would say it was worth it. You can always go back to eating whatever if it didn't help.

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