Overview of the The Hypoallergenic Diet
Our 4 stage personalised elimination diet initially low in natural & artificial chemicals, antinutrients & food allergens practiced with intermittent fasting to heal the gut, balance the immune system, reduce inflammation & restore the balance of the body.
It was devised by Kevan Kwok over 10 years to heal his eczema, food allergies & depression after reviewing every major diet, pioneering food allergy research by The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, hundreds of scientific journals & personal experience helping hundreds of customers with skin problems, gut issues & autoimmune problems.
Hypoallergenic food is food which is unlikely to cause allergic reactions or intolerances. Many healthy foods, fruits & vegetables can be an unexpected cause of problems when the immune system is imbalanced such as for those with autoimmune conditions, skin problems, IBS & food allergies. Yet, the principles are applicable to anyone looking to optimise their health physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. It's more than a diet, it's a philosophy.
The Hypoallergenic Diet by Aether is the most advanced, holistic & fine tuned Hypoallergic Diet & Failsafe Diet available that is unique in its elimination, staging & holistic personalised approach before returning to unrestricted eating. We help the body heal itself.
How The Hypoallergenic Diet Works
There are 4 stages to The Hypoallergenic Diet. While the gut is damaged, the immune system is overactive & there may be food allergies present, we want a failsafe way to kickstart the healing process. The goal & purpose is to balance the overactive immune response, detox the body & heal the gut. Eventually we return to unrestricted eating after 4 Stages rather than stay on the restricted diet indefinitely. Stage 1:
- Low Natural Chemicals
Foods, fruits, vegetables, drinks low in salicylates, amines, glutamate & histamine which generally don't cause problems.
- Low Antinutrients
Foods low in lectins, gluten, phytates to improve digestion.
- Limiting the Big 8 Food Allergens
These 8 foods account for about 90% of food allergies: Milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybean. Eliminate or minimise until you are sure you don't have issues with them.
- Minimise Chemical Toxins
Pesticides, fluoride, growth hormones, teflon PFOA, BPA plastics in the food, water & cookware.
- Minimise Artificial Chemicals
Colours, preservatives, flavour enhancers & sweeteners in processed foods.
This is complemented by the sourcing of food (local, organic, seasonal, unprocessed), preparation (cleaning, peeling, soaking), timing (intermittent), meal structure & personalisation (time of movement between stages, understanding personal allergies & intolerances). It also works with our complete Health System to optimise your lifestyle, environment, mental health, external irritants & personal care.
A Diet Designed for Autoimmune Conditions
People with autoimmune conditions tend to have overactive immune systems that produce large amounts of IGE antibodies. This is in response to what the body perceives to be internal & external irritants & allergens. The modern diet, lifestyle & environment contains many toxins & irritants which contribute to this overaction.
Once the skin & or gut barrier is repeatedly compromised, it often overacts to non harmful foods & environmental substances. There tends to be decreased gut barrier function from a combination of a modern diet, genetics, drugs, alcohol & the overly high gluten consumption in a standard western diet.
This can lead to intestinal permeability or leaky gut meaning undigested food & toxins can more readily enter the bloodstream & cause problems. This is why many people with skin or autoimmune issues feel they are almost allergic to everything.
Many natural fruits & vegetables can be difficult to digest or more likely to cause an issue when you have an imbalanced immune system due to their natural chemicals, antinutrients & chemical toxins. This is why a diet designed for those with autoimmune issues was needed so we developed The Hypoallergenic Diet.
The Standard Modern Diet
Over the last 10,000 years our diets have drastically changed. The introduction of GMO grains, commercial dairy, transfats, processed foods (artificial colours, flavours & sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives) & chemicals used on our livestock (growth hormones, antibiotics, antidepressants) & food crops (pesticides, glyphosate etc.) have contributed to the increasing growth of allergies & health issues.
Eight cereal grains; wheat, maize, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye & millet provide 56% of the food energy & 50% of the protein consumed. We have become dependent upon cereal grains for the majority of our food supply. We are also consuming the wrong ratio of good fats, salt ingestion has increased by 400%, our diets are overly processed & we have fewer micronutrients in our diet due to soil depletion & overly processed foods.
Crops are often genetically modified for higher yield, certain characteristics & to be resistant to multiple pesticides. This makes them more difficult to digest & excessive consumption often leads to gut issues. We are consuming far too many rancid, oxidised oils especially polyunsaturated oils such as rapeseed, soy & sunflower oil which are unstable & lead to free radical damage. Transfats are still used in baked goods & margine which the body can not break down easily.
Food is often contaminated with not only pesticides but fluoride from water & treatments such as waxes or sealants to increase their shelf life. This combination of such a highly processed diet with foods that are far from their natural state has led to an exponential rise in autoimmune issues.
Up to 60% of people can't properly digest milk. The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase - the enzyme needed to metabolise lactose, sometime between two & five years of age.
Commercial milk is pasteurised & homogenized & the molecules are made so small they can bypass digestion & enter the blood stream. When milk is absorbed into the blood without proper digestion, this can trigger immune responses which can lead to eczema & irritable bowel syndrome. It also has a highly acidic effect on the body which can cause minerals to leach from the bones to neutralise its acidity.
You can easily substitute milk for rice, oat, almond, coconut or hemp milk. If you have stomach issues or produce phlegm after drinking milk it is a sign you have a dairy intolerance.
Antinutrients & Natural Chemicals
Are plant compounds found in the reproductive organs of plants, mainly seeds, grains, nuts & legumes to protect them from predators, pathogens & to resist digestion. Antinutrients like lectins, gluten & phytates can inhibit mineral absorption, cause digestive problems & trigger allergies. Their level of toxicity is dependent on the quantity consumed & its preparation method. Soaking, washing, fermentation &d cooking reduces antinutrients.
According to ongoing research since the 1960’s by academics at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, there are chemicals present in food, both natural & artificial that can cause a range of symptoms from hives & eczema to irritable bowel symptoms, headaches and respiratory issues. Foods high in natural chemicals such as amines, salicylates & glutamate are more likely to cause an issue with people with overactive immune systems. However, many foods high in natural chemicals are also nutrient dense so it is crucial to heal the gut in the long term & not just remain on a low natural chemical diet.
Wheat & Grains
Grains, particularly refined wheat, comprises far too much of our diet & we may not be completely biologically adapted to such high levels of grain consumption, especially as most modern strains have undergone significant genetic modification. Most modern wheat contains much higher levels of gluten which makes it more difficult to digest but gives bread an elastic texture. A lot of modern wheat has also been modified to be resistant to toxic herbicides such as glyphosate as well as multiple other pesticides.
Grains contain a number of antinutrients which can make them difficult to digest & contribute to digestive, allergic & skin issues. It is beneficial to limit gluten & not have gluten based products feature heavily in every meal. Rice & some of the ancient grains like spelt and amaranth are preferable as they have undergone far less genetic modification, are gluten free & are easier to digest. Soaking & washing them thoroughly is advised.
Food as Life Force Energy
We are energetic beings living in an energetic universe. Matter is composed of energy. Atoms are over 99% empty space. Think of food as energy from which your energy & aetheric body builds from. You want high quality, nutrient dense foods that retain their integrity, molecular structure & 'life force'. The adage of you are what you eat rings true. What we eat not only effects our health, but our gut, brain & mental health. In fact we digest & assimilate food & it helps to give us energy, build muscle, repair cells & perform various processes.
Imagine the quality of energy of the average factory farmed animal for example. It is separated from its parents from birth, living in cramped stressful conditions, minimal access to fresh air & sunlight, typically GMO feed, given growth hormones & antibiotics. Fear experienced during growth & slaughter significantly elevates stress hormones including adrenaline, cortisol & other steroids. We are absorbing some of the chemicals they are given as well as their stress hormones.
For optimal health we should also consider the quality of the energetic state of our food. Not just the macronutrients & micronutrients. Also the hormones, contaminants, pesticides & integrity of its molecular structure.
Eat seasonal, organic, local & as unprocessed as possible. Grow your own herbs, spring onions & leaks at a minimum which don't require much space & can be easily regrown from cuttings. If you have a garden you can grow your own organic produce. Compost all your scraps & add it to your soil so you have nutrient dense soil. When blending juices or cooking, consume the food immediately after processing, so that it retains it's optimal integrity.
We need to view food in a completely different way philosophically. Food is something to enjoy, something that nourishes us, a source of energy which effects our energetic state, a gift from nature, a relationship, something that can be the cause & cure of disease. It involves understanding what is truly healthy & what works for our own body energetically.
The 4 Phases of The Hypoallergenic Diet
You can move between the phases quicker or slower & add more variety depending on your body & level of healing. It is useful to track your diet. If any meals cause sleepiness, bloating, excessive farting or itching take not & avoid intake. Eating a diet extremely low in natural chemicals your entire life would be extremely boring. There are plenty of nutritious foods that are higher in natural chemicals. Some of the tastiest foods also tend to be those highest in natural chemicals.
Phase 1 (0-6 months)Stick strictly to the diet with mainly low & some medium chemical fruits & vegetables. It is quite restrictive but it is essential to kickstart the healing in a fail safe way. The Top 8 food allergens are limited as are the foods high in natural chemicals (salicylates, amines, glutamate) & antinutrients (lectins, gluten, phytates). These foods tend to cause more issues for those with autoimmune conditions either due to an allergy, intolerance, digestibility or immune reaction.
Phase 2 (6-12 months)
As the gut is healed, we slowly add more variety in with more medium & some high chemical foods. This adds more variety, flavour & nutrition.
Phase 3 (12-18 months)
Now you will be able to eat add also high & very high chemical fruits & vegetables. It is still best to stay with a low dairy/gluten/sugar/processed foods diet.
Phase 4 (18-24 months)
With a healthy gut & an intact skin barrier, you can return to regular eating, following general healthy eating principles. It starts as The Hypoallergenic Diet and it ends as The Conscious Living Diet. The key principles remain the same but without needing to be restricted by the natural chemical content of fruits & vegetables.
The Hypoallergenic Diet Cheetsheet
Choose low chemical fruits & vegetables
WHY: Foods with high levels of natural chemicals (salicylates, amines, glutamate) tend to cause more problems for those with food sensitivities including inflammation, hives, headaches & digestion issues. The reaction depends on the dose & is unique to each person. Most people with autoimmune issues don’t realise that seemingly healthy foods like fruits & vegetables can also cause problems.
AVOID: In Phase 1 avoid tomatoes, spinach, avocadoes, olives, onions, eggplants, corn, pickled & fermented foods, mushrooms, chilli, plums, citrus fruits, berries.
CHOOSE: Fruits: Pears, banana & peeled apples. Vegetables: cabbage, lettuce, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, string beans, carrots, celery, chives, leeks, bean sprouts, garlic, leak, bok choy, asparagus, parsley & turnips are good.
TIPS: Initially stick with seasonal, organic, local, low chemical produce. Thoroughly wash, scrub & peel the skin off fruits & vegetables especially in Stage 1 to minimise pesticide or wax exposure.
Choose low chemical, clean, mainly vegetarian proteins
WHY: Meats & proteins also contain natural chemicals. We should also look at food as energy & consider its energetic state. The modern diet is overly high in meat & processed proteins. Factory farmed animals are usually fed GMO grain, growth hormones & antibiotics. They are usually cramped, fearful & stressed leading to high adrenaline & cortisol which can effect our mental health when eaten. High meat consumption causes inflammation & reduced blood flow & quality compared to a plant based diet. Farmed seafood are also often fed colours & antibiotics.
In general, it is better to choose clean vegetarian proteins. If eating meat & seafood, local, grass fed, wild caught & pasture raised is more ethical & contains less chemicals. All animals, sea life & shellfish can feel pain but there is a different level of awareness based on their level of intelligence & consciousness. Fish & shellfish are generally less conscious than most land animals. Smaller fish contain less mercury & don't disrupt the ecosystem as much.
AVOID: In stage 1 limit medium chemical proteins: chicken with skin, duck, eel, salmon, sardines, sashimi, trout, tuna. Avoid these high chemical proteins: Canned seafood, fish fingers, anchovies, caviar, fish sauce, prawns, stock, processed meats, frozen meals, sausages, meat pies, spam, dried, picked or smoke meats.
In general avoid lab grown meats & fake meats such as Impossible or Beyond Meats.
CHOOSE: We recommend a mainly plant based diet with vegetarian protein sources, eggs (if not allergic) & occasional seafood.
Phase 1: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, falafels, tofu, potatoes, organic free range eggs (if not sensitive), limited seafood (smaller white fish, balmain bugs, calamari, clam, crab, crayfish, lobster, muscles, oysters, sea scallops, sea urchin).
Other low chemical meats: Beef (fresh, not aged), chicken (without skin or stuffing), lamb, veal, goat, rabbit, quail, squab.
Phase 2/3 recommended protein additions include mushrooms, broccoli, edamame, spirulina, seaweed, tempeh, flax seeds & cauliflower. Also limited salmon, sardines, sashimi, trout, tuna, prawns & eel.
Choose low chemical, low gluten grains
WHY: Most grains particularly those high in gluten cause inflammation, intestinal permeability & bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. The wheat we eat now contains significantly higher levels of gluten in order to create a fluffier, elastic product making them difficult to digest. Wheat products make up far too much of the average diet.
AVOID: No gluten in Phase 1: Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, durum, couscous, oats, semolina. Processed baked goods, breads, pastas, cereals. Limit these high natural chemical gluten free grains: corn, polenta, tacos & tortillas, instant noodles, corn chips, popcorn.
CHOOSE: Phase 1: Low chemical gluten free grains: rice products, amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, millet, tefff, oats, quinoa, sago, sorghum, tapioca, cornflour, potato flour, besan flour, lupin flour, red lentil flour, rice paper. Noodles, pasta, crackers & snacks made from allowed ingredients.
Phase 2/3: In general stick with GMO free, ancient grains & low or no gluten grains. Be careful with wheat products as the quality & species varies drastically between countries. Avoid wheat flour & products from USA & Australia & choose European if you can. Buy sourdough from your local bakery, the fermentation helps with digestibility & they don’t use preservatives.
Choose plant based milks, limit commercial dairy
WHY: Dairy leads to digestion issues, inflammation & increased mucous production. Commercial cows are full of antibiotics & hormones. Milk is homogenised & pasteurised. Most humans cannot process dairy effectively & it has an acidic effect on the body. In fact, the acidity of dairy leads to minerals leaching from bones in order to neutralise the acid.
AVOID: Commercial milk, butter, ice-cream, cheese, yoghurts & dairy products especially in Phase 1. High chemical milks: almond, coconut, hemp, cashew.
CHOOSE: Rice, oat, or soy milk in Phase 1 as they are dairy free & low in natural chemicals. Limit too much soy as it can be estrogenic. It is easy to make your own rice & oat milk as well. Choose vegan protein powders over milk whey (pea, rice, soy & mung bean) are low chemical & commonly available.
Choose stable oils
WHY: Good oils increase skin lipid synthesis & are a good source of energy. Avoid trans fats & margarine as they cannot be metabolised by the body easily. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils oxidise easily especially when exposed to light, heat & air which are inflammatory & cause free radical damage. Never cook with polyunsaturated oils, buy cold pressed oils which retain their nutrients & don’t use additives to extract the oil.
AVOID: Corn, soy, rapeseed, canola, peanut, grape seed and sunflower oils oil as they are likely to be genetically modified & are polyunsaturated. Hidden sources of transfat include baked goods, frozen pizza, shortening, margarine. In phase 1 limit avoid these high chemical oils: coconut, olive (regular), peanut, almond, avocado, flaxseed, grapeseed, sesame, walnut.
CHOOSE: Rice bran oil is a good choice for cooking and salads in Phase 1 due to its low chemical content & high smoke point. Palm oil is also low in natural chemicals. Extra light olive oil is moderate so can be used occasionally in Phase 1 for salads. In Phase 3 coconut oil is recommended for cooking as it is a saturated fat so it's even more stable.
Make smart drink choices
WHY: 60-80% of the body is water so proper hydration is essential. Total daily fluid intake from water, beverages and food should be 3.7L for men and 2.7L for women. 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
AVOID: Fluoride in the water is a neuro-toxin so it is best to filter it out & cook with fluoride free water. Limit these medium chemical drinks: tonic water, coconut, water, barley tea, brown rice tea, buckwheat tea, lemonade, pear juice. Avoid these high chemical drinks: Tea, Instant coffee, kombucha, chocolate drinks, fruit juices, soft drinks, all alcohol except gin, vodka & whiskey).
CHOOSE: Filtered, fluoride free water, reverse osmosis purified water or spring water is ideal. No alcohol in Stage 1.
Low chemical drinks: soda & mineral water, oat milk, rice milk, decaf coffee, fresh pear or apple tea.
In Stage 2 on if you must drink alcohol choose low chemical alcohol like gin, vodka or whiskey. Instead of just coffee you can try various herbal & fruit teas like chamomile, dandelion, sage or fruit teas. Roasted dandelion & chichory make great coffee substitutes.
Choose natural sweeteners
WHY: Sugar promotes bacterial growth, weakens the immune system & is associated with all sorts of health conditions. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame in diet & sugar free products can cause cancer, birth defects & mental disorders such as ADHD, epilepsy or depression. Sucralose is highly detrimental to beneficial gut bacteria & accumulates in your fat tissue. Your sugar/carbohydrates should mainly be coming from fruits & vegetables.
AVOID: Avoid: High fructose corn syrup & aspartame from artificial sweeteners, sugar free, diet products like Splenda, Zero-Cal, Nutrasweet, Equal & Sugar Twin. Stevia/Steviol glucosides is better than aspartame, although naturally derived may impact fertility as suggested by animal studies but more human studies are needed so limit. In phase 1 avoid these medium to high chemical sweeteners: palm sugar, coconut sugar, molasses, raw sugar, honey, jams.
CHOOSE: More natural, less refined sweeteners such as rice malt syrup, real maple syrup, carob are recommended. Also low in natural chemicals: white, brown, caster & icing sugar. An overly high sweet tooth could be a sign of mineral deficiencies. Minimise the use of sweeteners & have fruits as your sugar source.
Eat real food, as unprocessed as possible
WHY: Contain artificial colours, flavours, thickeners & preservatives. Food chemicals are used to perfect the cost, taste, texture and shelf life of a product. We are advocates of eating whole, fresh, unprocessed foods instead of obtaining nutrition from packaged foods & every type of supplement. Whole foods contain various, nutrients, phytochemicals & fibre which are extremely beneficial.
AVOID: Processed, frozen & packaged foods, premade sauces, artificial colours, flavours & preservatives. They tend to be higher in GMO's, preservatives, emulsifiers & stability enhancers. Food chemicals like aspartame, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, food colouring, trans fat. Avoid insects, lab grown meat & fake meats like Impossible or Beyond.
CHOOSE: Fresh & minimally processed whole foods. Buy local & seasonal produce or even better yet grow your own herbs, chives & microgreens as a minimum. Instead of condiments, use vegetables, herbs, spices & core ingredients to flavour your food. Cook minimally by grilling, steaming & stir frying rather than deep frying.
Take key supplements
In general, it is better to obtain nutrients from whole foods as they are more bioavailable. However, due to industrial agriculture a lot of our soils are depleted & therefore foods are lower in nutrients. Take a multivitamin, Vitamin D & algae vegan based Omega 3 oil daily. Most of the world population is Vitamin D & magnesium deficient.
Flip the structure of your plate
We eat far too many processed carbohydrates through bread, pastas, wraps & cereals. This not only causes inflammation and gut issues but weight gain and unsteady blood glucose levels. We should flip the standard plate which is normally mostly meat and carbs and almost no fresh vegetables. Half your plate should consist of fresh vegetables or salad, about ¼ clean protein & the remaining ¼ for low GI carbs. We want our plate to go from a processed, nutrient poor, simple carbohydrate plate to a nutrient dense, high fibre, low GI plate with quality protein & good fats. This helps with satiety, reduces snacking and works with an intermittent fasting diet.
Practice intermittent fasting
WHY: IF may have beneficial effects on weight, body composition, cardiovascular biomarkers & aging. At the cellular level, IF may also increase resistance against oxidative stress, decrease inflammation & promote longevity by activating cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy. Fasting can improve mental clarity, concentration & have a neuroprotective effect on the brain.
AVOID: Constantly eating, snacking, drinking sugary drinks from wake to sleep. The body needs a chance to burn stored energy & there are many benefits from not constantly spiking your blood sugar. It might be a slight adjustment at first but the benefits are self evident, you have more energy, concentration & don't have to constantly worry about your next meal.
CHOOSE: Intermittent fasting with time restricted feeding. Push forward your first meal by 5-6 hours. Don't eat 3 hours before sleeping. If you sleep for 8 hours, this gives you 3+8+5=16 hours of effortless fasting. Eat 1-2 meals a day within this 8 hour window. Have a tea or coffee in the morning instead of breakfast.
Remove chemical toxins from your kitchen.
WHY: Certain chemicals in cookware are linked with cancer & disrupt normal hormone function, the immune system & neurological development. They are part of daily life but are a source of hidden toxins.
AVOID: Minimise the use of plastic & never heat it. Avoid products containing BPA, PFOA & phthalates as they disrupt normal hormone function, the immune system and neurological development. They are everywhere from plastic products, to cosmetics, fragrances, cookware, water bottles & the lining of cans. The main food sources are bottled water, packaged foods & canned items. PFOAS were used in non-stick Teflon pans up until 2015 & has been linked to many diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver tumours and reduced fertility. Before their manufacture started in the late 1940s, no PFAS were present in the environment. Now they contaminate every corner of the globe & have been found in the blood of people and wildlife worldwide.
CHOOSE: Ceramic, stainless steel, clay pot or cast iron cookware & glass, wood, bamboo or stainless steel cutlery, crockery, plating, bottles, containers, chopping boards etc.