Rotation Diet A diet plan in which related foods or foods within botanical families are not eaten more frequently than every four days. Studies of patients, especially children with food allergies, suggest that rotating foods and eating them in moderation reduces the tendency to develop new food allergies or to activate existing sensitivities. Rotation diets can help reduce the symptoms of food allergies and to identify problematic foods. Use of rotation diets also permits the patient to eliminate many foods. A variety of books are now available to assist in food selection, menu planning, and meal preparation. Typically, foods are listed in four columns representing days one to four and grouped according to families. Typical categories include MEAT, GRAIN, FISH, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, beverages, NUTS and seeds, natural sweeteners, MILK or milk substitutes, thickeners, and fats and oils. Foods in one list do not appear in the other lists, in order to avoid selecting a food more frequently than every four days. It is advisable to begin a rotation diet slowly because this type of diet represents major adjustments. One approach is to begin by rotating grains/starches by using wheat products on day one, then rice products on day two, then corn products on day three, with oats on day four. Grain alternatives such as AMARANTH, QUINOA, MILLET, or BARLEY can be substituted for any of the above grain groups. After one to two weeks, meats can be rotated, for example, beef (red meat) on day one, then turkey (poultry) on day two, then pork (red meat) on day three, then chicken (poultry) on day four. Veal, calf liver, venison, and lamb fall within the beef category because these are related. Similarly, goose and turkey fall in the turkey group, and pheasant and quail are listed with chicken. To rotate fruits, the following are options: CITRUS FRUIT on day one, followed by the apple/grape family on day two, then by MELONS on day three and berries rotation on day four. For vegetables, options can include CARROTS, BEETS, CHARD, SPINACH, or CELERY on day one; then the LEGUMES with PEAS, BEANS, LENTILS or soy, or the squash family on day two; then nightshade vegetables, such as POTATO, EGGPLANT, or PEPPERS on day three; and the cabbage family with CAULIFLOWER, BROCCOLI, or BRUSSELS SPROUTS on day four. Symptoms may improve after several weeks of diet rotation. Often, it is easier to use a rotation diet when other family members support each other in making major dietary changes.
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