FAQ’s: Getting Started

What is a TED?

TED is a few food elimination diet that can be used to identify multiple food triggers for those who have already eliminated top allergens.

For more information see: https://tedmamas.com/2018/04/18/what-is-a-ted/

Which TED is right for me?

It is very individual to pick the right TED.

As very general rules:

Dr Sears TED works for those with primarily IgE triggers, or non-specific colic symptoms.

FPIES TED works for those with gastro triggers.

Those with multi systemic reactions (gastro/skin/respiratory etc.) can often benefit from a low histamine TED.

Some try a gut healing TED from the outset such as GAPS or AIP, though this can be seem ideal and support healing; neither are generally low histamine and can be very expensive and taxing on the body if you struggle with breaking down fats and protein.

How do I start a TED?

You cut out all bar a set number of foods, normally 5-8, then eat the same foods day in day out – with no exceptions – until you find a reaction free baseline. Then after a few days, to ensure the baseline is true, you begin the process of reintroducing foods one at a time. When you reintroduce, it is important to leave at least 4 days between trials to allow for delayed symptoms.

What are the Top 8 and Top 14 allergens?

Internationally (inc. USA) the Top 8 consists of: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat & soybean. In the EU (inc. UK), the top 14 includes the top 8 listed above plus molluscs (mussels, oysters, squid), sesame seeds, cereals containing gluten (wheats inc.spelt/Kamut, rye, barley, oats from contamination during milling), celery/celeriac, mustard, lupin, sulphur dioxide & sulphites (more than 10 parts per million).

Two main differences between US and EU labelling laws is wheat/gluten and nuts. All cereals containing gluten are considered major allergens in the EU, only wheat is considered one in the US. Barley, rye and oats are not major allergens in America and therefore will not be labeled. Tree nuts also vary between the two countries. EU tree nuts are almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, brazils, pistachios, macadamia nuts. US tree nuts- includes the EU nuts but also a few more. Beech Nut, Butternut, Chestnut, Chinquapin, Coconut, Ginko Nut, Hickory Nut, Lichee Nut, Pine/Pinon Nut, Pili Nut, Shea-nut.

Does all my food need to be organic?

Preferably. If you can afford it, it would be best. But it’s not always financially viable, so organic meat is normally the minimum to start with, many find their little ones react to non-organic meat.

Why is it recommended to buy only grass fed meats?

In the USA grass fed meats are generally deemed the highest quality. Internationally they may be called organic or grass-fed depending on the country or practices. Lots of little ones react to cheaper meats so it can be really important to avoid especially until you reach a baseline and can be sure the meat itself is safe before risking any lower quality versions.


Can I use spices or seasonings?

Most start without herbs and spices. The less variables there are the easier it can be to find a baseline. Most start with only salt and pepper as Dr Sears recommends, though some do find their little ones react to peppercorns. So it can be easier to start with only salt (himalayn or sea salt). Table salt can be contaminated with corn (especially in the US or Iodised salts). If you choose to use spices/seasoning, please check the labels closely. Many have cross contamination warnings.

Can I have Coffee or Tea on TED?

We recommend you get to baseline before you add in coffee or black tea. Both of them can be corn contaminated, and caffeine is a fairly common trigger. If you choose coffee, it can be best to buy whole bean coffee and grind it at home. This will help cut down on contaminates and also mold. The US currently doesn’t have standards for moldy coffee. Teas, it’s best to choose whole leaf instead of individual tea bags, some teabags can be made from corn for those especially sensitive. Some teas can be great for their healing and anti-histamine properties. Decaffeinated tea and coffee can be tolerated just as poorly if not worse by some due to the chemicals and processes used to reduce the caffeine levels. They can also still contain quite high levels of caffeine as it just means they have reduced levels and are not a commitment to be caffeine free. Some find their little ones do better with “low-acid” and organic coffee brands more than others.The less variables the better. As with any food it is safer to start without higher risk foods/drinks and trial them once you reach a baseline, to avoid the risk of them making you to take longer to reach a baseline.

When should I start seeing improvements in symptoms?

Sometimes it takes a few days, most often 1-3 weeks. Though sometimes it can take a lot longer if there is a lot of inflammation at the beginning, or if common allergens haven’t been removed for long enough (4-8weeks) before starting a TED.

If you have started your TED and are struggling to reach a baseline please see our “FAQ’s – Troubleshooting” post – coming soon.

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