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6 Best Food Sensitivity Tests to Take Control of Your Health

Updated on June 3, 2022
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6 Best Food Sensitivity Tests to Take Control of Your Health

Do you suspect that your food is causing some health or digestive issues? Do you need to know what foods to avoid to take control of your health?

The best food sensitivity tests can help you determine what foods you should avoid, and this post will help you find the best food sensitivity tests for you.

Food sensitivities can make you miserable and affect your overall health negatively.

Food allergies tend to be obvious. A food allergy can be fatal, but even if it’s not, the symptoms tend to be obvious and severe.

6 Best Food Sensitivity Tests to Take Control of Your Health 1

The Best Gut Health Test

Ombre’s Gut Health Test is an excellent choice for budget-conscious people who want value for their money.

Food sensitivities, on the other hand, are not as obvious. In some cases, people have reacted poorly to a certain food they eat regularly for so long they consider their reaction normal. This makes it challenging for some people to determine whether they have a food sensitivity.

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How do I know if I have food sensitivities?

Food sensitivities tend to trigger symptoms that, while not necessarily severe, make you uncomfortable.

Some of the most common symptoms of food sensitivities include: 

Bloating and gas after eating

If you feel bloated and uncomfortable or you notice facial puffiness after eating a certain food, it might be a sensitivity.

Water retention is a sign of inflammation. Unfortunately, over time, inflammation not only makes you feel uncomfortable, it can damage your health.

Fatigue and brain fog

Is it tough to get out of bed every morning even if you’ve had enough sleep? Do you feel foggy or out of it for no reason?

There are many reasons these things might happen, but a dietary adjustment is a great starting point for helping you remedy the problem.

Sinus congestion or a runny nose

Congestion is a common sign of a food sensitivity. A lot of people feel “phlegmy” after eating dairy. It might not be full-blown lactose intolerance, but chances are you’re sensitive to eating dairy.

Upset stomach

A diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is common when you have frequent, unexplained stomach upset. The truth is, the problem might not be your body, it might be the food you’re eating.

Try eliminating any seemingly problematic foods or follow a specific elimination diet and see if your IBS symptoms improve.

Frequent headaches or joint pain

Pain is a symptom of inflammation.

If you have a food sensitivity triggering inflammation, pain in various parts of your body is common. Some of the most common food sensitivities that trigger headaches include: wheat, gluten, and nightshade veggies.

Skin problems

Rashes and eczema are often linked to inflammation and food sensitivities. Remember, if you try an elimination diet to see how it affects your skin health, it could take a few weeks for eczema and other issues to clear up.

Asthma and other respiratory symptoms

Food sensitivities prompt your respiratory system to react.

Whether you have asthma and certain foods aggravate it or your breathing is more labored after eating certain foods, an elimination diet can help you identify the culprit.

Weakened immunity

If you catch every head cold and flu that comes down the pike, certain foods could be to blame.

Your diet has a significant effect on your immune strength, so dietary improvements should be one of your first moves if you’re struggling with frequent illnesses.

How We Chose Our Top 6 Food Intolerance Tests

When picking our top home food sensitivity tests, we compared the biggest companies on a number of factors, including:

  • Number of common foods attributed to food intolerances that are tested for
  • Offer actionable advice
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Affordably priced
  • Trustworthy lab results
  • Includes everything needed to submit your sample

Our Top Picks


Ombre (formerly Thryve) - Our Top Pick

KnowYourDNA Recommends

6 Best Food Sensitivity Tests to Take Control of Your Health 1

Ombre's Gut Health Test is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get a better idea what foods are causing issues. The test provides one of the most accurate and comprehensive pictures of the gut microbiome among its competitors.

Ombre/Thryve's has a variety of different tools that can help you figure out what foods are good for your body and which ones to avoid.

Key Features:

  • No blood sample - this test uses your stool.
  • Using a stool specimen, Ombre's Gut Health Test works by targeting both good and bad bacteria in the gut to determine the root cause of symptoms.
  • The digital health report is easy to understand. It comes with detailed explanations of the significance of each result, and how they can affect you going forward if not addressed!
  • Test results, a digital health report, and a personalized food plan are delivered via its app. 


EverlyWell's Food Sensitivity Test - Our Top Pick

KnowYourDNA Recommends

Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test Box

EverlyWell offers one of the most popular food sensitivity blood tests on the market. With their basic test, you can measure your IgG immune response to 96 different foods, and 204 with the comprehensive test.

The kit includes everything you’ll need to submit a small blood sample, including single-use lancets for pricking your finger – making it close to painless. Your results offer you an easy-to-read food sensitivity scale, starting at normal, to mild, moderate, and high intolerance levels.

Key Features:

  • IgG food sensitivity test checks reactivity to up to 204 different foods
  • CLIA certified labs
  • Monthly subscription option for staying on top of your dietary needs over time
  • Blood analysis for more accurate results
  • Actionable results that can be downloaded and shared


5Strands - Food Intolerance Test

5strands testing

Using bioresonance technology, 5Strands is able to analyze a hair sample to test your food reactions to 600 different items.

Some of the foods that are tested for include seafood, proteins, nuts, fruits, and alcohol. Additionally, the test will check your tolerance to artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and additives.

This is great if you’re trying to narrow down the foods that you should include in an elimination diet. This is a diet where you stop consuming certain foods to see if any food-related symptoms you’re experiencing are affected. 5Strands even includes an elimination diet guide to help you through the process.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive elimination diet guideline 
  • Painless analysis that only requires a hair sample
  • Results in as little as seven days
  • Severity of food intolerance measured from level one, level two, level three, neutral, and positive response
  • Test results sent to you by email


EverlyWell — Food Sensitivity Comprehensive Test

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EverlyWell’s Food Sensitivity Comprehensive Test is more thorough than its basic kit.

The test checks your IgG reactivity to a wide range of food items, 204 in total. IgG antibodies are released when you eat foods that cause an immune response. This test will check what food antigens your body is reacting to.

The food sensitivity kit measures your results on a class scale of zero to three.

Class zero indicates that you’re having a normal level of reactivity to a food item, class one is a mild reaction, class two is a moderate reaction, and class three means a severe reaction. This can be helpful to determine exactly which foods you should stop eating and the foods you don’t need to worry about when beginning an elimination diet.

Key Features:

  • Checks 204 different food items for IgG reactivity
  • Uses a blood sample to deliver more accurate results than other testing methods
  • Results are analyzed and approved by a certified physician from your state
  • Includes actionable report that can be used to design an elimination diet plan
  • Report available online within days after your sample has been received by EverlyWell CLIA-certified labs


MightyDNA - Celiac Gluten Genes and Food Sensitivity Test

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MightyDNA is another company that offers a cheek swab based food sensitivity test. Using your DNA, their team of Ph.D. geneticists run a SNP genotype assay to determine if you're intolerant to many common foods and irritants.

The DNA test checks for sensitivities to lactose, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol. The kit comes with everything you need to take, and submit, your buccal sample, including step-by-step instructions, a sterile swab, transport tube, and prepaid return envelope.

Key Features:

  • Results in five to eight business days
  • Assistance from a registered and licensed dietitian
  • Comprehensive polygenic risk assessment provided with test
  • Results are automatically updated, free of charge, based upon any new discoveries or advances 
  • Prepaid envelope included for returning your sample


GenoPalate - Health & Nutrition Genetic Profile for Food Sensitivities

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With GenoPalate’s Health & Nutrition Genetic Profile for Food Sensitivities test, you’ll not only learn about the foods you should be avoiding, but also the items you should be eating more of.

This test will tell you about the foods you’re sensitive to, your ideal nutrient profile, and more than 85 foods that could be beneficial for your genetic profile.

For your nutrient profile, GenoPalate tests for more than 20 nutrients, such as fat, carbohydrates, vitamin D, and fiber, and tells you how much of each is ideal for your given genes. All of your data is stored in their secure database, and is never sold to any third parties.

Key Features:

  • Results in around four to six weeks
  • Online GenoPalate account for reviewing test results
  • The rate at which you metabolize alcohol and caffeine
  • Gluten and lactose sensitivity
  • Optimal intake for more than 20 nutrients

Choosing the Best Food Intolerance Test for You

Now that you have a solid list of great food sensitivity tests, it’s time to pick the best one for you. This may seem a little overwhelming at first, but narrowing down the best test for your needs can be done fairly easily.

Each test, while similar, has something unique to offer. For example, EverlyWell offers a comprehensive test that gives you accurate results for up to 204 different foods and not too much else. If your goal is to check if you’re sensitive to one of the hundreds of foods they test for, then this is a great option. 

What should you look for in a food sensitivity test?

The best and most accurate food sensitivity test is an elimination diet. It requires no special equipment and, for the most part, it costs nothing. You simply stop eating all of the foods you suspect could trigger sensitivity or eliminate foods that are common culprits.

The trouble with an elimination diet is that it takes time and it’s no fun. Eating just a few foods for several days or weeks is boring. It’s challenging to come up with recipes that stimulate your appetite when the foods you’re eating are “boring.” And since you must re-add foods one at a time, it takes forever to get to a varied diet you enjoy.

With an elimination diet, you’ll know what your trigger foods are, but it’ll take you a while to get that knowledge.

This is why so many people opt for a lab test that helps them identify their sensitivities. The tests available include:

Cell-Based Tests

This category includes both Mediator Release Test (MRT) and Antigen Leukocyte Cellular Antibody Test (ALCAT) tests. They assess changes in your white blood cells when exposed to food certain antigens.

Antibody-Based Tests

These tests evaluate your levels of IgG antibodies. They’re most often used to find the causes of symptoms such as IBS and migraines. They are most accurate when the lab performs side-by-side duplicate testing.

Other tests

Muscle response testing, provocation tests, and electrodermal screening are also food sensitivity tests. They require more time than tests that rely on a single blood draw and they are not considered as valid as other types of tests.

Food sensitivity tests may help identify food sensitivities, but factors affect the validity of the test results. Additionally, sensitivities might shift over time. These tests are more convenient than following an elimination diet, but few have been compared in controlled, published studies.

Your best bet, if you suspect you have food sensitivities, is to discuss your options with your doctor. At least this way, you’ll know you are trying the right type of test. 

Tips for Eliminating Food Sensitivities or Food Allergies

There are a few things you can do to deal with food sensitivities and allergies.

Identifying and eliminating the culprit foods from your diet is the best way to improve your health. It’s also a great time to improve your gut health, so your body is running at optimal capacity.

Elimination Diets

An elimination diet is one of the best ways to determine if you have a food sensitivity.

In an elimination diet, you stop eating all foods that could be triggering a reaction.

After your body “detoxes,” (usually about two to three weeks), you gradually add foods back into your diet one at a time. This way you’ll notice when your body reacts.

If you return to a food for several days or a week or more and you feel fine, chances are it’s not a trigger.

Most elimination diets take about five to six weeks, but it depends on your specific situation.

Some conditions take longer to clear up after you eliminate them from your diet. If you’re going to try an elimination diet, it’s important to customize it to your specific needs so you don’t put yourself through the inconvenience only to learn nothing from the experience.

Once you return foods to your diet, watch for symptoms including:

  • Rashes and skin changes
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in breathing
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Changes in bowel habits

The foods eliminated during this type of diet include a wide range of options. Some will come as no surprise because they aren’t healthy, but others might surprise some people. It’s important to remember that even the healthiest of foods can be problematic for some people.

Foods eliminated during this type of diet include:

  • Citrus
  • Nightshade vegetable
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Wheat, barley, corn, spelt, rye, oats, and bread
  • All gluten-containing food
  • Processed meats, cold cuts, beef, chicken, and pork
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Butter, margarine, hydrogenated oils, and mayonnaise
  • Coffee, black tea, and all caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Condiments
  • Chocolate
  • Desserts and baked goods
  • All white and brown sugar, as well as honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and agave nectar

Restoring your gut health

The completion of an elimination diet is a great opportunity to restore gut health. You’ve identified problematic foods and can avoid them.

You can also add restorative foods into your diet for a complete overhaul. Other lifestyle changes benefit gut health, too.

To improve gut health, try:

6 Best Food Sensitivity Tests to Take Control of Your Health 1

The Best Gut Health Test

Ombre’s Gut Health Test is an excellent choice for budget-conscious people who want value for their money.

Are At-Home Food Sensitivity Tests Reliable?

Somewhat. They are a great starting point for recognizing food sensitivities. Or, if you’ve done an elimination diet and your results weren’t entirely clear, you can use an at-home food sensitivity test to confirm what you found.

How much does food sensitivity testing cost?

The cost of a food sensitivity test varies a great deal depending on how comprehensive and reliable it is. Most tests cost between $200 and $1000. Insurance rarely covers the cost of these tests.

What Samples Do I Need to Send in for an At-Home Food Sensitivity Test?

Older tests and tests given by your doctor use blood samples to determine food sensitivity. Newer at-home tests use saliva or feces to identify IgA or IgM antibodies to foods.

Does insurance cover food sensitivity tests?

Very rarely.

These tests do not provide the accurate results you get from food allergy tests. Many are at-home tests, so you handle gathering and submitting your sample on your own after you’ve paid for a test kit.

Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer that loves exploring DNA, at-home health, and optimizing my health. He believes that the democratization of home health is in its early stages.
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