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Eat This… Don’t Eat That!

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September 8, 2011 by The Lupie Chick

As some of you know, I’m an F-O-O-D-I-E!!! I love all types of food. I’m accustomed to eating what I want, when I want it! My faves- buttery soft, mouth melting buttermilk red cupcake(s) topped with a dollop of cream cheese, a smooth rich, and dense NY Style Cheesecake topped with fresh berries, and extra crispy, golden brown SOUTHERN(deep)fried chicken (with all the fixings on the side). yes, I love food- #dontJudgeMe! Since being diagnosed with Lupus, I’ve been told to eat this.. don’t eat that.. Then of course everyone under the sun want to suggest what I should and should not eat. Overwhelming is an understatement- and I’m HUNGRY!

I dont enjoy my food or feel satisfied after I eat. I’m always worried that I ate the wrong thing, did the hubby put something in the food I wasn’t suppose to have[he cooks a lot of our meals during the week], what if I get sick, what if I get a flare up? With all of that swirling around my head, I can’t eat or enjoy my food.

I took to the Internet to see what other Lupies are eating- BIG MISTAKE! I’m more confused than ever. My doctor is suggesting that I do a gluten free eating plan. Others have suggested I do a vegetarian eating plan (the two conflicts with each other). I’m making an appointment with a nutritionist and hopefully will have a clear understanding what I should and should NOT be eating.

In the mean time, some of the common foods I’ve discovered that I Should Not Eat are:

Alfalfa seeds and sprouts should be avoided because they contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. This amino acid can aggravate the symptoms of lupus.

Animal meats, dairy, eggs, nori seaweed, and peanuts contain arachidonic acid. When used excessively, arachidonic acid can actually be destructive to the body.

Beans and mushrooms contain amines and hydrazines, which increase lupus symptoms.

Oils like corn, poppy seed, safflower, and sunflower, cured meats and hotdogs actually encourage lupus episodes because they contain components that have been proven to trigger lupus symptoms.

Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes, called nightshade vegetables, should be avoided because they contain solanine, an agent that triggers inflammation and pain common to lupus sufferers.

Sulfur-containing veggies such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. These may be difficult for many lupus sufferers to digest without upset.

Fats. It’s suggested fat reduction can produce up to a 25% improvement in the aches and pains of a lupus patient.

Herbs like andrographis, echinacea, eleutherococcus, garlic, ginseng, and Panax should be taken with caution since they are known to increase autoimmunity.

Iron should come from food, not dietary supplements because it could promote joint destruction, pain, and swelling.

To Summarize-Don’t Eat This!

  • Caffeine, dairy, foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Red meats and high fat meats like organ meats, and dark meats.
  • Alcoholic beverages, salty foods, sugar sweetened beverages, candy, snacks, sweets, and alfalfa sprouts.

You should Eat THIS!

Foods high in iron. Eating leafy green vegetables, fish, and lean meat like liver can help offset your risk of anemia. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with iron.

Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring, contain natural anti-inflammatory substances and may help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with systemic lupus. Your lupus diet should include plenty of fish.

Antioxidants. Many fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which are natural healers. Berries, apricots, and sweet potatoes are especially good sources.

Vitamins. Vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A, and the B vitamins are all beneficial in a lupus diet. Vitamin C can increase your ability to absorb iron and is a good source of antioxidants.

To summarize-Do the following!

  • Include: chicken breast, lean beef, wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, tuna (canned light), crab, oysters, tilapia, cod, pacific oysters into your diet
  • Remove skin from poultry because that is where the most saturated fat is located
  • Look for lean meats around 99%
  • Broil and grill vs. pan fried with oil, deep fried, and breading.
  • It is important to incorporate fish into your diet around 3-4 times a week
  • Practice portion control – meat should not take up ½ of your plate, it should be more like ¼
  • Beneficial fish oils to consider include: evening primrose oil and flaxseed.
  • When you are thirsty, replace soda and tea with water

The Lupie Chick is H-U-N-G-R-Y! If any of you have any advice or any recipes please share.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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