EATING FOR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

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WHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TURNS ON YOU

By Tammy Patnode

I’ve heard it all too often, people that are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and are never told that their dietary habits can be adding to the problem. We are in a pill popping society. So much can be avoided simply by changing your lifestyle.

The typical American diet is highly inflammatory. What exactly does that mean? Inflammation is the body‘s response to injury. The body naturally tries to heal it self and defend against disease. The American diet is full of processed foods, containing chemicals that should not be in food. Just because it’s FDA approved, does not mean it’s free from health risks. 

So what is the best approach for eating with an autoimmune disease:

FOODS TO AVOID

Sugar

This seems like a no-brainer, but there’s so many places that sugar hides, under so many different names it can be confusing. First and foremost avoid foods containing high fructose corn syrup. This is pretty much avoiding all bakery including prepackaged cookies, cakes and pastries. Eat food in its pure form. Avoid fast foods and most prepackaged food. 

Alcohol

Alcohol is a toxin to the body. The liver works in overdrive when alcohol is consumed trying to rid the body of the toxins. It not only promotes fat gain, but your body treats it as a foreign body. 

Grains

Wheat and barley have a high content of chemicals called lectins and phytic acid. This is compound that binds to important vitamins and minerals of everything you eat along with them. Eating grains deplete your mineral stores over time and also lead to leaky gut syndrome. 

Dairy

Humans are the only species that consume milk pass the infancy stage. Milk products can be highly inflammatory to a lot of people. A lot of people experience acne as well as constant upset stomach from dairy.

 

FOODS TO EAT FOR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

Ideally a Paleo type diet works best. A diet high in organic protein sources, vegetables and healthy fats should be the basis of your diet. Fish is also advised, but you want to make sure it’s wild caught, and not farm raised.

MEDICATIONS AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

It’s also something to keep in mind, that many medications for autoimmune issues are corticosteroids. These can be catabolic to muscle tissue. Proper diet with plenty of protein and a solid weight training regime can help combat this. 

BOTTOM LINE

Changing your diet, making sure you get your sleep, reducing stress and exercising, can definitely change the way and autoimmune disease affect your every day life.

 

TAMMY PATNODE

Tammy Patnode is an IFBB pro physique competitor and NPC judge. She is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. She offers contest prep, general training and weight loss programs for men and women that are customized for each client.

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