I have Lyme. I’d like to not have it anymore. I also just want cake.
Food is the literal means to which our bodies regenerate themselves. Food is ingredients for cell-building, preserving muscle tissue, protecting our immune system, and maintaining brain health. These are all things at risk in Lyme patients. Much of our cells are destroyed by the disease. The brain is certainly no exception. Our immune system becomes derailed and even severely weakened in some through Natural Killer cell loss. Most physicians proficient in “Lyme” are all in agreement that a low-inflammatory diet is crucial when trying to regain your health from this monster. Lyme is one of the most inflammatory diseases out there. We don’t want to add to that. Unless you want to sabotage yourself. I don’t know. Maybe you do.
In general, avoiding sugar is a no-brainer. Gluten comes in right along with it, even if you never had issues with it prior and still feel you don’t. For many, dairy must also be significantly reduced to that of fermented items such as plain yogurt and kefirs. These foods are the major contributors to what Nutritionists and Dietitians call “silent inflammation”. It shows up as brain fog, body aches, joint pains, fatigue, headaches, or minor digestive issues. We almost never associate them with the food we eat because often the cause and effect isn’t immediate (read more here). Cut out sugar, don’t even argue with me, just do it. Cut out gluten. I don’t want to hear any “buts”. Experiment on your own with dairy, but if it’s ice cream, stop it. You know better. Many studies show that grass-fed dairy products and raw milk are actually anti-inflammatory (read more here). So I say go crazy with those if lactose is not your enemy. But in general, shop the perimeters of the grocery stores people.
ADVOCATING THE CASE FOR FAT
Every cell in your body is surrounded by a membrane of fat. Your brain is around 60% fat. Fat is required for building hormones, including neurotransmitters. Remember that bit above about how food is not just fuel, but is literally all you are giving your body to use for regeneration? That process halts completely without ample dietary fat.
Fat is also a more efficient way to provide energy to the body. Your body has the ability to store up to 50,000 calories from dietary fat, ready for immediate use. This is not body fat. This is energy storage. The body can only store 2,000 or so calories from carbohydrates and sugars before it “overfills” and begins turning those extra sugars into body fat. Contrary to popular belief fed to us by the food industry to put cash in their pockets, dietary fat does not make you fat. As far as even saturated fats go, don’t fear it! Saturated fat, when consumed below around 130 grams per day and eaten in the presence of a low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to strengthen the immune system and supply the body with needed Vitamins A, D, E, and K in an easily absorbed form. But don’t ask me if you can deep-fry stuff and strengthen your immune system. I won’t gratify that with a response.
Not convinced? Cholesterol as a Super Nutrient. OR Why Fat is the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism.
Fats can still be confusing. Here, have this bullet list thingy.
THE GOOD (fats good to cook with in bold)
THE BAD (and the ugly)
PLEADING THE CASE FOR VEGETABLES
I don’t need to tell you to eat your vegetables. Seriously. I refuse to be your mother. But I will share a nice little bullet-list of vegetable tips for you to peruse.
FRUIT… TO PARTAKE?
If you are on a long-term antibiotic treatment program, or even for more than a few weeks, yeast/candida issues can pop up due to the antibiotics killing off the good bacteria in our bodies that keep these bad things in check. Fruit, although loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and polyphenols, particularly the richly hued ones such as blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, and grapes, are also loaded with sugar. This feeds and makes the yeast happy. Because this is important, here is a list of low-sugar fruits one can go crazy with. Whatever isn’t on this list, eat sparingly. Keep in mind that once you are healthy again, go crazy. Fruit is awesome.
Aim for around 3-4 oz or 12-20 grams of protein per meal. Grass-fed guys… when budget allows. BECAUSE.
But in short, here’s a few reasons:
Some people (I’m looking at you mom) can’t seem to grasp what contains gluten and what doesn’t. For those who opt to allow for grains in their Lyme diets, go ahead. But do so in moderation. Here’s your allowed list. I can’t make this any easier.
As for flours, opt for gluten free flours, coconut flours, or almond flour. The latter two being preferred. If you heart your brain, and want to learn more, The Grain Brain is a great place to start. Prepare to have mind blown.
Low-Inflammation Diet Food Pyramid aka
LIVE LONG & PROSPER PYRAMID