A couple of oft repeated Lyme disease diet tips involve the recommendations to cut out carbohydrates and reduce overall calorie intake. Whilst such advice may help, in part, to address some of the failings of the Standard American Diet (SAD) it is important to remember that the only fuel that can be used by the human brain is glucose, which comes, for the main part, from the carbohydrates in our food. Fats and proteins can also be broken down into glucose when needed but these have their own jobs to do in the body, such as maintaining cell membranes and helping with healing and enzyme function.
Depriving the body of carbohydrates at a time when it is already under pressure from infection can adversely affect a patient’s ability to deal with Lyme disease and could make things worse. It is true that too much carbohydrate can cause problems with bacterial overgrowth and be instrumental in the development of insulin resistance and diabetes, but moderate carbohydrate consumption should play a part in most Lyme disease diets. Food sources of carbohydrate are also often packed full of other nutrients required for general health such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, and even vitamin C and the B vitamins.
Lyme Disease Diet Supplements and Changes
Although a general vitamin and mineral supplement may be a good idea for anyone with compromised health it should not be viewed as an adequate replacement for the natural food-state vitamins and minerals we need daily. Any major changes to the diet should always be carried out with the knowledge of the physician treating a patient’s Lyme disease and with supervision from a qualified nutritionist or dietitian. Cutting out any major food group exposes even the healthiest person to nutritional insufficiency or deficiency diseases and a Lyme disease diet should be varied and balanced, just as with any healthy diet.
A great resource for Lyme disease patients is “The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing from Lyme Disease”, written by Lyme-literate naturopath Dr. Nicola McFadzean. McFadzean recognizes the difficulties faced by anyone trying to change their diet for the better, particularly if they are contending with an illness such as Lyme disease. She also takes care to note that a diet alone is not going to cure Lyme disease but is a key element that is often overlooked by medical professionals who presume all medications will work equally as effectively in each and every patient. This naturopathic doctor provides evidence-based recommendations for a Lyme disease diet that can improve the prospects of recovery alongside conventional treatment.
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