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Diet for ME/CFS

naoise

Senior Member
Messages
287
Hi

So I was wondering if there's a particular diet or way of eating that helps with ME?

Thanks
 
Messages
26
I go to a nutritionist who thinks a kind of Paleo diet is right for me, no modern grains or dairy and no sugar also nothing heavily processed. The problem with this for me is that it is time and energy consuming to have to get fresh foods and prepare them. I have only recently started so not sure about the benefits yet but apart from the energy expenditure it seems like its worth a try.
 

MikeJackmin

Senior Member
Messages
132
Paleo/Low Carb is a commonly suggested diet. Some people swear by it, others say it makes them feel worse.

An exclusion diet - where you exclude one type of food for a couple of weeks at a time - can be helpful in identifying foods that you otherwise might enjoy, but which make you feel worse. Everyone has foods that don't quite sit well with them, and when we are already debilitated, we can see a meaningful improvement when these troublesome foods are eliminated.
 

naoise

Senior Member
Messages
287
Thanks all and yeah I've read paleo is best. Even though j know this my cravings constantly get the better of me
 

whodathunkit

Senior Member
Messages
1,160
I second adreno. PHD has worked very well for me. Healthy and not hungry. I got bad cravings eating Paleo without starch and enough fat.
 

msf

Senior Member
Messages
3,650
A strict interpretation of the FODMAP diet works for me (although I think you have to make sure you get all the vitamins).
 

Timaca

Senior Member
Messages
792
I found (surprisingly enough) that I have a LOT of food intolerances, which I *think* may have been caused by the multiple chronic infections I have.

My diet was super healthy as my background is in nutrition....yet I felt horrible. Back in 2013 I started an elimination diet and found to my surprise that I felt better.

I've tried to add foods back in and have a lot of food intolerances.....so right now I am eating low histamine, AIP (auto immune paleo), Blue Zone Style.

If interested you can see my blog for more info. Here's a link to "About the Recipes" which kinda explains my diet: http://www.youseasonwithlove.com/the-recipes/

All the best,
 

alex3619

Senior Member
Messages
13,810
Location
Logan, Queensland, Australia
Two things I like to keep in mind:

1. Diet is important.
2. No one diet works for everyone.

Having said that there is some evidence a diet higher in protein and fat and lower in carb may be better. There is reason to think unprocessed food is better. None of this is conclusive though, just probably wise at this point.

Some do well on vegetarian diets. Others do much worse. It was a very bad move for me. We need protein and fat far too much, plus B12.

There are better and worse ways of doing things though. Fat does NOT imply typical cooking oils and the like. There are healthier and less healthy fats, and dangerous fats. I think monounsaturated fats should be the most common in diet. We also need a small amount of omega 3 and omega 6. Saturated fat is not the bugbear people think it is, in my opinion, but its still not great to eat too much of it because it usually comes with other bad things. Trans fats are probably the most dangerous, and are in a lot of heat processed fat and oil products.

Knowing your intolerances is important. I am not always a fan of strict avoidance though, it depends. What is important is not to consume any badly tolerated food in quantity though. Allergy is different, you have to avoid those.
 

naoise

Senior Member
Messages
287
Yeah I have a lot of food intolerances as well too...grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, histamine, fodmaps, night shades. If I stay away from them the difference is unbelievable but my cravings get so bad it's like I forget and just eat junk.
 

Effi

Senior Member
Messages
1,496
Location
Europe
hi @naoise
Usually if you have cravings it means something is missing. But it takes some time to figure out what you're missing. e.g. when I crave carbs, it's not cause I need carbs, it's cause I'm low on protein. This seems to be something that happens to vegetarians quite a lot - they are low on protein and end up eating loads of pasta, rice, and bread. This carb overload then makes you crave even more carbs. Eating more protein breaks this cycle.

For me finding balance in cravings is all about carb and sugar intake (or lack thereof). I always used to have carbs/sugar cravings late afternoon. This totally vanished once I started focussing on protein in the morning. Apparently, when you eat protein in the morning, it keeps your glucose levels more stable throughout the day.

Eating too little (healthy) fat (totally agree with what @alex3619 said about this btw) can also give you terrible cravings. Thing is, over the years we've been taught that all fat is bad. But our bodies need fat. Some of us even need lots of fat, especially for healthy brain functioning.

Just try some stuff out, and don't rigidly follow the rules of one specific diet. Follow your body's signals and create your own personal diet.
 

naoise

Senior Member
Messages
287
Actually @Effi you could be right. When I eat paleo and am on the candida plan I mainly have juices all day and then a meal of protein and veg at night. So I probably need to add in more food during the day to stop those cravings. It will take some time to learn the balance I get.
 

Effi

Senior Member
Messages
1,496
Location
Europe
I mainly have juices all day and then a meal of protein and veg at night
That could be your problem right there: if you're having fruit juices, or sweet vegetable juices, you're ingesting a lot of sugars. Maybe you cold try to reverse it: protein and veg in the morning, and the juices the rest of the day? Just to see what it does to cravings.

re: juices: if you like them, cause they taste good and they're easy to make, I would suggest trying smoothies instead of juices. This way you're ingesting more fibre and the sugar content will be less of a problem (extra fibre means slower uptake of sugar, hence more stable bloodsugar, hence less cravings).
 

Gondwanaland

Senior Member
Messages
5,092
Usually when we decide to add something new to our regimes it is beacause we read that it benefits a lot of people, then we do some research on the subject and see a lot of sources we trust recommending it as well, be it a supplement or a food, we do our homework and research exhaustively and only find good things.

At some point or even very early on we are having adverse effects and can't just put the finger on what is causing it, until we start eliminating stuff and unbelievably what is harming is is precisely that thing that benefits everyone else.

It happened to me with foods and supplements, but one thing that I could find out immediately that was causing me harm was the vegetable juicing. I am not saying it is a problem for you @naoise , it is just an example... Juicing might just be what many people needs, more fiber (if you use the blender and does not filter it), more potassium (if your adrenals are doing fine), more unprocessed (is it?) foods. The thing is whenever I increased my vegetable consumption I felt worse and couldn't know why. Reactive hypoglycemia was one thing.

Last year I was reacting to salicylates in vegetables, sometimes nitrates (phenols). This year I found out about another underlying cause to reaction to vegetables which is oxalates, and someone posted a very interesting thread about it
http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...this-road-to-health-hell-with-oxalates.35408/
So there you go, someone posted about negative effects of juicing that could be the same problem I was having and it is hard to find when you are doing your research.

So the way I see that juicing doesn't fit in paleo and candida plans is that juices are high sugar in a meal and lots of fermentable stuff. One thing that "healthy" diets overlook is sensibility to natural phytochemicals, and I was a victim of them (calicylates and oxalates).

So nowadays I have to watch my daily oxalate intake, and if anyone is doing worse from a "healthier" diet, this could be a reason. I had been eating healthier since Sep 2013 and couldn't understand why I kept getting worse.:bang-head:

There is no way I will reintroduce processed, industrialized foods full of refined grains and trans-fats in my diet, but personally paleo hasn't been the answer either. But it could be for you, gotta try it...
 
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paul80

Senior Member
Messages
298
Why does the perfect health diet forbid grains and legumes? I've never heard anyone say these are unhealthy.
 

maddietod

Senior Member
Messages
2,856
As Alex said, diet can help, and no one diet helps everybody. I've tried lots of diets, and most of them help somewhat. I keep trying new ones, looking for a better reward to pain ratio.

Food sensitivities vary widely, and if you try XYZ diet without realizing that you're sensitive to the eggs you eat every day, you're not going to get great results. It's very complicated and individual.

And then there are the surprises. I've just figured out that I have a stomach acid problem, likely too low, which completely changes my perspective on my issues with food.

I think you just have to try some diets, and see if anything you do makes you feel better.