Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fibromyalgia & New Dietary Guidelines

Our Fibromyalgia Support Group meeting for May was filled with information. Our guest speaker for the evening was Susan Behnke Strasser, MS, RD, the Director of Wholistic Nutrition at Physicians HolisticHealth Alliance, contact information below.~~~

We began the evening with each member giving a brief synopsis of our condition and what we are currently doing to help ourselves, so that Ms Strasser could get a general overview of the group. Some are under a medical doctor's care and are taking prescriptions (several), while others are taking one or two prescrptions and using supplements and other alternative treatments, and still others are using only natural help including foods, supplements, and acupuncture and/or chiropratic, etc. Some are still in constant pain in spite of eveything they (and their doctors) are doing, others are experiencing periodic recurrent pain, but find it not as bad as it used to be, and still others are generally managing as long as they are constantly vigilant in taking care to "live right, mind their "P's & Q's," eat exactly what they "should," and exercise just enough but not too much - in general perform their own particular balancing act. *:) [Sorry for the personalized editorial.]~~~

Ms Strasser discussed how very little training medical doctors have in nutrition, if any, and so they are most likely to dole out prescriptions rather than tell someone to "eat right," to help their symptoms. Proper nutrition for anyone, with or without Fibromyalgia, is the foundation for the body's capability of helping to heal itself. It's true that genetics has a lot to do with what illness we experience and what body type we have and so on. But we are resiliant and we have a lot of power in how we can use what's available to help ourselves. We can most often change our situations for the better, through the foods we choose.~~~

Americans' choices in foods changed drastically forty years ago when the medical community pretty much guided our change in diet through their studies on Heart Health. We were told in no uncertain terms that fat was evil, carbs were good. And so one began finding foods in the grocery store proclaiming how good this was for you because it was low-fat. This of course created the necessity to raise the carbohydrates in those foods, so that the food would have some kind of flavor.~~~

Then along came the carbohydrate camp stating how bad the carbs were because it raised the insulin levels. Pretty soon everyone's insulin levels were rising, along with their waistline, and a severe increase in inflammatory conditions directly related to high sugar levels - from pasta, grains, whites and simple sugars - were another factor that came along with the low-fat craze. Yes, whole grains have the same effect on our bodies as whites and sugars.~~~

Fats are necessary to our diet; they pull down the insulin response. So ideally, decreasing carbs severely, adding a little protein, and adding fats- yes, even saturated fats like coconut oil and real butter- makes up an ideal diet, not only for weight, but also for stabalizing the insulin response, the inflammatory response and helping to heal the body overall.~~~

Taking a little side trip around the world, Ms Strasser told of Tibetans constantly drinking Yak butter tea (straight saturated fat); the French regularly eating high fat butter & creams; and African bushman eating lots of wild game (very fatty). And all these areas have fine heart health in their population. Yet, the US who so condems fat, is listed as number 80th in wellness and heart health around the world!~~~

At Physicians Holistic Health Alliance, the very first two things they do for all their patients is address toxins through detoxing, and address their diet. They have found that this route has helped their Fibro patients right away.~~~

The flyer Ms Strasser passed out tells the basics of the New Diet Guidelines: abreviated here:
- Eat all you want of low starch veggies
- Balance proteins and starchy veggies (nuts, avocadoes, beans, meat, fish,
poultry, dairy) and (potatoes, corn & peas)
- Include at each meal uncooked fats (nuts,avocados,etc) and saturated fats like organic butter and coconut oil
- Limit or avoid processed meats, processed & refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, sugars and alcohol.~~~

The list included some healthy basics like: drink pure water, eat 7-10 servings of non-starchy veggies per day, eat 1-2 servings of low glycemic fruits per day, leave 3 hours between meals & try not to eat anything after dinner.~~~

Make gradual changes, and be sure to enjoy the food you DO eat.~~~

There is a whole list of easy steps and points to ponder on this Dietary Guideline list. Please feel free to contact the Physicians Holistic Health Alliance to find out more.~~~

We discussed where to buy organic foods in our area - Roseland Organic Farms in Dowagiac, MI, the Farmers Market in South Bend and Nappannee. Be cautious in local grocery stores as the word "organic" is thrown around like confettie, but it may not necessarily be so. And the FDA's definition of "natural" as it reads on the label, may not be what WE consider natural.~~~

Eat wisely to help your Fibro and other symptoms. Ms Strasser can certainly be a huge help in this direction.~~~

Contact info:
Nancy Behnke Strasser, MS, RD
Director of Wholistic Nutrition
Physicians Holistic Health Alliance
phone: 574-273-3880

No comments:

Post a Comment