Autoimmune Disease and Whole Food Plant Based Diet

M-na0316autoimmune-opener-1Autoimmune Disease is a disease occured when your immune system start attacking your own normal body part.  The reason why this could happen is still remain unknown. Scientists, however, found a correlation between the dysregulation of T-Cells-Regulatory and B-Cells-Regulatory homeostasis. (or better known as Tregs and Bregs)  This could, for example, explain the pathomechanism of Systematic Lupus Erymathodes (SLE), Rheumatoide Arthritis (RA) , Sjögren Syndrome and many other diseases.  Normally Tregs and Bregs would help our immune sytem to distinguish our own body part and foreign particles that could be dangerous to our body. (bacteria, viruses, etc.)   There are many other examples of autoimmune diseases: Diabetes Type I, Hashimoto Thyreoditis, Morbus Crohn, Multiple Sklerose, Colitis ulcerosa and the list continues.  Now, autoimmune diseases are sadly not curable (yet).  The latest drugs , for example, Biologicals that are developed for fighting RA, still cannot cure RA.  It can only damp the inflammation caused by it. It goes the same for steroids.  Damp, not cure.

Patients that are having a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPBD), however, showed an improvement of the symptoms of RA (one of the most common autoimmune disease). [1][2]   The phytochemicals that appear only on plants [3]can reduce -not only damp- the inflammation.  Specifically, taking a 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of turmeric-curcumin may really help your body reduce the inflammation [4]. Studies have also proofed that meat consum may lead to higher inflammation [5].   WFPBD is – strictly said- not exactly the same as veganism or vegetarianism.  As a vegan or vegetarian, you can still eat processed foods and excess sugar as many as you like – as long as it’s vegan or vegetarian.  But both of them also contain saturated fat which causes inflammation.  So if you are struggling with any autoimmune disease right now, here what we could suggest you: 1. reduce your meat consumption 2. rely only on freshly cooked vegetables and fruits. 3. try also NOT to consume processed foods and excess sugar found in : canned, dried or sweetened fruits, cakes, ice creams, junk foods, etc. 4. learn to cook your own meals – trust me, it IS really fun.

FoodAsk:What Should I Do to Lose Weight?

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Recommendations by American College of Sports Medicine Position[1][2]*:
1. Minimum 150 minutes per week of moderate to intense PA (modest)
2. 200-300 minutes per week of PA for (significant and long-term)
Note: Resistance training does not enhance weight loss but can promote fat-free mass and loss of fat mass associated with reduced health risks.
3. < 30% dietary fat intake of total energy intake (with reduced total energy intake)
Note: Diet containing less than 15% fat showed no health or athlete performance benefit

Others:
1. Higher protein, lower carbohydrate [3][4][5]

*Based on obesity-based studies

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FoodAsk – General Wisdom

FoodAsk aims to answer food and health-related question based on scientific evidences, please notice its scope and limitation:

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Change
Facts might change overtime as science provides new studies or method improvement (not everything has been examined).

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Can never say good or bad
Good or bad would depend on which purpose, which context, and which person. Everything would have its own pluses and minuses, given that scientific studies are conducted in certain set circumstances of simulation.

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Known + Unknown + Self-Experience
Sometimes the more comprehensive way to get closer to the fact is by combining the known, considering the unknown, and self-experience.

FoodAsk: IS VEGETARIAN or VEGAN DIET GOOD FOR YOU?

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As American Dietetic Association summarizes on vegetarian diet (including vegan diet):

  • Effects in evidences:
    • Lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease
    • Lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Lower rates of hypertension
    • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
    • Lower body mass index
    • Lower overall cancer rates
  • Important:
    • Definition of vegetarian diet: the one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods
    • Important to incorporate enough key nutrients including proteinn-3 fatty acidsironzinciodinecalcium, and vitamins D and B-12 from foods and in some cases supplements and fortified foods
    • Beneficial effects shown above might due to higher intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemical.

See reference


Please read FoodAsk general wisdom