This is the 2nd part of the series on helping patients that suffer with
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Last time I discussed the metabolic disturbances in the body that occur
if you suffer with either of these conditions. The essential role of getting
balance back in the body is to supplement the patient with the proper
doses of vitamins (B complex, C) and hormones–such as thyroid or
cortisol–to support the body in its recovery.
STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM THROUGH DIET
Now let’s discuss the PREFERRED and PROPER DIET to strengthen the
There is no perfect diet for everyone. Science has advanced in many ways,
but there is still no consensus, whether you watch
The Dr. Oz show, or read the latest medical journals. I have some strong opinions, from
experimenting on myself and from seeing results with patients using different
The one agreement by most researchers is that today’s dietary intake
should be tilted toward
Omega-3 fatty acids, which lower the body’s inflammatory state. The diet I tend to recommend
for many of my patients with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue (and even
athletes) is a cross between the
Paleo Diet and the
Diet. These two diets essentially take out the refined carbohydrates in the
diet, which numerous studies show leads to diabetes, hypertension and
coronary artery disease.
What’s a refined carbohydrate?
Any simple sugars, cakes, breads and pasta. At first giving these up doesn’t
sound too appealing, but when you do, like many of my patients, you will
discover that are happy (and feel better) with some natural treats that
are tasty AND healthy for you.
What are “good” carbohydrates?
The carbohydrates I want you to eat are the ones abundant in vegetables
that contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Green leafy salads
combined with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and other colorful vegetables
is a great way to get your requirements for the nutrients your body needs
to build healthy tissue.
OMEGA 3’s: Extra virgin olive oil is filled with the good Omega-3 fatty acids. Another
way to get Omega-3’s into your diet is with just a handful (2 ounces)
of walnuts. This is a great snack to curb your appetite in the afternoon
or late at night.
LEAN PROTEIN: This is a very important component in the diet because protein is the
building block for the immune system and for muscle tissue. The protein
should be lean protein when possible:
FISH is an excellent source of protein and many of the fishes contain unsaturated
fats which lower the risk for inflammation. POULTRY and MAMMALIAN meats
are also a good source of protein, as long as they are not consumed daily.
It is my recommendation that twice a week for these meats is ample amounts
to strengthen the body.
VEGANS & VEGETARIANS: My biggest concern for strict vegetarians or vegans is the difficulty
for them to obtain the key vitamins and proteins that the body needs.
I frequently can tell a patient is vegetarian when I get blood studies
and their iron levels are extremely low.
What to Read?
There are two books that I frequently recommend to patients that contain
numerous diet plans and choices for you to make good decisions for your
health. In my opinion, these books are the most authentic of their kind:
The Paleo Diet
by Loren Cordain
by Ann Boroch
As I mentioned, there is no specific diet that is right for everyone–I
am flexible with my patients, and you have to take into account possible
food allergies and dietary preferences.
In my experience, the most sensible program for most patients is finding
a dietary program that is:
· High in Omega-3’s (ADD flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, extra
virgin olive oil)
· Low in simple carbohydrates (TAKE OUT the bread, pasta, crackers,
cookies and other pre-packaged, sugary foods)
· With ample lean protein (EAT poultry, fish, and lean mammalian
meats 1-2 times per week)
My last piece of advice: If you are not sure whether a certain food is
healthy for you, remember my Biblical diet (it’s not about religion):
If a food was available 2,000 years ago, it’s probably healthy to eat.
(NOTE: they did NOT have Lays potato chips in 13 A.D.)
Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island