First off, let me just say that i am in no way a nutritional expert, a doctor or a fitness guru. This is entirely based on my own research and interest in finding a diet that works better for me and helping me to manage my conditions. If you’re a Spoonie, PLEASE consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.
I’ve been trying to stick to a mainly veggie or vegan Keto diet over the past few months to some varied success. Its definitely helped me to lose some weight along with my gym sessions, but I wanted to research how much the keto diet could cross over into an anti-inflammatory diet. I have arthritis and living with the chronic pain has become the norm for me. I like to think that I have a relatively healthy diet (with the odd cheat day here and there), and i’m a firm believer in the fact that diet and drastically affect the symptoms of chronic conditions. Or least, it does for me. I know that too much gluten gives me pain flares and too much processed food and sugar does the same, as well as increasing my chronic fatigue.
So how many of the foods on the veggie & vegan keto lists are also on the anti-inflammatory list? Well because ya girl is an Excel freak (EXCEL IS LIFE), she build a spreadsheet and did a v-lookup to find out. The resulting list is actually a little longer than I expected, but not as long as i would like:
- Cruciferous vegetables eg: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage
- Leafy greens like collards and chard
- All lettuce, but especially Romaine.
- Berries, especially raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries
- Asian mushrooms like Shiitake, oyster and enoki
- Nuts, especially almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts
- Seeds, especially hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Dark chocolate (80% and up) and cocoa (YAAAAAY!!)
- Lemons and limes
- Omega-3 rich eggs as well as flax and chia seeds
- Proteins such as tofu, tempeh, seitan
- Any non-dairy milks, but make sure they’re unsweetened
- Nut butters, but check the label for added sugar
- Spices, especially turmeric, cinnamon, ginger
- Oils like coconut, avocado, olive, MCT and avocado oil
The downside is that grains (brown rice, quinoa) and dairy (cheese, cream) are on one list and not the other. Dairy is a known inflammatory is should be avoided if possible, or at least eaten very sparingly, and grass fed is best. Or even better, dairy free dairy products like vegan cheese and yogurt. I have non-vegan greek yogurt with my oatmeal in the mornings as it’s high in protein and less inflammatory.
Grains and legumes are not keto friendly, but but in small amounts can help with inflammation and stick to wholegrains and organic where possible:
- Brown rice
- Whole sprouted grain products
This list is just what i’ve learnt so far and is by no means final. I made the list to give myself a base on which to build a better understanding of both the meat-free keto, and anti-inflammatory diets, and what are the core foods to include. I’ll be using this core list to build my diet on, and to see if it makes any tangible difference to my pain and energy levels.
Watch this space.
You can sound off in the comments below with any advice or additions to the list.