Try this diet. I think it is the best option for someone with chronic Lyme disease. It is designed to:
- improve brain function and grow nerve connections,
- prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease which Lyme can trigger,
- decrease inflammation and inflammation cytokines from infection,
- prevent and treats yeast overgrowth in the intestines that could cause more inflammation,
- provide key vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber for detoxification,
- and repair and grow cell energy factories called mitochondria found in every cell.
The diet is named the Mito Food Plan. It was developed by physicians and nutritionist from The Institute for Functional Medicine and is based on the latest science. This article includes numerous papers and articles that are printed here for you to download with permission of the authors.
Marty Ross MD Discusses Healthy Food in Lyme Disease Treatment
The Mito Food Plan
- provides 60% of calories from healthy fats, 20% from protein, and 20% from complex carbohydrate sugars.
- is similar to a Paleo diet as it avoids grains, but compared to the Paleo diet it relies more heavily on healthy fats and anti-inflammatory therapeutic foods,
- is a gluten-free diet,
- requires a rainbow of vegetable colors in a day to provide key vitamins and antioxidants,
- includes three different periodic fasting options to increase the production of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) that promotes nerve growth and connections to improve brain function.
How To Use This Article
This article has a number of resources attached to it and steps you should take. To help you find your way I am breaking it down in to a number of steps.
Calculate a target for your daily calorie intake.
- Print or view the Target Calorie Recommendations page which I use in the video below.
- Watch the video where I show you how to calculate your target calorie intake.
(Note: In the calculation 1 KG = 2.2 pounds. If a person weighs 150 pounds then they weigh 68.1 KG (150/2.2). Also 1 inch equals 2.54 cm. So a 5 ft 6 inch tall person is 66 inches tall. This person is 167.64 cm tall ( 66 X 2.54).)
Marty Ross MD Explains How To Calculate Your Recommended Calories
Create your food plan which provides a goal for the servings you should eat each day of protein, nuts and seeds, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and healthy fats.
- Determine the different amount of servings for each food categories using the Options for Therapeutic Macronutrients Distributions table (print or view) and your target daily calories you determined in Step One.
- Write the servings on the your Mito Food Plan (print or view).
- Watch the video to see how I developed my own food plan.
Marty Ross MD Explains How to Create Your Mito Food Plan
Make sure you get enough essential vitamins and micronutrients in a day by having a rainbow of color each day from your vegetables and limited fruit intake. Make sure you try to eat foods of at least one of these colors identified in the Phytonutrients Spectrum Foods document (print or view).
Develop your first menu and go shopping (or have someone help you do this). Sometimes figuring out how to get started is the hardest part. Try the Mito Food Plan Weekly Planner and Recipes (print).
Knowledge is power. Understand why you should eat this way. Read Mito Food Plan Comprehensive Guide (print). This document explains the food plan in some detail. It provides a good explanation of why you should have so many health fats in a day and why some recommendations are called therapeutic foods.
As I have worked with this food plan for my own diet I have had to adjust. The initial calorie target that I calculated was too much, and I was gaining weight. So I had to cut back on all of the food categories equally.
I tried to eat “the best’ protein choices like grass feed bison, beef, and wild salmon. But this is very expensive. So you may need to emphasize the other protein choices.
My Favorite Food
By far my favorite therapeutic food is coconut oil. I now start out each day by putting 1 tablespoon in my morning coffee or tea. Coconut oil is direct brain fuel. It is rich in medium chain triglycerides and the brain superfuel known as beta-hydroxybutyrate. It is shown to improve brain function and improve mitochondrial energy function too.
A Note on Fasting
Periodic fasting is shown to improve brain function, decrease inflammation and improve the function of the mitochondria energy factories. It can help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. There are three types of fasting you can try. These options are outlined in the Mito Food Plan Comprehensive Guide on pages 7, and 29-30. Consider discussing fasting with your physician before trying the 24 hour option.
The options include
- 24 hour water only fast 1-2 times a month
- 600 calorie daily fast 1 time a week, or
- 12 hour fast 4 times a week with no food from dinner until breakfast.
A Detox Diet
The Mito Food Plan is a detox diet. It is full of antioxidants that work to increase the master detox chemical used by the liver called glutathione. For more information about this key chemical read Glutathione: The Great Fixer. In addition to the food choices outlined in the diet be sure to drink 1/2 of your body weight (in pounds) as ounces of water a day. For example a 150 pound person should drink 75 ounces of water a day. Read more about detoxification in Lyme Detoxification 101: The Basics.
An Anti-Yeast Diet
The Mito Food Plan is great for treating and preventing yeast overgrowth in the intestines. It is a low carbohydrate (sugar) diet. In this way it starves yeast of its food source sugar. Read more about preventing and treating yeast in the Yeast Chapter.
As much as possible buy organic foods. Do not add more poisons and toxins to your body. In Lyme disease, the various germs release toxins. In addition some of the medications are toxins too. So limit your exposure to other toxins when you eat organic foods.
Does The Food Plan Work?
Yes, but it but in most cases it takes time.
In my own case though I saw some dramatic improvements after working with this diet for 1.5 months. I was having daily severe headaches, very low energy, and poor sleep over a course of 3 months. As an integrative medicine physician I tried various approaches, but only after using this diet plan did I really turn the corner. Now I am back functioning fully.