Diet & Nutrition for Health

A wide variety of different nutritious foods

While there’s often no definitive answer to what causes many autoimmune diseases, we do know that food can play a major role in helping you feel better and in healing your body. Autoimmune diseases can be overwhelming and frustrating and their symptoms debilitating, but food can be your tool. Read on to learn how a healthy diet and the avoidance of key triggers can transform your well-being and boost and balance your immune system.


Diabetic Diet

If you’ve got diabetes or pre-diabetes, a healthy-eating plan will help you control blood sugar (glucose) levels and heart disease risk factors and manage your weight. Remember that extra calories and fat cause your body to create an unhealthy rise in blood glucose which can lead to serious problems, such as hyperglycemia which can turn into long-term problems with your nerves, kidney, and heart.

We recommend you meet with on of our dieticians who are experts in designing diet plans based on your health goals. A typical diabetes diet consists of three meals a day at regular times, and we can help you find healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, heart-healthy fish, and “good” fats that you enjoy.

And most often, a diabetic diet is also a weight loss diet as well!

Healthy Carbs

  • Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese
  • Fruits
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

Foods High in Fiber

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Fruits
  • Nuts

Heart-Healthy Fish

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel

Good fats

  • Canola, olive, and peanut oils
  • Nuts
  • Avocados

Foods to Avoid

  • Sodium
  • Trans fats, found in baked goods, processed snacks, margarine, shortening
  • Saturated fat, such as beef, hot dogs, butter, bacon, sausage
  • Cholesterol, found in high-fat dairy products and animal proteins, egg yolks

The American Diabetes Association recommends The Plate Method as a meal planning approach. When you prepare your meal, fill you plate as follows:

  1. Half your plate with vegetables.
  2. A quarter of your plate with protein (chicken, lean pork, tuna).
  3. A quarter of your plate with whole grains (brown rice, starchy vegetable).
  4. Small amount of good fats (avocado, nuts)
  5. One serving of fruit or dairy.

The best way to keep your blood glucose level under control is by embracing a healthy diet. And if you’d like to lose weight, a diabetes diet is sure to do the trick. Remember to focus on eating generous helpings of fruits, vegetables, and fiber and smaller amounts of dairy products.

Ready to Live a Healthier Life?

Call us with any questions or to make an appointment.

(650) 591-9933 Appointments

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation is a natural, healthy way your body protects itself against injury, illness, or infection. But when it occurs on a chronic basis, you may develop an autoimmune disease. Lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy eating, drinking alcohol and sugary beverages, excessive stress, and little exercising, can increase inflammation. Food choices can play a significant part in the influence of the level of inflammation in our bodies which means diet can directly impact your level of inflammation.

When it comes to foods that contain anti-inflammatory potential, look for those with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and spices and herbs that help to alleviate inflammation.

Foods High in Antioxidants

  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli
  • Cherries
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Whole grains
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Dark chocolate

Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega-3-fortified foods, including eggs and milk
  • Heart-healthy fish (see above)
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed

Herbs and Spices

  • Tumeric
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Foods that Cause Inflammation to Avoid

As you seek to eat that which will reduce inflammation, you may want to minimize the amount of food you consume that have omega-6 fatty acids because they tend to increase the body’s production of inflammatory chemicals. They do, however, help regulate metabolism, promote brain function, and maintain bone health, so don’t steer clear of these foods altogether. Just be mindful of what you’re eating, and work to find a balance. High-glycemic-index foods are another inflammation kick-starter that you’ll want to avoid.

Foods High in Omega-6 Fatty Acids

  • Vegetable oils, such as corn, safflower, soybean, peanut, and cottonseed oil
  • Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream)
  • Meat
  • Peanuts
  • Margarine

High-Glycemic-Index Foods

  • Processed snacks
  • White bread
  • Sugary drinks
  • Desserts
  • Refined carbs

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips

  • 5-9 servings of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits daily
  • More foods with omega-3 fatty acids and fewer with omega-6 fatty acids
  • Healthier fats (olive oil, seeds, nuts) only
  • Less salt and more anti-inflammatory herbs (turmeric, garlic, ginger)
  • Fiber-rich whole grains rather than refined grains
  • Healthy protein sources (beans, fish, lean poultry) instead of red meat

Low-Iodine Diet

If you’re preparing to undergo radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer, following a low-iodine diet for at least 2 weeks beforehand and during treatment will make your thyroid more receptive to the radioactive iodine.

For best results, avoid foods that contain iodine and those that increase the absorption of iodine, such as:

  • Iodized salt
  • Any supplements that contain iodine, such as seaweed and kelp
  • Dairy products
  • Soy products
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk chocolate
  • Seafood fish, shellfish, seaweed, kelp
  • Bread products that contain iodate dough conditioners
  • Foods that contain the additives: carrageen, agar-agar, algin, alginates
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Cured and corned foods, like ham, lox, corned beef, sauerkraut

While the list above may seem rather limiting, there are plenty of foods you can eat on a low-iodine diet.

Enjoy the following:

  • Non-iodized salt
  • Iodine-free spices
  • Vegetable oils
  • Fresh, canned, and frozen fruit/vegetables in cooked or raw form
  • Soft drinks, coffee, tea
  • Unprocessed meats, including beef, pork, and poultry
  • Dark, non-dairy chocolate
  • Pasta and rice
  • Popcorn with non-iodized salt
  • Some bread
  • Unsalted nut butters, such as peanut butter and almond butter
  • Matzo
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Egg whites

For your radioactive iodine treatment to work effectively, it’s important to plan ahead and prepare carefully so you can make the most of your low-iodine diet. When you come in for a consultation, we’ll give you further details on how to make your diet a success.


Autoimmune Diet

If you’re struggling with an autoimmune disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, IBD, type 1 diabetes, or psoriasis, an adjustment in your diet can improve the way you feel. Your immune system has the tendency to produce antibodies that attack healthy cells and tissues rather than fight infections, and your diet can promote gut health and reduce inflammation and autoimmune disease symptoms.

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is a diet that resembles the paleo diet as far as foods you’re allowed to eat and the ones you should avoid. It reduces inflammation, pain, and other symptoms by healing your leaky gut, damage to the gut barrier which can lead to increased intestinal permeability.

How does the AIP work? There are two phases, and the first is the elimination phase. During this phase, you’ll want to avoid seeds, nuts, grains, eggs, certain vegetables, legumes, tobacco, oils, coffee, alcohol, refined, processed sugars, and any other food that causes gut inflammation and imbalances between levels of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Focus on consuming fresh, nutrient-dense foods and foods that are minimally processed. In addition to adjusting your intake, AIP emphasizes making a change in lifestyle habits, like sleep, stress, and exercise. This first phase can last anywhere from 30-90 days.

Once you’ve seen noticeable improvements, you can move on to the reintroduction phase in which the previously avoided foods can be reintroduced. As you slowly work back in the eliminated foods, the goal is to identify which foods were contributing to your symptoms. When you discover a food that triggers symptoms, make sure to avoid it.

If you’re interested in giving the AIP a try, we recommend you do so with the help of one of our qualified health professionals to make sure you are meeting all your nutrient needs in each of the phases. We look forward to helping you get control of your autoimmune disorder so you can be your healthiest, happiest, and most comfortable self.

AIP Foods to Avoid

  • Food additives and artificial sweeteners
  • Grains
  • Refined or processed sugars
  • Legumes
  • Processed vegetable oils
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Alcohol and Coffee
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy

AIP Foods to Enjoy

  • Vegetables
  • Bone broth
  • Fresh fruit
  • Green and black tea
  • Tubers, such as sweet potatoes
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Minimally processed meat
  • Herbs and spices
  • Vinegars
  • Fermented, probiotic-rich foods
  • Minimally processed vegetable oils: olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil

Remember that AIP should be prescribed and monitored by a professional, so call us today to schedule an appointment and get started!


Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s disease is one of the most common thyroid disorders, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid by causing insufficient hormone production, and its symptoms can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. However, diet and lifestyle modifications can dramatically improve symptoms by lowering antibody levels and improving thyroid function.

Since every person with Hashimoto’s disease experiences its symptoms differently, it’s best if you come in to see us, so we can fully evaluate your condition and create a customized treatment plan that benefits you most.

Many people with Hashimoto’s disease have celiac disease as well, but regardless, evidence has shown gluten-free and grain-free diets to be advantageous to those with Hashimoto’s disease.

Studies have also shown the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet (explained above) to have a significant effect on the quality of life of a person with Hashimoto’s.

Lactose intolerance is very common among those with Hashimoto’s disease.

Inflammation is often an impetus to Hashimoto’s disease, so focus eating anti-inflammatory foods, such as vegetables, fruits, spices, and fatty fish.

Finally, a nutrient-rich, whole food diet will help to improve your health, lower your weight, and reduce your symptoms.

If symptoms are flaring up, avoid dairy, follow a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet, and go gluten-free. These are a few excellent ways to improve those symptoms and your overall health. Our healthcare providers specialize in autoimmune diseases and are skilled and equipped to help you find a dietary pattern that more specifically suits your needs.


Graves’ Disease

Common symptoms of Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, consist of brittle bones and extreme weight loss. So, diet and identifying food allergies and sensitivities can play a major role improving these symptoms. Foods that may exacerbate Graves’ disease symptoms are those with gluten, excessive amounts of iodine, like some bread, salt, or some dairy products, and some animal products.

Foods rich in specific nutrients can help reduce symptoms. Look for calcium-rich foods, such as almonds, okra, broccoli, sardines, and kale.

Foods high in vitamin D help your body absorb calcium, so consume plenty of tuna, salmon, mushrooms, sardines, and cod liver oil.

Magnesium also helps the body absorb calcium, and, at the same time, a magnesium deficiency can make Graves’ disease symptoms worse. Look for avocados, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, legumes, cashews, and Brazil nuts to maintain a magnesium-balanced diet.

When those with Graves’ disease become deficient in selenium, they can develop a thyroid eye disease that causes bulging eyeballs and double vision. This antioxidant and mineral is found in mushrooms, sunflower seeds, sardines, Brazil nuts, and brown rice.

Diet can reduce or alleviate symptoms brought on by Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism. Our experts can help you identify food sensitivities or allergies and the specific nutrients that your body needs to manage flare ups and annoying symptoms. Call us and schedule an appointment today.

Ready to Live a Healthier Life?

Call us with any questions or to make an appointment.

(650) 591-9933 Appointments

Recipes

Low Fat, High Protein, Sugar-Free Tiramisu

A piece of tiramisu on a plate

Ingredients

Cake layer
  • 2 cups black espresso coffee
  • 2 tsp rum
  • 1 tsp monk fruit sugar
  • Lady fingers
Cream layer
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt 2%
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 6 beaten egg whites
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup monk fruit sugar
To Decorate
  • ½ cup 90% dark chocolate, melted

Instructions

  1. Mix coffee, rum, and monk fruit sugar together. Place lady fingers in a bowl. Drizzle coffee mixture over lady fingers and let soak while you prepare cream layer.
  2. Beat 6 eggs whites. Slowly add Greek yogurt, mascarpone, vanilla, and monk fruit sugar.
  3. In your serving dish, carefully place a layer of coffee-soaked lady fingers, making sure they are sitting tightly together. Spread half the yogurt mixture on top the lady finger layer. Repeat with another layer of lady fingers. Spread the remaining yogurt mixture to cover the top.
  4. Drizzle melted chocolate across the top to decorate.
  5. Allow the tiramisu to sit in the fridge for at least an hour for all the flavors and layers to settle.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Cake

A piece of quinoa cake on a plate

Ingredients

Quinoa Mixture
  • 2 cups cold cooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • ? cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Sugar Mixture
  • 1 ¼ cups monk fruit sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
To Mix In
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan.
  2. Place quinoa, butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Mix sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir quinoa mixture into sugar mixture until batter is well combined. Fold chocolate chips into batter. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool cake on a wire rack.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

A batch of chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.
  2. Combine almond flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Turn on mixer long enough for a large ball of dough to form. Do not over mix. Pour in chocolate chips, and mix them in on low speed.
  3. Drop the dough in 1-inch mounds. Use your fingers to flatten just a bit. Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until edges are firm and lightly golden, about 11 minutes.

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