With over 34 million Americans living with Diabetes, and approximately 50% of them suffering from Neuropathy, it is no surprise that this is the one of the most asked...
If you have suffered from the debilitating effects of neuropathy for a while, then I am sure you have noticed there are certain foods that intensify your symptoms. You may have noticed after eating that slice of birthday cake your pain, numbness, and tingling got a lot worse.
You’re not crazy!
The truth is, your body is sending you an alarm, letting you know that something is not right and the inflammation in your body is too high.
Why do some foods make neuropathy worse?
Some foods that you eat increase inflammation within your body. When inflammation is increased, your Neuropathy symptoms can become more intense and more difficult to endure. Think of it this way, if your body is too busy fighting off and regulating the inflammation that you consumed, your body has no chance to start healing the nerves that are causing your neuropathy symptoms.
Inflammation most commonly presents as:
- "Dead" feeling
Other symptoms could present as:
- Body Aches
- Sinus Congestion
5 Foods to Avoid with Neuropathy
5. Overly processed foods
As much as we love and rely on the convenience of fast food, packaged dinners, and take-away pizza, the lasting effects of regularly consuming these foods is dangerous. These overly processed foods lack any real nutrition, or value to our body. Overly processed foods are also full of chemicals and additives that don’t do you, or your healing journey any favors. To name a few of the lasting effects of these overly processed foods:
- Increased risk of developing cancer: A five year study by the BMJ showed that out of 105,000 adult males, those who increased their consumption of overly processed foods by 10%, were 12% more likely to develop cancer.
- Increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases: It is estimated that 70% of your immune system is in your gut. Eating overly processed foods changes the composition of the bacteria in your gut, for the worse.
- Increased risk of heart disease: Another study by BMJ found higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with higher risks of cardiovascular, coronary heart, and cerebrovascular diseases.
4. Added Sugar
Sugar is a master of disguise. With over 35 different names that can be found on food labels, chances are most of the food in your pantry has some form of added sugar in it.
Added sugar can be found in the strangest places like:✔️Ketchup
✔️Processed meats (like hot dogs, sausages, or common lunch meat)
To the left is the ingredient list for 1 serving (11.1oz) of Campbell’s Creamy Tomato Soup.
1 serving of this soup has 15 g of added sugar & High Fructose Corn Syrup as the second listed ingredient.
15 grams of sugar is roughly the same amount of sugar in 2 donuts!
Let me be clear, not all sugar is bad! Sugar is a natural component of plenty of whole foods and is a natural part of nutrition.
But, according to Harvard Health the effects of excessive added sugar intake can lead to:
- Higher blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Fatty liver disease
Unfortunately, most Americans are not aware just how much added sugar is lurking around in their favorite foods. I challenge you to go through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer - and see just how much added sugar you and your family are really consuming - the results will surprise you!
Milk - does it really do a body good?
Consider the age old saying “You are what you eat”. If you are consuming dairy, from corn and grain fed cows - the dairy they are producing is full of inflammatory grains.
Even worse, many dairy products are so over processed that any of the nutrients that dairy boasts of, is virtually non-existent by the time it reaches the grocery store - leaving you with a tall cold glass of sugar and inflammation.
According to Harvard Health, Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley and rye. It's common in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza and cereal. Gluten provides no essential nutrients. People with celiac disease have an immune reaction that is triggered by eating gluten. They develop inflammation and damage in their intestinal tracts and other parts of the body when they eat foods containing gluten. Current estimates suggest that up to 1% of the population has this condition. A gluten-free diet is necessary to eliminate the inflammation, as well as the symptoms. Grocery stores and restaurants now offer gluten-free options that rival conventional foods in taste and quality; in years past, it was much harder to maintain a gluten-free diet.
Want to learn more? Check out this video I made on Why Grains Inflame:
1. Excessive Alcohol
Consider 3 of the inflammatory foods that we just discussed; Gluten, Sugar, and Processed foods. Alcohol is a combination of all 3 of these inflammatory foods, and excessive consumption of alcohol is a powerhouse of inflammation, along with a long list of other symptoms that are detrimental to the body.
Conclusion: You ARE what you eat
By avoiding inflammatory foods, you can greatly reduce the painful symptoms of neuropathy. Some key foods to avoid while living with neuropathy include:
- Overly Processed Foods
- Added Sugar
- Excessive Alcohol
While reducing/eliminating the amount of inflammation can drastically improve the way you feel, it is not enough to reverse neuropathy - remember, my team of experts are here for you when you are ready to take your journey to neuropathy relief, to the next level.
Please consult with a physician before making any dietary changes.