A healthy diet is key for anyone to be in the best shape possible and that includes people who live with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Many people with HS play with a Hidradenitis Suppurativa diet suitable to them, to lessen the impact that symptoms have on their lives. While doctors do not yet know everything about this chronic skin condition, it is known that some foods have an impact on how severe the lesions are in some people. It also makes sense that if you are battling other problems linked to a poor diet like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, you are more likely to experience fatigue and infection and might struggle to deal with HS flare-ups when they come. Here are 7 key ways to eat a healthier diet.
1) Eat more fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are something that should be included in any diet because they are such a powerhouse of nutrients and natural compounds like Vitamin C, fibre, phytochemicals, potassium and folate. Adults should be eating at least 7 to 10 portions a day. That does not have to be only fresh fruit. Frozen, dried, and even to a point, canned can work too. Try to vary the types you eat, think of a rainbow each day to get all the different nutrients. This is great for your general health and your immune system.
2) Eat more whole grains rather than refined carbohydrates
Refined grains are foods like white bread, white rice, white pasta. Whole grains are in foods like brown bread, pasta and rice, oats, bran cereal and such. Refined and processed foods aggravate skin conditions like acne. They cause blood glucose to rapidly rise and that leads to the pancreas releasing a large boost of insulin to remove it from the blood. Elevated insulin levels can lead to acne, and for HS warriors, it can increase the chance of lumps and lesions. Whole grains, on the other hand, do not trigger an instantly elevated insulin level. They can help too with lowering the risk of diabetes type 2, stroke risk and heart disease.
3) Reduce or cut out added sugars
Just as people with HS should avoid refined grains because of the insulin trigger, they should also reduce or remove added sugars like dextrose, corn syrup, white and brown sugar, cane syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, glucose and more. Avoid things like fizzy drinks, energy and sports drinks, cake, candy, cookies, ice-cream, pastries, sweet cereals, chocolate, concentrate juice and so on. A balanced Hidradenitis Suppurativa diet should include no more than 10 percent of your daily calories from sugars. Better would be 5 percent. That would be 24 grams a day or 6 teaspoons for women and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men.
4) Think about the fats you eat
A lot of people would do better eating less saturated fats and fewer trans fats. In people with HS, you should be aware that these fats, in particular, are responsible for causing inflammation in the body. Eat lean meats, more plant protein like lentils and beans, and reduce how many high fat foods you consume. Plant proteins also give you fibre keeping you full for longer so help when you are looking to lose weight. Cook with vegetable oils, eat nuts in healthy portion sizes and eat more fatty fish.
5) Achieve and maintain a healthy weight range
A balanced Hidradenitis Suppurativa diet will naturally help you lose weight if you are not within your healthy range for your height and gender. Being overweight is not a cause of HS, but it can make the flare-ups you experience worse. Adopting the tips here can help your body to limit the symptoms too as you will be healthier, not dealing with other weight-related illnesses and stronger.