People today suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before. And there’s no doubt that our food choices play a major role. Doing a quick search on Google to find a healthy diet returns overwhelming results! Ketogenic, paleo, Mediterranean, vegan, carnivore, macro, Atkins, south beach and the list goes on! So, which diet works best for you and me? I am here to talk about the paleo diet and more specifically the mold edition of the NHD Paleo pyramid.
Based on the traditional paleo type diet with some modifications, this lifestyle plan is scientifically validated to lower risks of heart disease. Research is pointing more towards certain types of heart disease like atherosclerosis being autoimmune in nature. Autoimmune disease is influenced by genetic predisposition, poor gut health and environmental factors. This means that when you have a diagnosis such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes or have high blood pressure, your food choices are critical to your well-being. Poor diet is also a leading cause of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This lifestyle will help you gain control of your health by helping you optimize your nutrition plan and make better food choices to help reduce your risk of heart disease.
A study conducted in 2009 in which subjects received dietary intervention via the paleo diet found significant reductions in blood pressure, improved arterial distensibility, significant reduction in plasma insulin versus time in the area under the curve during oral glucose tolerance testing and significant reductions in total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and triglycerides! The implications of this nutrition paradigm are huge for cardiovascular health.
Another study found that postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes who shifted their diet to Mediterranean foods (diet similar to paleo) had lower risks of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease!
The mold edition of the NHD Pyramid focuses on the same core principles:
- Local, organic, free-range, grass-fed
- A foundation built on vegetables
- Meat, seafood and poultry
- Healthy fats & oils
When it comes to following a low-mold diet, you’ll want to strictly avoid foods that are chock-full of sugars and additives. These feed fungal growth and could exacerbate your symptoms. You’ll also want to avoid foods that are notorious for being contaminated with mold. Avoiding resistant starch (amylose) or keeping it at a minimum is also important on a low-mold diet. On average, Americans on the standard American diet (SAD diet) absorb about 3-8 grams of amylose (resistant starch) per day.
Sugars are one of the primary sources of fuel for yeast or mold. The sugar industry is catching on to people paying more attention to food labels and therefore are making it a little more difficult to quickly identify “sugar” so it can go by many different names and may be hidden in places you wouldn’t expect – even in foods you might consider “healthy”.
When following the low-mold diet, you should avoid:
- Table sugar
- Maple syrup
- Baked goods
Certain fruits also have a tremendously high sugar content and should be avoided when detoxing from mold. These include:
- Dried fruits and fruit juices
Mold and Yeast Containing Foods
Some examples of foods that are reputable at containing mold are:
- Cheese and sour milk products: Buttermilk, sour cream, cream cheese, aged cheese, sliced or block cheese
- Nuts: Peanuts, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts
- Dried fruit: Raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, dates, etc.
- Grains: Wheat, rice, oats
- Packaged and smoked meats: Sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, pastrami, smoked fish, ham, bacon
- Edible fungi: Mushrooms, truffles
- Alcoholic beverages: Beer, wine, cider, liqueur, whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, etc.
- Fermented foods – kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut
Many of you that follow the NHD Paleo Pyramid already follow a low-mold plan to some degree. We can further optimize our diet if we are trying to recover from mold by centering around:
- Nutrient dense variety of vegetables
- Grass-fed meats
- Wild caught cold water fish
This is a strict dietary plan but can help tremendously for those trying to overcome mold illness or CIRS. A no or low amylose diet can support leptin levels, as the diet is low carbohydrate and low lectin Foods that contain amylose and glucose which in turn cause a rapid rise in blood sugar when ingested is something we want to avoid. Removing amylose reduces inflammatory markers called MMP9 ( which are seen in CIRS) and helps prevent chronic diseases as a result of obesity like heart disease.
Some high amylose foods to avoid:
- Oats, rye, barley
- Bananas and plantains
- Flours and raw starches, all wheat
- All rice (rice noodles, brown rice, white rice, wild rice, black rice, etc.)
- Most root vegetables and tubers (cassava, yam, potatoes, tapioca, etc.)
- Corn products (post healing: be careful to only eat only organic, non-GMO corn)
- All potatoes and potato starch: white, purple, yellow, and sweet potatoes
- Seeds, nuts (soak before cooking to minimize lectin, and avoid nuts and seeds likely to contain high levels of mycotoxins)
- Beans & legumes (soybeans, peas, lentils, lupin, etc.)
You’re probably avoiding many of these foods just by following the NHD paleo pyramid. However, we can fine tune this even more to help you improve your health if you suspect mold or CIRS as an illness related to your challenges. Please schedule a coaching call with one of our NHD Health Coaches for more help in getting started.