General Nutrition for those with Chronic Illnesses

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Now, there are no such things as the perfect diet for every person with a chronic illness. Anyone suffering from multiple conditions that affect how, when and what they eat can tell you that. A removed gallbladder could mean taking it easy on the fats while a type 2 diabetes diagnosis has you counting carbohydrates. There are, however, some great general nutrition tips that apply to most people, regardless of their physical condition. What’s more, there are plenty of tips for getting yourself motivated to pick up whichever habits you need to meet your personal nutritional goals.

Avoid Processed Meats

You’ve likely seen the term ‘processed meat’ splashed over news stories and your doctor’s office alike. What counts as a processed meat, though? And why do they wreak havoc on our bodies? According to the World Health Organization, processed meat is one that has been modified “through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.” What’s more? The panel of health experts classifies processed meats as carcinogenic — meaning they may lead to cancer. There are a few reasons that these types of food can be so bad for our bodies, from nitrates to free radicals. In general, it’s a good idea to stay away from foods that could send your immune system into overdrive trying to fix the Damage.

Trial and Error

Your body, just like everyone else’s, is unique. You could take two people with the exact same diagnoses, and they’d still likely have different foods that make them feel their best. That means that experimentation in the kitchen is your best friend. Through careful elimination diets done with the help of a doctor or nutritionist, allergen testing and other tools like these, you can figure out the true answer to what makes you feel good inside and out.

Habits and Tools

The best nutrition advice for all chronic illness sufferers isn’t going to be about what you eat, it’s going to be about how you make good decisions day after day. It can be tough to turn down tasty foods that you know aren’t good for you. It’s also difficult to find the motivation to meal prep day by day. Find the tools you need to stick to the habits your body deserves.


Peer Health can connect you with a personalized peer community to share provider recommendations, treatment options, and define your best life. Sign up for our beta and newsletter today.

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