The Lyme diet does 2 things.
1. It's an anti-inflammatory diet. Lyme has many debilitating symptoms due to its nature which causes inflammation in brain tissue and all throughout the body, which is what leads to the intense joint pain many patients suffer from. This diet avoids all foods that cause inflammation in the body.
2. It's a diet which starves the bacteria and also the formation of biofilm, which is the little layer the Lyme bacteria builds to save it from the immune system. As the biofilm is starved & the Lyme can't be fueled, you help the body get a winning advantage
What does this diet entail?
Basically everything delicious...
1. Sugar. Sugar is the biggest culprit when it comes to feeding bacteria. There have been studies which show that cancer tumors have glucose receptors on them which means every bit of sugar helps them grow. At this point in time 80% of foods in the grocery have added sugar, which is a shocking and upsetting statistic. A whole host of foods will be taken out of your diet, but its for the better. Unfortunately this means no cookies, cupcakes & other treats that you are used to in the traditional sense. However, there are some alternatives I will get to below. When I first gave up sugar it was like an addict giving up a drug. Studies have also show that sugar lights up the same pleasure centers and addiction centers in the brain as cocaine. Giving up sugar is not easy, and if you go cold turkey be prepared for some serious migraines, mood swings, and cravings. I struggled badly to cut it out, but once I did my body thanked me for it. It helped my nausea a lot and my stomach as well.
Alternatives: Stevia, Xylitol, Coconut Sugar, Agave nectar
*Stevia does NOT feed bacteria at all, and there is talk amongst Doctors that it can also kill the Lyme bacteria. This study was only done in vitro though, so the jury is out on if it will help in the body. The main take away for me however is the fact that it does not actively feed the bacteria, which is great!
*Xylitol also does NOT feed bacteria, and has been shown to break down biofilm. So if you need to sub sugar this is a great cup for cup substitute which many people love
*Agave Nectar has a different chemical compound than sugar, and does not raise blood sugar levels the way sugar does. I found that I do fine with Agave nectar in moderation, where as sugar will make me really nauseous and flare. This is a personal choice, as is coconut sugar. But it's important to list alternatives because not everyone has the luxury or ability to cut out all sugar in every form
2. Gluten: Gluten is a hot button topic because some people are firm believers that it's fad that is just in people's heads. This is completely untrue. For starters Gluten has been shown to cause inflammation in the human body. It is a food that has HIGH inflammatory properties. Anyone that has a condition with inflammation (RA, IBS, MS, Ulcerative Colitis etc), can benefit from cutting out Gluten for that one reason alone. Secondly, 85% of Wheat in the United States is now genetically modified. Wheat is highly irritating to sensitive bodies (and even those not sensitive), because of the fact that it is commonly full of pesticides and GMO's. Cutting out Gluten makes people feel better NOT because of the placebo effect, but because of actual reasons shown in studies. Yes, I know it's only a small amount of people who are truly Celiacs, however those who are Gluten intolerant or simply have a chronic illness with inflammation will benefit from cutting it out of their diet. At least for now! If you have a chronic infection like Lyme disease you need to avoid gluten at ALL COSTS.
Alternatives: Rice flour, Tapioca flour, Buckwheat flour, Amaranth flour, Almond flour, Coconut flour, spelt flour, cassava flour, etc.
3. Soy: I will make this short and sweet. Soy is also an inflammatory food and also highly genetically modified.
4. Any non organic meat, and limit red meat. Steak lovers ... It's a tough one! Chicken, turkey and fish are all good to go though! I personally can not eat any red meat, and although I do not have the standard alpha gal allergy I cant have beef, pork or lamb. I am IGE allergic to all 3 and it makes me really sick to my stomach to eat. We all need protein though, so you can either go full vegan and not eat meat at all, or you can eat the safer lean meats which do better to lower inflammation. I personally have a very low body weight & I need all the help I can get in maintaining my weight. I do great with chicken and turkey so I stick to those, but I also get a lot of protein from rice/pea as well as beans. You can play around with this to fit your needs.
5. Dairy: It's an inflammatory food as well (I know, all the tasty stuff!) However if you must do dairy (which I do in moderation to keep on weight), then try to limit it and also always go organic and grass fed. For example I use ghee instead of butter, and if I eat cheese I eat cheddar but stay away from aged cheeses and fatty cheeses. It's all about finding a personal balance. I also LOVE Daiya cheese, and eat a ton of my meals with that and sub as much as I can. I do not do any animal milk (coconut or rice milk only), and that again is a personal choice and a health conscious choice.
Alternatives: Daiya Cheese, almond and other nut cheeses, rice milk, almond milk, goat milk, coconut milk
6. Caffeine: This is a "food" which I mention because not only can it cause a ton of unneeded inflammation, but it's something which is typically drank and so most people do not even realize that it could be a trigger. Sadly caffeine is a no-go, and if you can at least cut down intake it will help you out greatly!
Alternatives: Teeccino, Roobois Chai tea, Chicory root "coffee," and Dandelion Root.
There are so many options for menu choices and that's where getting creative is good! This diet Is strict if you are coming into it all at once, but after an adjustment period it isn't nearly as restrictive as it seems. It really is great for anyone who wants to detox their body & take off the load of inflammatory causing agents. We often don't realize that what we put into our body makes a HUGE impact on how we feel. This is for those who are healthy too! Organic is the best & I strongly urge anyone to chose that over non organic.