Fibromyalgia and Animal Fats

Different foods can either help or flare up fibromyalgia symptoms

A person suffering from fibromyalgia should have a well-balanced diet. Although there is no such thing as a fibromyalgia diet, fibromyalgia patients should maintain a diet which is low in animal fat.

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic wide-spread musculoskeletal pain. Some foods that you eat or avoid can have a lasting impact on this condition. There are certain foods that flare up fibromyalgia symptoms, animal fat is one of them.

What is animal fat?

Animal fats and oils are lipid materials derived from animals. Physically, oils are liquid at room temperature, and fats are solid. Chemically, both fats and oils are composed of triglycerides.

Animal fats are commonly consumed in their semi-solid form either as milk, butter, lard, schmaltz and dripping or more commonly as factory produced meat, pet food, and fast food products.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people suffering from fibromyalgia should avoid high-fat animal products.

The fat content is these products varies, but the category includes high-fat cuts of pork, beef, duck and cured meats. Many dairy products, such as cheese, cream, and whole milk, also contain high levels of fat.

Although animal based omega-3 fats like DHA and EPA have been known to be healthy since it helps in reducing inflammation, it is important to note that trans-fat and fried foods promote inflammation.

Therefore, doctors recommend people suffering from fibromyalgia to eat foods rich in omega-3 to help reduce joint pain and stiffness.  Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include tuna, salmon, walnuts and flax seeds.

Types of Fat

There are three major types of fats. This include:

Saturated fat

Is mainly found in animal foods and is typically solid at room temperature. Some of the foods that are high in saturated animal fat include:

Butter

Butter has high amounts of saturated fats. Foods that uses butter or cooked with butter will also contain high amounts of saturated fats. It is, therefore, important to limit your use of butter to decrease your saturated fat intake.

Poultry

Chicken, turkey, and duck all contain saturated fat. The highest amount of saturated fat in this poultry can be found in their skin. Therefore, to minimize the amount of saturated fat intake from this poultry, one should cook it without the skin or remove the skin before eating it.

Whole Milk

Whole milk or products made from whole milk contains higher amounts of saturated fats. Products made from whole milk such as ice cream, yogurt, cream, sour cream, and cheese will contain a high amount of saturated fats.

To avoid such high saturated fats in these products, one should look for an alternative product which is made with skim milk or soy milk.

Processed Meats

There are many types of meat that are processed. These processed meats also contain a high amount of saturated fats. Such processed meats include bacon or sausage.

Eggs

Egg yolk contains high levels of saturated fat. It is, therefore, recommended to use only the white of the egg rather than the yolk.

Fibromyalgia and Animal Fats

Red Meat

Red meat also contains high saturated fat. Some read meat with high saturated fat includes steak, porterhouse, T-bone, sirloin, ribeye, filet, hamburger and ground beef.

It can be very healthy if one can replace foods with high amount of saturated fats since it can lower blood cholesterol levels and improve lipid profiles.

Unsaturated fats

Are fats which are liquid at room temperature and is considered good since they can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and play a number of other beneficial roles. Unsaturated fats are found in foods from plants, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.

It is recommended to eat two types of unsaturated fats. These two are:

Monounsaturated fats

  • Olive
  • Peanut
  • Canola oils
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds

Polyunsaturated fats

  • Sunflower
  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • flaxseed oils
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Fish
  • Canola oil

Replacing foods high in saturated fats with foods high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats is important. It means eating foods made with liquid vegetable oil but not tropical oils

Trans fats are also a type of unsaturated fats but they are rare in nature. It is commonly produced in industries as artificial trans-fats.

It is created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified it as “not generally recognized as safe” in November 2013.

Some important tips for a well-balanced diet

  • It is important to avoid saturated fat from processed meats, packaged meals, and takeout foods.
  • Do not replace high quality sources of saturated fat with refined carbohydrates or sugary snacks.
  • One should not only eat red meat but mix your diet with other meats like chicken, fish and also eggs.
  • It is important to know your red meat. While shopping for red meat you should remember to look for “organic” and “grass-fed” or choose lean meats.
  • If possible, you should limit your red meat consumption and also sugary foods and beverages.
  • You should avoid frying red meat or poultry. Instead roast, grill, or slow cook the meat.
  • One should also remember to look choose organic and healthy dairy products.
  • Try to avoid snacks such as corn or potato chips.
  • To get the nutrients, one should eat a diet that comprises of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts.
  • Cook your poultry without the skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Try to replace some of the meat with beans or legumes.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended getting less than ten percent of calories each day from saturated fat while the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to no more than seven percent of calories.

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