Let`s make it clear. Your diet for adrenal fatigue cannot include high glycemic index foods, junk, gluten or low fat options.
At the same token your adrenal diet should not be including standard salads, juices, or chicken nuggets. You will also have to drop your fatigue-causing breakfast cereals and the really not-so good for you orange juice as well.
That may be right, but then what`s left to eat?
Watch out for symptoms of low blood sugar
If you are overweight or your waist to hip ratio is a bit off, you are running a high risk of experiencing blood sugar swings. Having sugar swings does not necessarily mean you are a diabetic, or your doctor should have given you a blood sugar warning. It simply means that your body has trouble keeping proper blood sugar levels to give you that energetic advantage.
For example, when your blood sugar is high your body simply converts it to fat. This is normal and it is how unsuspected people put on weight. Conversely, when you are running low blood sugar your body should be able to easily convert your fat back to glucose. This is how people slim down and keep good energy. However, that flawless automatic conversion of sugar to fat and fat to sugar does not happen with everybody.
Diet for adrenal fatigue must consider sugar
Low blood sugar is considered a stress by the body. Stress, including low blood sugar, activates adrenals. Frequent state of hypoglycemia significantly contributes to adrenal stress. Burnt out adrenals will eventually produce signs of adrenal fatigue which may include
- environmental sensitivities or allergies,
- inability to exercise,
- frequent sensation of coldness,
- cold hands and feet,
- compromised immune system,
- chronic low grade inflammation,
- low blood pressure, and even
- unsightly brown discoloration on the skin.
There is no need to contribute to extra adrenal stress, because low blood sugar is one of the most important and most easily controllable, yet the most underestimated factor contributing to adrenal fatigue.
Beyond foods for adrenal fatigue
You may not realize, but your current “busy” lifestyle is a major contributor to sugar swings and adrenal exhaustion. Skipping meals, eating on the go, under eating, overeating, eating poor quality foods, eating sugary snacks have a major impact on your level of stress.
Better meal timing, better sizing and portioning of meals, improving food quality, and avoiding imbalanced meals are all part of a diet for adrenal fatigue.
Be aware that relying on take outs will invariably produce disappointing dietary results. Take out foods are typically made of cheap, nutrient-poor ingredients such as white flour, sugar, starches, cheap oils and chemical flavor enhancers. They usually have a high glycemic index and glycemic load, all of which should NOT be part of an adrenal diet. Basically it means that eating out negates good health.
Diet for adrenals – exclude sugars, include fats
Adrenals love fats, so include lots of fats in your diet. Like salad dressing or nuts, you may ask? No, not these. Adrenals are picky, so any fats just won’t do.
Remember what I said about hormones? Adrenal hormones are made of cholesterol. Since only animal foods contain cholesterol your cholesterol-free salad dressings, canola oil, and fish oil will not be very helpful here.
Adrenals need cholesterol to make their feel-good hormones: cortisol, which calms down inflammation and aldosterone which balances blood pressure. For this reason vegetarian diets are not suitable for adrenal fatigue. The opposite, the best diet for adrenal fatigue contains a good amount of cholesterol containing foods such as egg yolks and butter. They not only facilitate adrenal hormone production, but also prevent adrenal-stressing blood sugar swings.
Saturated fats won’t kill you
The myth of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol causing heart disease should finally have been put to rest. Despite decades of research the connection between the two has never been proven and the latest research has pointed in the opposite direction: fats are not harmful, fats are good, and finally fats are necessary for good health. Saturated fat is a great energy-source for all muscles including the heart muscle. Saturated fatty acids boost immune system, improve brain function, and are liver friendly.
But saturated fat does not mean a McBurger or fries deep fried in secret-ingredient oils at your local burger shop. This is not saturated fat. This is junk.
Good saturated fat comes from grass-fed beef and organic/free range eggs. No fast food restaurant will serve you that, so if you have adrenal fatigue consider picking a different diner.
Unless you want to keep your adrenal fatigue, you should seriously start thinking how to get good quality saturated fat into your diet. Scout out your local grocery stores. If they do not provide any organic meats, eggs, or butter, ask the manager to start stocking them. Good quality saturated fats should be included in any adrenal diet and you should have easy access to it. After all, you do not have the energy or time to go to another town for groceries.
Detox and adrenal diet
But don’t get crazy. Eating excessive amount of meats on a daily basis is not healthy either. Animal products, regardless of quality, leave large amount of toxic residue in the body which must be detoxified. If you decide to eat meats, eggs, and butter you will also need to know the detoxification rules which will be explained in the part 3. For now just remember that low glycemic index foods and good quality meats are both necessary components of a healthy diet for adrenal fatigue.