Diet and Nutrition in Lupus

April 6, 2018

It is estimated that 1.5 million US citizens are living with lupus. While the disease is 90% more prevalent in women, it is also 2 to 3 times more prevalent in people of color. Lupus is one of the different types of autoimmune diseases.  Living happily with Lupus is not an idea so farfetched. Nutrition is essential for everybody and most especially for those with chronic diseases such as lupus. While there is a scarcity of a lupus-specific diet, antioxidants may be helpful to include. There also is a need to focus more on a well- balanced diet; to be specific, 15% protein, 50% carbs and 30% unsaturated fat according to Johns Hopkins Lupus Center. Lupus patients can live long healthy fulfilling lives. It may be helpful to include plenty of fruits, tubers, and whole grains.

Low-Sugar And Low-Cholesterol Diets

People with lupus often experience weight gain or even weight loss due to loss of appetite, certain medications, or reduced vigor and mobility. When it comes to the Body-Mass Index, it’s useful to know that there is a direct relationship between health and BMI. Having the right BMI simply means neither are you obese or underweight for someone in your age group. If you experience weight loss or appetite loss consult with your doctor for them to establish the course of the problem and work towards making you better and healthier. Weight gain, on the other hand, can be caused by plenty of factors such as increased inactivity levels and overeating due to increased stress or due to the steroids used. Steroid medication like prednisone can significantly alter the restructuring of fats stores in the body and prompt weight gain.  Therefore it is essential for you to follow a low-fat and low cholesterol diet. It may be helpful to concentrate more on eating cereals, lean protein sources like chicken, and whole grain bread. Vegetables are highly recommended as they are low in sugars and calories. They can be accompanied by lighter dips like hummus.

Low-Sodium Diets

Statistics show that women with lupus in the age group 35 to 44 have more chance of experiencing heart attacks compared to the standard population. This was reported by the Resource Center on Lupus. This means that you have to rely on a diet that is low in cholesterol and drenched fats. A low-sodium diet is necessary for those with high blood pressure above 120/80 mmHg. Furthermore, Health 24 puts the ideal salt consumption at 5g a day.


Nutritional diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help to lessen tissue inflammation. Fatty acids may also improve mood and cardiovascular health as well as reducing stroke chances. Fish, flax, and nuts are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid saturated fats like those in fried snacks, however.


Your doctor may recommend that you take calcium and vitamin D supplements plus your regular bone medication if you have osteoporosis. Vitamin D helps your body in calcium absorption. It is equally important that you take foods rich in calcium and these include, milk, oranges, almonds, frozen yogurt, broccoli, soy milk, spinach, and oyster. These kinds of foods will help keep your bones strong and healthy.

Eating specific foods may help with specific lupus symptoms. Tissue inflammation can be reduced by eating fish and calcium-rich diets; and it can also help reduce joint pain by strengthening your bones. Being financially prepared and taking your medications correctly is very important, and including exercise and a healthy diet is also very important.

Written by, Jess Walter, Freelance Writer