Vegans are the extremists of the diet world. They’ve shunned not only meat but dairy and eggs as well. That means no cheese, no milk, no yogurt . . . no cheese. How is that an acceptable diet? You, with your dairy addiction, wouldn’t last ten minutes as a vegan, caving the moment you spotted a slice of cheddar or scoop of ice cream. But that’s exactly what you’re doctor is telling you to do. He’s advising you to give up animal products and gluten (don’t even get me started on that). Why? Does he hate you?
No, well, at least I don’t think so. It’s more probable that he’s up on the latest research and knows that you, as a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, could benefit from a gluten-free, vegan diet. A study of 66 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis found that those who cut out animal products and gluten saw improved cholesterol levels and lower BMIs. Those who didn’t . . . didn’t. And before you attribute this difference to varying degrees of general health, know that both diets contained the same amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat. The only variations were the sources.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, as 20 million worldwide do, you may want to consider changing your diet, maybe not to vegan but to something a little more restrained than crazed carnivore. Your condition has already put you at risk for heart disease and stroke; your diet shouldn’t add to it. And who knows, maybe a little less dairy in your life won’t be as painful as you’d imagine. You may not even miss the cheddar.
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