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Lipedema nutrition: What should you eat with lipedema?

“Can I eat this or will it make my symptoms worse?” – As a lipedema sufferer, you have certainly asked yourself this question. They often feel unsure about which foods can have a positive or negative effect on their condition. In fact, a targeted adjustment to your diet can make a significant contribution to the treatment of lipedema. Although a healthy diet will not cure lipedema, it can help to alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being.

In this article, we would like to show you which nutritional approach we recommend for lipedema and how you can positively influence your life with lipedema by making targeted changes to your diet.

Benefits of a balanced nutrition for lipedema

A balanced nutrition plays a crucial role, not only for general health, but especially for women like you living with lipedema. The daily challenges you face, such as swelling, pain in the affected areas, as well as a feeling of heaviness and fatigue, can have a significant impact on your well-being. In addition, despite numerous attempts to lose weight through dieting or exercise, many women with lipedema often see no success, which in turn often leads to frustration and a feeling of helplessness.

The benefits of adapted nutrition are many and varied and can make a big difference in dealing with lipedema:

Reduction of inflammatory processes

Certain foods, such as green vegetables, pulses and berries, can have an anti-inflammatory effect and therefore reduce pain and swelling.

Improving the lymph flow

Adapted nutrition – for example by including foods rich in antioxidants – combined with exercise and drinking plenty of fluids can also help to promote lymph flow and reduce water retention.

Improving your sense of well-being

By improving your symptoms and controlling your weight, you can also do something for your mental strength. This is because a nutrient-rich nutrition increases your general well-being and energy levels. For example, omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. in fish and walnuts) and wholemeal products containing vitamin B can improve mood and concentration by keeping energy levels stable throughout the day.

What nutrition is advisable for lipedema?

First things first: there is no specific “lipedema diet”. Nevertheless, certain diets have proven to be helpful over time.

To support the relief of your lipedema symptoms, it is advisable to pay particular attention to the following points.

  • Reduce sugar and fat: Instead of foods high in sugar and fat, choose fresh fruit, vegetables, wholemeal products and lean protein.
  • Spread out your meals: Eat regularly throughout the day to avoid cravings and avoid snacking in between meals if possible.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea to increase the feeling of fullness and increase your fluid intake. Avoid sugary drinks such as soft drinks and juices.
  • Intermittent fasting: Introducing intermittent fasting into your daily routine can help you control your calorie intake and improve your metabolism. This concept is based on set meal times.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Limit your alcohol consumption as alcohol can contribute to swelling and inflammation, which in turn promotes water retention and pain.

Which foods should be prioritised in a diet plan for lipedema?

Nutrition that is rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce the symptoms of lipedema. The following foods are particularly recommended:

  • Fruit: For example, berries, apples, citrus fruits and pineapple (contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme).
  • Vegetables: Especially green leafy vegetables, broccoli and carrots.
  • Wholemeal products: Such as rolled oats, wholemeal pasta, quinoa and millet.
  • Pulses: Including lentils, chickpeas and soya beans.
  • Nuts and seeds: Linseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts are recommended.
  • Oils: Preferably use olive, rapeseed and linseed oil in your cooking.
  • Fish: Especially fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring.
  • Anti-inflammatory spices: Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger as well as fresh herbs such as parsley and flavours of onions and garlic.
  • Alkalising foods: Examples include herbal teas, many types of vegetables, mushrooms and avocados.

What should not or only rarely be on the menu if you have lipedema?

Avoid the following foods to support your lipedema diet, as they can increase blood sugar levels and promote inflammation:

  • Foods with a high glycaemic index: these include products such as French fries and white bread.
  • Sugar: Especially in processed form and as an additive in many foods.
  • Foods high in salt: These can favour water retention and increase blood pressure.
  • Cheese, meat and sausages: Avoid high-fat and high-salt varieties in particular.
  • Full-fat dairy products: They contain saturated fats, which can promote inflammation.
  • Ready meals: Often rich in hidden sugars, fats and salts.
  • Sweets: High sugar content can stimulate inflammatory processes.
  • Soft drinks and juices: Unfavourable for insulin regulation due to high sugar content.
  • Highly acidic foods: These generally include drinks containing alcohol and caffeine, ready-made products and products containing gluten.

For optimal support with lipedema, we recommend a diet that keeps blood sugar levels low, such as the ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diet. A permanently elevated blood sugar level can favour the development of obesity and diabetes. Nutrition aimed at low blood sugar levels and reduced insulin secretion not only supports the loss of excess weight or the maintenance of current body weight, but also minimises feelings of hunger and prevents cravings. This promotes healthy and slow weight loss.

Ketogenic nutrition for lipedema

The ketogenic nutrition, or “keto diet” for short, has received a lot of attention in recent years, including in connection with lipedema. This form of nutrition is characterised by a very low intake of carbohydrates and a high intake of fats.

The basic idea behind ketogenic nutrition is to put the body into a state of ketosis. In this state, the body processes fat instead of carbohydrates as its primary source of energy. This change in energy production can have various positive effects on the body, especially for people with lipedema. Among other things, a ketogenic nutrition can help to alleviate some of the symptoms. One of the reasons for this is that a reduced intake of carbohydrates leads to a lower release of insulin. Insulin plays a key role in the storage of fat in cells and can promote inflammatory processes at high levels. By reducing insulin levels, ketogenic nutrition can therefore potentially help to reduce inflammation and reduce the intensity of pain associated with lipedema.

Foods that are typically included in the ketogenic diet are, for example

  • Fish and meat (the latter in moderation)
  • vegetables
  • pulses
  • berries
  • eggs

In close cooperation with Foodpunk, we have developed a programme based on ketogenic nutrition. In a two-part video interview, myself and Foodpunk founder Marina Lommel explain exactly what’s behind the programme.

To the video interview

Isoglycaemic nutrition for lymphedema & lipedema

Isoglycaemic nutrition focuses on selecting foods that have a low impact on blood sugar levels to minimise fluctuations and ensure a steady energy supply. This is particularly beneficial for women with lipedema and lymphoedema, as stable blood sugar levels can help to reduce inflammatory reactions and reduce fluid accumulation in the tissue.

Isoglycaemic nutrition is therefore about favouring foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly foods cause blood sugar levels to rise. Foods with a low GI release glucose more slowly, which leads to a more stable blood sugar level.

Foods with a low glycaemic index are for example

  • Lentils
  • Wholemeal pasta
  • oat flakes
  • brown rice
  • Rye bread

Switching to an isoglycaemic diet may be challenging at first, but with the right planning and support, it is possible to create a balanced and nutritious nutrition that supports the body and improves well-being with lipedema and lymphoedema. Emotional engagement with nutrition is also important. The preconception that healthy nutrition is useless for lipedema causes many sufferers to quickly give up. However, as we have already mentioned, conscious nutrition can certainly help you to deal with lipedema in everyday life. And even if healthy nutrition cannot contribute to a reduction in the diseased fatty tissue, you can prepare your body optimally for an upcoming lipedema operation by reducing healthy fat.

Lipedema or adiposity?

Lipedema and adiposity are two different diseases that both affect the fatty tissue. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for the untrained eye to recognise which it really is. As a result, lipedema sufferers often face a lack of understanding from their social environment. “You’re just too fat” is a common prejudice.

However, while lipedema is a chronic fat distribution disorder that predominantly affects women and is characterised by a symmetrical accumulation of fat in the legs, arms or other areas of the body, adiposity is a general excess of “healthy” body fat, which is defined by an increased body mass index (BMI) and affects both men and women.

Losing weight despite lipedema

While people without lipedema can often achieve rapid success with conventional diets and exercise, losing weight with lipedema is often more difficult. This is because the fatty tissue affected by lipedema often does not respond to the usual weight loss strategies. However, even though losing weight with lipedema is a challenging task, there are still ways to reduce weight and thus alleviate the symptoms associated with lipedema.

Suitable sports despite lipedema

Exercise is an essential part of the treatment of lipedema. Gentle sports that activate the lymphatic system, such as swimming or cycling, are particularly recommended.

We have already dealt with this topic in detail in our LIPOBLOG. Read the whole article under Which sport for lipedema?

Can lipedema be reduced through healthy nutrition?

We have shown that it is possible to alleviate the symptoms of lipedema with healthy nutrition and exercise. This can also have an effect on the mood of those affected. You can recharge your batteries and perhaps even find new hope. However, this does not reduce the diseased fatty tissue. However, this does not necessarily mean that lipedema is a one-way street. One way to completely remove the lipedema fat and achieve an improvement in both aesthetics and health is liposuction for lipedema, i.e. liposuction of the diseased fatty tissue. Our specialists at LIPOCURA® specialise in the holistic treatment of lipedema and will be happy to create a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

Get a personal consultation now

Tips on changing your diet for lipedema

Changing your diet is always just that: a change. And changes are not easy for everyone. That’s why you’ll find 5 practical tips below on how you can adjust your eating habits to get off to the best possible start:

Slow changeover

Don’t let yourself be rushed. Start gradually to give your body time to get used to the new eating habits. A sudden, radical change can be overwhelming and is often difficult to maintain. For example, start by replacing one meal a day with a healthier option.

Reduce sugar and processed foods

Try to minimise your intake of high-sugar and highly processed foods. These can promote inflammation in the body and lead to weight gain.

Drink enough water

Good hydration is important to support lymphatic flow and reduce swelling. Drink plenty of water daily, herbal teas can also be a beneficial addition.

Plan meals

Planning meals in advance can help you avoid unhealthy eating habits. For example, prepare healthy snacks and meals in advance so that you don’t have to resort to fast food or convenience products when you’re hungry.

Listen to your body

Every body reacts differently. Pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods and adjust your diet accordingly. Perhaps keeping a food diary will help you to recognise patterns and identify foods that are good for you or cause discomfort.

Living with lipedema

Living with lipedema requires adjustments, but with the right support and lifestyle adjustments, especially in terms of nutrition, you can lead an active and fulfilling life. Always remember: you are not alone. Millions of women worldwide are affected by lipedema and thanks to a growing community, there is now more support and understanding than ever before. Within this lipedema community, you can share experiences, advice and success stories, not only raising awareness of the condition but also encouraging each other. Our LIPOTEAM, consisting of our LIPODOCs, our LIPOPHYSIO® and our LIPOCOACH®, also offers you professional and emotional support. Feel free to contact us at any time with your questions.

Get personalised advice from our specialists now

Life is too short for sometime. Make yourself a priority, even if it is sometimes difficult. But your health is the best investment you can make.

Lipedema-Patient Deniese

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