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Lifestyle decisions have a big impact on health and chronic disease prevention and disease management. Adhering to a wholesome diet and committing to regular physical activity promotes general overall health. Healthy diets have been shown to support normal growth, development and ageing, influence healthy pregnancy outcomes and aid in maintaining healthy body weight. In addition, healthy eating reduces the risk of chronic disease and helps those suffering from chronic diseases to manage their symptoms, often leading to improved overall health and well-being.

​Malnutrition is a common symptom in scleroderma patients and can result from poor eating habits or diminished nutrient absorption due to gastrointestinal complications. Chronic nutrient deficiencies can further complicate the progressive nature of the disease, so careful and continual monitoring of dietary habits is a critical component of a successful treatment plan. Due to the individualized nature of scleroderma, there is no single scleroderma diet. Depending on the patients’ needs a specific focus may be placed on anti-inflammatory foods, foods that are easily digested, or foods that are calorie and nutrient dense and easy to prepare. All people living with scleroderma will benefit from an increased intake of nutritious fruits and vegetables, and elimination of harmful junk foods that lack any nutritional value.

​Many scleroderma cases benefit from individualized nutritional support that activates the release of toxins through liver-produced bile. Other traditional detoxification methods often fail as toxins are backed up into the brain, skin and kidneys causing the condition to worsen. People living with scleroderma are encouraged to find a nutritionist familiar with the disease. An individualized dietary plan should be developed to provide the necessary nutrients and calorie density for improved outcomes.*

Healthy and Simple Dietary Tips and Guidelines

Prepared by Pamela Piotrowski

Healthy Eating Habits​

  • Focus on variety and moderation
  • Include foods from different food groups
  • Have small frequent meals or snacks
  • Pick bright coloured fruits and vegetables
  • Cut back on bad fats including Omega-6 and saturated/trans fats
  • Increase Omega-3 fat intake
  • Keep hydrated
  • Limit simple sugars and refined starchy foods
  • Avoid excessive doses of supplements

Hydration Is Key

  • A good guideline is to drink 25 – 30 ml of fluids per kilogram body weight. Increase consumption in: hot weather, increased body temperature, increased perspiration, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
  • Supplement standard hydration by using ice chips, popsicles/juice bars, gelatin, ice cream, sherbet, soup, broth, fruit/vegetable juices, lemonade and flavoured water
  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks

Sodium Watch

  • Limit sodium to 1500-2000 mg /day
  • Avoid using table salt – ‘Mrs. Dash’ is a good alternative
  • Limit servings to one salty food per day
  • Avoid too many packaged, canned and prepared foods

Heart Health

  • Avoid animal fats
  • Include beans, legumes and fish in as part of a regular diet
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit
  • Use extra soluble fibre – oatmeal, applesauce, barley, oranges, legumes

Mood Boosting

  • Water
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Omega-3 fats (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed)
  • Complex carbohydrates (whole grains, whole wheat pasta, cereals, brown rice, fruit and vegetables)

Calorie Consumption & Boosting Intake

  • Add calories to food whenever you can
  • Plan simple meals that are easy to prepare
  • Have convenience foods available
  • Drink fluids after meals
  • Use supplements such as ‘Ensure’, ‘Breakfast Anytime’ & ‘Boost’

Choose higher calorie/protein foods including:

  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Fruit/vegetables with dip
  • Yogurt with granola
  • Dried Fruit
  • Cereal with ‘half & half’ cream
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Pudding
  • Granola bars
  • Custard​​​​​

Choose nutrient dense foods such as:

  • Vitamin C: citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, potatoes, tomatoes
  • Vitamin B12: beef liver, clams,  fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, fortified breakfast cereals
  • Calcium: milk, yogurt, cheese, fish with soft bones, kale, broccoli, beans
  • Vitamin D: salmon, tuna, mackerel, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks
  • Potassium: bananas, oranges, potatoes, spinach, tomato juice, sweet potatoes, squash and black strap molasses
  • Magnesium: legumes, nuts, whole grains, green leafy vegetables

Choose healthy comfort foods such as:

  • Frozen yogurt / fruit smoothie
  • Oatmeal raisin cookie
  • Flavoured rice cakes
  • Warmed low fat milk with cocoa powder
  • Milk pudding, custard
  • Chocolate syrup drizzled over fruit
  • Veggie pizza with whole wheat crust

Choose quick, tasty & healthy snacks including:

  • Stuffed vegetables
  • Fruit/veggie kebobs with yogurt dips
  • Pita pizza
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Bean/yogurt dips with baked tortilla/pita crisps
  • Chilled fruit soups
  • Couscous with lentils and dried fruit
  • Bake sweet potato fries
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Phyllo nests with fruit

Contact Us

Please contact us for more information.

Scleroderma Association of Saskatchewan
54 – 4901 Child Avenue,
Regina, SK
S4X 4T7

Copyright © 2020 Scleroderma Association of Saskatchewan