Understanding Nutrition and ALSWhen an individual is diagnosed with ALS, there are a variety of different life changing things that need to be taken into consideration. One of the most important factors that needs to be addressed is the nutrition that they will be receiving. Since this disease is a degenerative illness that prevents the motor neurons in the body from being able to control the muscles, eating, breathing, and moving become increasingly difficult as it progresses through the body. With that being said, it is of the utmost importance that patients receive a sufficient amount of nutrition during the early stages of the disease. Below are some important facts to help you understand the importance of having a good level of nutrition when you are diagnosed with ALS.
The Importance of a Well-Balanced Diet
Every human being in the world should consider having a well-balanced diet but when you are diagnosed with ALS, it is even more important. Good nutrition helps your body to stay regulated and it also gives you the energy that you need to get through the day. A well-balanced diet is also imperative to prevent other illnesses and infections from affecting your body as it can be incredibly difficult to maintain a high level of fat and body muscle as the disease eats away at the body’s muscle tissues.
Ensure that you are receiving the correct amount of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals that meet the nutritional requirements set by your doctor and/or dietitian. Generally you will receive a chart comprised of the daily servings required of each essential aspect of your diet.
Your muscles are the primary aspect of your body that will be affected by the development of ALS, therefore you will want to make sure that you are eating enough foods that provide your muscles with the fundamental nutrients that they need to stay strong. With the use of poultry, beef, fish, milk, eggs, and cheese, you will be eating components that have extremely high levels of protein, providing you with the foundation necessary for healthy muscle.
Consuming Enough Calories
Instead of eating less calories to lose weight, you will want to make sure that you eat more calories to keep the weight on your body. ALS has the tendency to force patients to lose an unhealthy amount of weight, making it difficult to stay healthy and strong. When you eat enough calories, your body will have enough energy to break down so that it doesn’t have to eat away at your muscle. Ensuring that you ingest enough foods that are high in sugar and fat are great ways to get as many calories as possible. Make sure that you avoid the fats that are necessary to lower cholesterol levels, depending on if you have any pre-existing conditions.
Maintaining Your Weight
Generally your doctor will advise you to try to maintain the weight that you were at prior to being affected by the illness. Even if you feel as if you are gaining an excess amount of weight, make sure that you don’t begin dieting otherwise your body may be deprived of the nutrients that it will need in the future.
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