“When diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.”
Ayurvedic medicine quotation
I have often been asked about what foods to avoid with psoriasis, and I’ll tell you shortly. First let’s try to understand why these foods are best avoided. Like many chronic diseases, psoriasis will thrive when you make the wrong dietary choices. If you are one of those psoriasis sufferers who loves to consume carbohydrate foods, especially those sugar and yeast rich foods, (please be aware that we are talking mainly refined carbohydrates, the simple sugars), then you will have a hard time overcoming your psoriasis. I considered it very important in the beginning of the Psoriasis Diet to also avoid any foods that contain or have the potential to contain molds or fungi. And that means cheap commercial white or malt vinegars, alcohols (ALL), yeast extract spreads, mushrooms, melons and soft cheeses, etc.
And here’s why – once your intestinal bacterial level and candida yeast overgrowth is controlled, there is no reason to keep a strict prohibition however, but the return of your symptoms like abdominal bloating, gas, constipation, etc., after eating one of your offending foods will tell you that it is time to return for a period to the offending food avoidance strategy. Always remember – the better your digestive health, the better your skin health and psoriasis will be as a consequence.
Let’s now take a look at what foods and drinks you are best to reduce or even stop for awile if you have psoriasis. This page represents only a small amount of the unformation contained in The Psoriasis Program.
Eat No Red Meat Except Lamb.
For your animal protein, focus on white meats such as fish, chicken and turkey as well lamb, which is considered more “pink” than red meat. Avoid beef, venison (deer meat) and bison
Avoid The Nightshade Family Of Vegetables.
Avoid white and red potatoes, tomato (including any tomato products like tomato juice, sauce or paste), capsicum, sweet or hot peppers (like chili), and tobacco. This is only a trial, you will want to avoid all nightshade vegetables for a few months before you re-introduce them, to see if this family of vegetables is a psoriasis trigger. How will you know, unless you stop eating them for a month or two?
Avoid Fresh Fruits and Fruit Juices
For the first months, avoid sweet fruit juices and most fruits, and definitely consume no dried fruits of any kind. If you feel significantly better on a “no or low” sweet fruit approach, you may want to continue this. Many psoriasis patients (up to 75 percent) have an underlying yeast infection, and by eating sugar-rich juices, fresh and dried fruits you will be playing right into the hands of Candida.
Avoid ALL Sugar and Sugar Containing Foods
Sugar and other quick-acting carbohydrates including sucrose, high-glucose corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, lactose (cow’s milk), glycogen, glucose, mannitol, sorbitol, galactose. Also avoid honey, molasses, maple syrup, maple sugar, and date sugar.
Avoid All Packaged Foods
Canned, bottled, boxed and other packaged and processed foods usually contain refined sugar products and other hidden ingredients. For example, you will find many small pieces of dried fruits in packaged cereals and muesli. You will find many artificial colors, flavors as well as preservatives lurking in a wide variety of processed and packaged foods. You will surprised to see sugar of some kind of form as a main ingredient in many packaged and processed foods. Read the labels!
Avoid Most Dairy Foods
Naturally soured acidophilus yogurt is usually OK, and so is kefir made with cow’s milk
Avoid Breads, Pastries And Other Bakery Goods, Milk And Cheeses
While you don’t have to strictly avoid wheat products such as breads, flat breads are OK, made with a high quality wholemeal flour, water and salt only, it is better to avoid wheat, rye, barley, spelt and even oats, all gluten containing grains, for a while until your digestion and immune system improves. If you have been suffering with chronic psoriasis for many years, only a careful elimination and challenge will let you know if wheat based breads and grain based foods are working either for or against your skin health. You will soon know with a careful elimination and challenge.
In my experience, you will improve quite rapidly if you do decide to eliminate wheat in chronic psoriasis cases. If you must eat wheat, then eat flat breads made with only with a high quality wholemeal flour, water and salt, that way you avoid any added sugar and yeast. Alternatively, use a sour dough technique to make any bread yourself. Hard cheese is usually fine, but do bear in mind that any cheese has the potential to go moldy. Especially avoid moldy cheeses such as Camembert, Brie and Blue Vein. Aren’t they great though with a glass of red wine and some water crackers? See, you have plenty to look forward to when you finally recover!
ALL Alcoholic Beverages
Wine, beer, whiskey, brandy, gin, rum, vodka and other fermented liquors and beverages such as cider and ginger beer. Alcohol is an absolute no-go zone, and if you can’t stop drinking until you are really well then my Psoriasis Program is NOT for you! There is no “safe” alcohol, one website with plenty of psoriasis information surprises me by stating that gin and vodka are OK, but wine, beer and other spirits are not. Is it any wonder folks get confused when reading information online?
I’ve heard many psoriasis patients tell me that their skin can flare-up pretty bad if they drink a little too much. You may want to experiment here if you don’t believe me, because the less you drink the better you will feel. What happens when you drink alcohol is that it causes a dilation of the blood vessels, and this in turn will give your white blood cells and other substances in your bloodstream a much easier access to your skin which in turn encourages an inflammatory response, and this in turn increases the likelihood of a psoriasis flare-up. Alcohol also interferes with your digestion and causes dehydration, which can dry your skin and actually worsen your psoriasis symptoms. Alcohol affects digestion adversely and that reduces the ability of your stomach, small intestine and pancreas from functioning optimally. This in turn delays skin healing and causes fatigue amongst a host of other health problems.
Keep Away From Condiments, Sauces And Vinegar Containing Foods
This is a very much and completely over looked area, because most people who have psoriasis tend to narrowly focus on the sugar containing foods of junk foods. Did you know that this group has the potential to contain even more yeasts, molds and unhealthy bacteria than all the other groups put together? If I went to your refrigerator right now, how many jars would I find that have been residing there for weeks or even months? You would be surprised how often you have bought a jar of some sauce and forgot about it for ages. Do you check expiration dates on bottles foods in your refrigerator? I’ll bet you don’t. Take a look at your refrigerator today, and you’ll probably end up throwing out many different containers.
Sauces And Condiments To Avoid For A Few Months
- Barbecue sauce
- Bottled olives
- Chili sauce
- Mustard sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Hoi sin sauce
- Horseradish sauce
- HP Sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Pickled vegetables
- Salad dressings
- Shrimp sauce
- Soy sauces
- Steak sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- White vinegar
Avoid ALL kinds of vinegar-containing foods such as mayonnaise and salad dressings, especially those “fat-free” dressings because they are all high in sugars and these sugars are often artificial as well. Freshly squeezed lemon juice may be used as a substitute for vinegar in salad dressings prepared with extra virgin olive oil. You can use vinegar providing is has been naturally fermented, like Bragg’s Vinegar. Some people who treat psoriasis may tell you to avoid all vinegar strictly, this is not right in my experience. I have found that most all patients with psoriasis can tolerate an organic and naturally fermented vinegar that has not been pasteurized.
Avoid Malt Products
Malted milk drinks like Milo, Ovaltine, Horlicks, and cereals. Malt is sprouted grain that is kiln-dried and used in the preparation of many processed foods and beverages. Did you know that malt products contain gluten? Just in case you decide to go gluten free.
Avoid Edible Fungi
All types of mushrooms, champignons and truffles.
Watermelon, honeydew melon and especially cantaloupe (rock melon). Melons are particularly high in sugars and molds.
Cut Back On Or Avoid Coffee and Tea
Regular filtered coffee, instant coffee and tea, stop green tea, especially the first two weeks. This is tough, but if you were a slave to caffeine you would do well to slowly come down off your caffeine addiction, reduce to one cup per day. Remember, we are looking at improving your overall health to the highest level possible, and caffeine certainly does not play any beneficial role here. I do allow one cup of coffee a day on the Psoriasis Diet for those caffeine addicted souls who tell me that they would simply die if they didn’t have their morning cup! Have one coffee a day, but skip on the sugar and milk if you can. Try stevia, it’s nice if you need a sweetener. Believe me; you will not miss your several cups of coffee or tea once you start to eliminate these beverages from your diet. You will feel much better once your body is used to generating energy naturally and has become less reliant of caffeine to fuel it.
Avoid Fruit Juices and Sodas
Fruit juices are a big trap for many who believe that a glass of orange juice is a great way to start the day. You will need to avoid canned, bottled or frozen juices, including orange juice, grape juice, apple juice, tomato juice, pineapple juice and any other fruit juices. It goes without saying that all soda, carbonated and energy drinks are to be avoided entirely. About a year ago I started to experiment with a few patients with grapefruit juice, to which they added 5 drops of GSE (grapefruit seed extract) and I found it to be a great success. You may want to try this option, providing there is no added sugar in the juice.
Avoid Dried and Candied Fruits
Many people I have seen with psoriasis just love dried fruits, and routinely snack on them. Avoid them, as they are loaded with sugar. Apricots, dates, figs, pineapple, prunes, raisins, currants, dried apples, dried bananas, dried paw paw, etc.
Avoid Leftover Foods
Does this look like your refrigerator? Here is a problem I see with many who come to see me in my clinic about their psoriasis, they eat for lunch what they had leftover from dinner the day previously. Don’t make the mistake of cooking food for dinner, and then placing it in the refrigerator after covering it with plastic-film, or placing it in a container with a lid ready for reheating the next day. Molds grow in leftover refrigerated food.
Freezing is much better as soon as the food cools down, then heat to a high temperature to kill any molds, spores or bacteria. You are better off cooking just enough for your meal, and prepare fresh meals each day. This is what I do, I don’t have any left over foods. This takes a little more time, but when you begin to eat like this it will ensure that the meals you do eat every day are fresh and have no molds or spores on them that developed overnight.