GOOD FOOD IDEAS ANYONE?: Getting a bit confused re... - PMRGCAuk


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Getting a bit confused re. carbs . used to think all veg was good for everyone but seems not to be if you have PMR - since diagnosis couple of weeks ago am really trying to eat sensibly but need feedback from you good people - what veg can I eat in whatever quantity I want / is it right that root veg are a no-go area/ lots in press re. turmeric - what sort of meal could that be used in?/ not really in to fruit much, probably eat 3 bananas a week/ is yoghurt a "yes" food for PMR,/enjoy fresh fish 2/3 times week/enjoy chicken/ allow my self 2 lots of red meat per week.

Look forward to some answer from you all -

22 Replies

A basic rule for sorting out carby veggies from less-carby ones: salads and leafy veggies that grow above ground are good. Limit root veggies - I keep parsnips and potatoes of any sort to a minimum and for treats, I eat carrots a bit more. This is very basic - there are exceptions of course!

This is a good article with a really clear illustration:

where you can see that carrots onions and beetroot are not significantly higher in carbs than some above ground veg - but potatoes etc are relatively very carby!

Bananas are pretty carby, so are apples and grapes. Berries are best if you want fruit - I stick to veggies.

Celtic adds turmeric to stews and that sort of food. She used yoghurt to avoid needing omeprazole and co - but not the sweetened low fat stuff - I use Total Greek yoghurt - yum!!!!

winter10 in reply to PMRpro

Thanks so much for your reply re. carbs will take a look at that "dietdoctor" site!

I am not an expert but have managed to keep weight fairly steady by keeping and limiting carb intake. Your question re root veg:- I think this is related to Glucose Index values which can be misleading because of the limited quantities you would eat. Carrots and parsnips are ok in normal serving sizes. What you do need to watch are bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits and fizzy drinks. I do limit poatoes to one or to new type and we tend to eat more per potion in things like cottage/shepherds pie so watch that. Keep an eye on rice/pasta portions. If you cook and eat food that you prepare from basic ingredients will not contain hidden sugars or chemicals that are there purely to enhance the taste artificially. I can't comment on turmeric, although I use it in curry, don't use it in enough quantity for it to make any difference. Otherwise keep a close eye on the scales and if you notice your weight going up a pound or two think back to what you have eaten that may have been the culprit. Common sense? As I say I'm not an expert but doctors saying "Don't worry everyone puts weight on with steroids" is not helpful. I found the GI index helpful but you need to look at portion size as well as index value.

Hope that helps.

winter10 in reply to houndmum

Thankyou for your answer re. carbs/preds. Will look at GI index and see what I can learn!

I gave up simple carbs (sugary type stuff) and gluten on diagnosis. I heard it would stop a moon face. I then started to become a nutrition bore. It is important to eat a balanced diet, which I suppose is true for everyone, even those without PMR. I try and add food with vitamins and minerals that may be depleted by the pred eg oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, greens. Also anti inflammatories eg dark chocolate and red wine, what an excuse! I do add turmeric to things including scrambled egg and chicken pieces, I am not sure if it makes much difference. I also get sour cherry juice which I love.

winter10 in reply to piglette

Thanks for email re carbs - what measure of turmeric would you suggest with 2 scrambled eggs OR chicken pieces? Got to dash down to local shop - you have just reminded me I haven't any dark choc !!!!!!

piglette in reply to winter10

I just get those jars of turmeric and sprinkle it over. Try a little first and see how it tastes. I am not very good at measuring things out in recipes, I tend to just do it by feel. I will never be a masterchef!

winter10 in reply to piglette

thanks piglette, shall try turmeric in next couple of days!


I've heard that root vegetables are not a good idea, but without them I'd be getting very few calories and as I've already bottomed out weight-wise I eat sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips, occasionally white potatoes. I did give up most grains, especially wheat, eat rice always whole grain, and also eat seeds and nuts, eggs, lots of leafy greens, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cheese, small amounts of fish (this is a political or ethical decision because of the sorry state of our local fishery and the damage farmed salmon is doing), about three servings of fruit a day, unless you also count some of the vegetables like avocado and tomatoes. In summer I eat loads of salads, usually based on kale not lettuce, and in winter vegetable-bean soup with barley instead of rice or potatoes.

winter10 in reply to HeronNS

thanks for reply re. carbs - must buy some wholegrain rice tomorrow -and pleased to see mushrooms are ok.


To be honest - basically it all comes down to "did I gain/lose weight on what I ate last week?" And your particular weight problem - if I eat more carbs I don't lose weight or put it on. And then I look at the parsnips and have them once a fortnight rather than once a week - but I don't refuse to eat anything really. But I'd love Heron's problem...

But the question was "What veg can I eat unlimited amounts of?"

And the answer is: not potatoes or parsnips!

winter10 in reply to PMRpro

thankyou for mail re. carbs - having a big re-think again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have lost over 30lb in the last four months on a low carb diet. I don't avoid carbs completely as I usually have a banana for breakfast with low fat yoghurt and a sprinkling of oat-based cereal. Bread and potatoes are off the menu along with rice and pasta - except occasionally in restaurants. I really like broccoli and am planning some broccoli and Stilton soup for tomorrow! At Christmas, I had to give in to temptation in the form of roasted parsnips and just a couple of roast potatoes.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Annodomini

They are a rarity here - when I first went to live in Germany they had never heard of them! Now I can only find them in organic shops/sections of mainly shops that originate from Austria. But I never feel guilty about a small amount of roast parsnip and roast sprouts - about once a fortnight for the parsnip. Roast potatoes aren't a problem - they just don't do potatoes here that are worth it.

30lb in 4 months - that is brilliant!

winter10 in reply to Annodomini

Thankyou for reply just wish you hadn't put the words "roast potatoes in last sentence - I am salivating now !

If I can shift another stone, I will be reasonably satisfied. What I do want to get rid of is the steroid 'paunch'. I would like to have a waistline again. Now almost down to 2mg pred and the moon face is long gone!

I realize this post was mainly about gaining/ losing weight but after my back surgery there has been a concern about my bone health. After five years of prednisone, the doctors are, as you can imagine , wringing their hands. I was pretty good up to that time. I like to get my calcium from the food I eat rather than pills and was surprised to learn that along with the milk, cheese, yogurt, orange juice, broccoli that were my staples that prunes and figs were both high in calcium. It even suggests that prunes be used in post menapausal women that regard...I qualify 😀. My weight gain...ten pounds did not result from prednisone I don't think. The doctor slipped in an anti depressant when I had shingles and that weight went on so fast ...and will not leave. If I had not caught on I would be a blimp !!

winter10 in reply to 30048

Thankyou for email - like you I would prefer to get calcium from food not pills, but Doc. has given me calcium?vitD tabs 2 times a day now alongside Preds have ongoing lumbar degeneration probs too - thank goodness for this site - think I mayhave just rolled over and given up otherwise !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plod onwards.

The following are my personal views, so 'food for thought'!

Having read some of the replies, I don't think anyone has mentioned the fact of energy intake versus energy expenditure. Most of us have, no doubt, had to slow down somewhat since diagnosis, therefore we aren't using up as much energy as before, so we have to reduce our intake - if you don't take the car on such long journeys, you can't keep filling up the petrol tank or it will overflow! (This advice doesn't apply to PMRpro on the journey from Italy to the UK!)

I realise that carbs have a direct effect on blood glucose levels, but starchy carbs often come along with fat - 'bread and butter', roast parsnips and potatoes, biscuits, cakes, pastries etc. Fat has twice the calorific value of carbohydrate, gram for gram, so is likely to be as responsible for weight gain as other parts of our diet. Even 'healthy' fats such as olive and rapeseed olis are just as calorific. Therefore, those that have cut carbs and lost weight have probably also cut fat intake. An average portion of boiled potatoes, other starchy vegetables, bread, pasta or rice is fine, in my opinion and helps to fill us up and prevent hunger.

I agree it's a good idea to avoid added sugars in drinks and confectionery (apart from dark chocolate, of course!), but we do need some carbs to maintain blood glucose levels. The natural sugars in fruit come along with fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc, so it's not a good idea to cut down on fruit, in my opinion.

I eat more than my '5-a-day' fruit and veg, but keep my fat intake low by using low fat dairy products and eating very little meat, but more pulses and fish, including oily fish. I have carbs at each meal:- porridge at breakfast, bread or oatcakes at lunch and potatoes, pasta, rice or couscous at main meal.

In summary, this isn't far from the healthy eating advice that's been given out for decades, but can be difficult to follow when the food industry tempts us with foods high in fats and sugar!

I do use turmeric, but only in certain recipes and probably not in 'therapeutic' doses!

Apologies for the length of this reply.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Rugger

Sorry no - I have NOT cut the fat, I get through prodigious amounts of olive oil and butter! I use full-fat products and eat meat with fat and oily fish.

I have cut the carbs - drastically. And to do that you remove most processed foods - that low fat yog has a shed-load of sugar in it!!! As soon as I indulge myself with potatoes or bread - I stop losing and probably gain weight.

There is plenty of more recent study to show that there is a big difference in the calories of fat and the calories of carbs - they are not equal. And you do NOT need carbs to provide glucose. The human body is really quite clever and if there is no glucose available via carbs - the body goes into ketogenic mode and produces the required energy from fat. Which removes the fat stores.

I hesitate to use some of the guff on the internet but this explains it well enough

Hi there - thanks for your mail - interesting as usual - similarly to you but in change- about order I have 1.1/2 slice of toast (breakfast to take all the tablets. with - don't want them on empty stomach/porridge at lunchtime and main meal would have either jacket potato, or rice (which looks now like its a no-no unless wholegrain?) with either chicken or fish, but allow myself one red meat meal per week - and that is TODAY - hooray for that!!!!!

Love fish 2/3 times a week, usually salmon - mackerel is good unless I find ONE bone in it and the lot goes in the bin - like greek yoghurt but that's quite high in calories isn't it?

PMRproAmbassador in reply to winter10

Not the calories in numbers that matter - full fat Greek yoghurt and meat - nothing wrong with them!

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