Eating can be one of life’s greatest joys. Eating for comfort can have an immediate effect on our moods, and it can often result in guilt. Eating can be a social event, or it can be done in private. Eating is sometimes only done to keep one alive. Eating a specific way is often done to either reduce weight, or gain weight. Eating often reflects cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and can be a way to show love to others. Eating and dieting go hand in hand and can bring about hope. So, is there hope for those who have fibromyalgia that in eating particular kinds of food, and abstaining from others will bring about much needed relief? Is it realistic to give advice across the realm to those with FMS without taking individual factors into consideration?
Along with exercise, eating specific kinds of foods has become the sensible and popular approach to good health in the 21st century. Fatty, salty and highly processed foods, as well as caffeine, colas, sugar, aspartame, preservatives and MSG should be avoided as much as possible in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We hear this advice often( See for example, the book The End of Overeating, by David A. Kessler) . Even more than one alcoholic beverage per day should be avoided. The issue of obesity is becoming a grave concern among health professionals, as is its polar opposite: anorexia. Furthermore, in order to enhance a healthy diet, eating locally and organically is highly recommended. But, what of the people who cannot afford to buy organically, who are often so fatigued that fast foods are easier on the body than hours of food preparation, who are living on a reduced income and cannot afford fresh fruit and vegetables? The literature on fibromyalgia is replete with advice about which foods to eat and which to avoid. Rarely does the literature take into account the challenges that face the sufferer who cannot meet the requirements for healthy eating.