Historically, people with CF have been advised to follow a high fat, high calorie diet with limited guidance around nutrient density and the quality of foods. This was because malnutrition was a common feature of CF and was directly linked to lower lung function and poorer survival. But times are changing. People with CF are living longer, healthier lives and some people are noticing changes in their weight after starting modulator therapies such as Trikafta.
Eating more than you need has been linked to new health concerns in CF such as obesity, insulin resistance and other hormonal disturbances. It may also increase the risk of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
There is also new evidence to suggest that the traditional high fat CF diet may contribute to intestinal inflammation, which may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
All this is to say that dietary recommendations for CF are evolving. A one-size-fits-all approach with the high fat, high calorie diet may no longer be appropriate for everyone.
If you are at a healthy weight or if you are overweight, you might consider switching from the traditional high-fat CF diet to eating a more balanced diet that includes healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado), fibre-rich foods (whole grains, fruits and vegetables), lean sources of protein, and reduced sugar intake. For more healthy eating tips, click here Tools to help you lose weight.
If you struggle to gain weight, continue to follow a high fat, high calorie diet with a focus on healthy fats. Regular consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is also important. For healthy high calorie tips, click here Healthy high calorie eating.