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The Lupus Diet: Your "Lupus Grocery List"

The normal American grocery list is often filled with items that contain corn syrup, bad fats, artificial ingredients, and additives. This is dangerous and unhealthy for anyone, if these items are consumed regularly. However, if you have lupus or another lupus overlap illness, a grocery list packed with these types of items can be especially dangerous.

Though there is no such thing as the perfect “lupus diet” since every person has unique DNA variants, sensitivities, and allergies, it is important to be aware of foods that have been scientifically proven to be beneficial if you are living with lupus.

We, at More Than Lupus have put together a “Lupus Grocery List” to make your shopping not only more convenient, but curated to fit your lupus nutritional needs!


If you have certain forms of kidney disease, kidney stones, diabetes, and high blood pressure, please consult your doctor before you change your dietary habits.

Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Certain fats have been proven to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and levels of inflammation. Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been shown to lower lupus flares and nephritis (kidney lupus). Considering cardiovascular disease is the number 1 cause of death in SLE, consuming items that lower bad cholesterol and improve your heart health is a must!

For your grocery list:

  • Cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring)

  • Nuts and seeds (flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds)

  • Plant oils (flaxseed oil, olive oil)

  • Fortified foods (yogurt, eggs)

  • Tofu

  • Shrimp

Foods High In Vitamin D

Most people with SLE are deficient in vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with more severe disease activity and even antiphospholipid syndrome. Vitamin D (which is really a hormone, not a vitamin) is essential for immune function and is important to keep at a healthy level.

For your grocery list:

  • Oily fish (herring, swordfish)

  • Mushrooms

  • Egg yolks

  • Fortified foods (cow’s milk, orange juice, various breakfast cereals)

High Antioxidant Foods

According to the USDA, antioxidants remove free radicals from the body which can run rampant and actually damage cells, causing serious illness and even cancers.

For your grocery list:

  • Berries

  • Leafy Greens

  • Beans

  • Turmeric

  • Dark Chocolate

  • Pecans

Low Fat Foods

Typical American diets are full of high amounts of bad fats. This can lead to increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Eating healthy low fat foods is imperative in lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other health complications.

For your grocery list:

  • Low fat yogurt

  • Low fat kefir

  • Lean protein (turkey, chicken, lean white fish)

Healthy Carbohydrates

Unfortunately many of the carbohydrate foods we eat are made from grains that have been stripped of the nutritious bran and germ. Research links a high intake of refined grain foods with higher levels of inflammatory markers in the body. Always read labels (look for items that say 100% whole grain, or whole wheat) and stick to healthier carbohydrate choices!

For your grocery list:

  • Quinoa

  • Brown rice

  • Barley

  • Rye

  • Steel cut oats

  • 100% whole grain organic wheat bread

Colorful produce

Colorful fruits and vegetables contain valuable plant compounds that may help counter inflammation. Aim for at least five servings each day and the more colorful the better!

For your grocery list:

  • Spinach

  • Collard greens

  • Kale

  • Avocados

  • Blueberries

  • Strawberries

  • Oranges, lemons, and limes!

Calcium-rich products

Steroids and other lupus medications can decrease the absorption of calcium. You need calcium for your bone health, to maintain strong teeth. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and other body parts.

For your grocery list:

  • Low-fat cheese

  • Low-fat yogurt

  • Low-fat milk

  • Sardines

  • Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens

  • Broccoli

  • Fortified cereals such as Total, Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes (They have a lot of calcium in one serving.)

  • Fortified orange juice

  • Soybeans


  • Garlic (some say to stay away, but not enough medical evidence to support)

  • Turmeric

  • Ginger

  • Rosemary

  • Mint

  • Green Tea

Foods to limit:

  • Lard and shortening (use butter sparingly)

  • High sodium items

  • Mung bean sprouts

  • Alfalfa sprouts

  • Alcohol (in moderation)

  • Foods high in saturated fats, and trans-fatty acids

  • Processed meats

  • Foods with a lot of added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

  • GMO items

  • Caffeine (FDA suggests under 400 mg's daily)

Written By:

Kelli Roseta

**All resources provided by this blog are for informational purposes only, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. Kelli encourages you to always contact your medical provider with any specific questions or concerns regarding your illness. All intellectual property and content on this site and in this blog is owned by This includes materials protected by copyright, trademark, or patent laws. Copyright, More Than Lupus 2020.


November 2020

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