The RAD (rare adipose disorders) diet has been developed by Dr Karen Herbst, an endocrinologist from the University of California, San Diego. This diet is designed for those who suffer with disorders related to abnormal fat deposits. It promotes foods that are easy to digest and that reduce inflammation. Here’s a how-to guide:

EAT LESS
Refined food with high sugar content can wreak havoc with our bodies. There’s lot of information out there on which foods are the worst culprits for this in the low GI/GL diet. Such diets are widely used to control type 2 diabetes as well as PCOS. Eating low glycemic index foods (foods that digest more slowly, controlling blood sugar levels and leaving you fuller for longer) will lower insulin levels. This is important because insulin makes fat grow.  
 
Here’s a basic list of foods to avoid, but you should make a general rule of limiting sugary foods and drinks as well as anything white, refined and processed.

  • Sugars & sweeteners (including honey, agave and others)
  • Fruit juices (lemon & lime are okay)
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Breakfast cereals (including cornflakes, crisped rice, granola, instant oats)
  • Cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies
  • ALL alcohol. Alcohol is made from sugar, there is no such thing as a ‘low sugar’ alcohol 

Be warned: many diet foods will market themselves as wholefoods while still having excessive amounts of sugar and refined ingredients. 

Dairy products
The RAD diet advises that you limit the amount of dairy products you consume. This includes:

  • Most cheeses in the UK (unless otherwise specified, always check the back)
  • All milk products

Animal proteins & fats
Lowering your intake of red and fatty meats can be beneficial, because fats are absorbed directly into the lyphamatics of lipoedema sufferers. The following should be avoided:

  • All red meats (steak, mince, lamb, duck, mutton, goat, pork)
  • Fattier meat cuts – chicken thighs, briskets, shoulders, stewing cuts, bacon, gammon, sausage, most mince  

Salt
Lower your salt intake! Like sugar, when consumed in excessive amounts, salt is toxic. This especially true for sufferers of lipoedema as more water/fluid is retained – salt will only make this much, much worse.

EAT MORE
Liquid foods: Dr Herbst recommends eating more liquid foods. This is because each time we eat we generate inflammation as the lymph system surrounds the gut. Rest the gut by taking a day off and eating more liquid type foods such as: 

  • Soups
  • Stews (if with meat, then make sure it's pulled)
  • Protein shakes
  • Smoothies

Healthy proteins - lean meat and fish
Proteins are part of a balanced diet, though not all are the same. Stick to the following proteins when you're on the RAD diet (always going for organic, non-farmed varieties where you can):

  • Chicken breast
  • Lean turkey or chicken mince
  • Fish and various seafoods (salmon, tuna, cod, haddock, plaice, prawns etc)
  • Eggs

Organic fruits & vegetables
You are of course unlimited in the amount of fruit and vegetables you can eat, though some are better than others. Dr Herbst recommends increasing the amount of raw vegetables that you eat, because this increases the advanced glycation end products which can cause damage in the body. Here are the best vegetables (based on GI rating):
 
Green peas, Cucumber, Sweetcorn, Raw carrots,Eggplant/aubergine, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage,  Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Chillies, Dark green leafy veg (spinach, curly kale), All lettuces, Red, green and yellow peppers, Onions (of all kinds)
 
Low GI carbohydrates
Carbs are not your enemy – you just have to eat them in the right proportions. Here’s a list of low glycemic carbs:

All-bran, Oat bran, Rolled oats, Natural muesli, Shredded wheat, Soya & linseed breads, Pumpernickel, Rye bread, Heavily seeded, wholewheat breads, Ryvitas (especially dark rye). Wheat pasta shapes. Brown rice  Pearled barley,  Sweet potatoes, Wholewheat tortillas