Monday, March 27, 2017

Arthritis and Nutrition

Arthritis affects almost one in every five people in the US.  Maintaining a healthy diet free of foods that can cause inflammation in the body can be very beneficial.  You can start by reading the ingredient labels and look for indicated levels of saturated and trans fats.  Compare different product brands to see which ones have lower levels of unhealthy fats and sugars.  Switch to natural cooking oils like olive or avocado oil.  Avoid deep fried foods or ones that have been cooked at high temperatures.  Choose more low fat and trans fat-free options when buying packaged foods.  Add more omega-3 fatty acids and reduce omega-6 fatty acids.  Finally eat as close to natural as possible by consuming less prepackaged and processed foods.  

Foods to avoid:  

Fried foods, sodas, refined carbs, lard, processed meats, refined oils, salts, sugars, dairy products, simple carbs, processed foods, saturated fat, trans fat, alcohol, tobacco, white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries etc.

Foods that can reduce inflammation:

Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, flaxseed and walnuts), extra-virgin olive oil (use when cooking), antioxidants (sweet peppers, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, lemons, broccoli, cantaloupe, mangos, tuna, crab, tilapia, whole-wheat pasta, lean beef, cod, shrimp, turkey, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, apricots, spinach, onions, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, elderberries and apples), and spices (ginger and turmeric) are among some that are known to help.

If you have arthritis, it is important to find the foods that make you feel better. These food suggestions are guidelines and not a one size fits all.  Foods that cause joint pain for one person may not cause the same joint pain for the next person.  However, paying attention to what you are consuming can change the way you feel drastically.  Stay away from the foods that cause inflammation for you and find the anti-inflammatory foods that you like!  

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