Arthritis can be a painful burden that warrants a comprehensive solution. As with most things in life, diet is an important factor when it comes to joint pain and arthritis. Many people ask what they can be eating or avoid eating to help them with their arthritis pain levels. Although diet choices won’t remove joint pain altogether, they can contribute to the overall wellbeing of your body and joints, and even may reduce discomfort caused by swelling. Below we’ll outline for you 5 types of foods to avoid with arthritis.
It’s no secret that alcohol and tobacco aren’t the best options when trying to lead a healthy life. It has been reported that smokers are at a higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis and heavy drinkers are at a higher risk for gout. Alcohol has the potential to interact with medication and it can also negatively affect the liver and its functions. Continued excessive alcohol use can increase inflammation throughout the body, as well as put you at a higher risk for heart problems and hypertension. Alcohol also flushes out vital nutrients from the body that are essential to muscle function and can cause dehydration. If you choose to drink alcohol, we recommend you stick to the recommended amount for your age and body type.
2. Saturated and Trans Fats
Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products like poultry skin, fatty beef, lamb, or pork, ice cream, bacon, pepperoni, beef sausage, cheese, and salami. They are also found in palm oil, a common ingredient in nondairy creamers, crackers, and cookies. Trans fats are artificially made as a cheap alternative to butter and to give products a longer shelf life. You can find these in fast food, processed foods, most margarines, and some baked goods. Both of these types of fat are tied to inflammation, heart disease, and other health issues.
3. Fried Foods
Of course, foods that are high in calories and fat, such as fries, chicken, donuts, or anything with a deep-friend label, aren’t a good idea for most people, but especially those who are suffering from arthritis. These foods can cause weight gain and an increase in body fat which can put extra stress on the joints. Additionally, body fat can actually make hormones and chemicals that can further increase inflammation levels. The act of frying food brings in another risk because many places fry their dishes in hydrogenated oils, giving you a dose of trans fats as well. Keep in mind, steaming, grilling, roasting, and baking are all healthier, but still tasty options.
4. Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are defined as whole grains with bran and germ (the two healthiest parts of the grain) removed, and can be found in white flour, white bread, white rice, rolls, crackers, and anything else baked with these ingredients. These refined carbs can cause a state of inflammation in the body. High levels of sugar in your diet can result in advanced glycation end product (AGEs). AGEs can damage some proteins in the body and may result in more inflammation. AGEs can also be caused by foods that are heated, grilled, or fried at high temperatures.
5. Salty Foods
If you have learned anything from this post, I hope it’s: know what’s in your food. Many foods contain too much salt or have extra, to give it a longer shelf life. Excessive consumption of salt can lead to inflammation of the joints, something arthritis sufferers already deal with enough. Limiting your salt intake may be a good idea if you are attempting to control joint pain.
With this list of foods to avoid if you have arthritis, we hope you have a better idea of how diet effects swelling, pain levels, and discomfort associated with this condition. Although diet is not the only component associated with treatment for arthritis, it can be a big contributor in reducing pain levels. Eating a balanced diet paired with an all natural joint supplement could be the treatment plan you need.
Need help choosing a joint supplement? Download our free eBook: How To Choose A Joint Supplement