Having arthritis can be a HUGE pain (no pun intended). Not only is it a physical inconvenience but overtime it begins to eat away at your quality of life. No longer are you able to do all the things you used to but now you have to rely on others to do these things for you. Like can I please just open this jar of pasta sauce on my own?? And don’t get me started on the PILLS! Thank God for small mercies. In all seriousness though, suffering from arthritis is no walk in the park. The pain can be excruciating and unless you have good pain medication, relief is far and in between. If you don’t want to live on pain medication though, there are steps you can take to help reduce your ailment. It is important to note that inflammation in your body exaggerates your symptoms and therefore, you will need to careful of the things you eat.
Alcohol in your diet will definitely aggravate any inflammation you currently have in your body. It is best to limit yourself to just one or two drinks per sitting. Anything more than that is cause for concern. Why not replace your alcoholism beverages with a non-alcoholic party drink as an alternative. You can still have fun without the consequent pain and regret.
2. White Bread
White bread is a no-no. Refined carbohydrates like this provide very little by way of nutrition and can fuel the production of advanced glaciation end (AGE) products which are known to promote inflammation in the body. It would be best to incorporate whole grain breads into your diet rather than use white bread. This is a healthier choice in terms of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
3. Ice cream
This will probably be a difficult one for most as ice cream is a favourite dessert for many people, but for those suffering from arthritis symptoms it would best if left alone. Sugar and saturated fat are major inflammatory agents in our diet and ice cream contains high levels of both. Though you may have a scoop or two every now and then, we suggest using something less problematic like a delicious fruit salad to quell your sugary desires.
4. French Fries
Fried foods and refined carbohydrates are another two things you want to avoid if you have arthritis. This is because they both fuel the production of AGEs. It is no wonder that French fries can be particularly aggravating if you have arthritis. Not only are they usually fried in vegetable oils which are composed of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but they are also typically covered in salt which aids in inflammation production. Consider using sweet potato fries as an alternative.
5. Cakes, Cookies and other Sweets
Going hand in hand with ice cream, these traditional treats are also loaded with sugar and saturated fats. Trust me when I say, the pain is not worth it. There are so many other choices to satisfy your sweet tooth. Why not substitute sugar for a natural alternative or swap out butter and cream for low- fat yoghurt. Your health is much more important.
6. Take out Chinese Food
Sodium is highly inflammatory and takeout foods tend to contain high quantities of it. Unfortunately, Chinese food will hit you with a double whammy as it tends to contain MSG (monosodium glutamate) which can trigger two separate inflammatory path ways. You definitely don’t want to mess with Chinese takeout if you have arthritis.
Soda on a whole is not the best option to have as a beverage based on its nutritional content but it’s even worse when you suffer from arthritis pain. Not only does it contain high levels of sugar but also aspartame and/or phosphoric acid. These three ingredients are quite a combination and will lead to flare ups of arthritic pain.
8. Safflower, Sunflower, corn and Soybean Oil
Now, we have stated that omega-6 fatty acids are quite pro-inflammatory and safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean oils contain more omega-6 than the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, these oils can make your arthritis worse. Avocado, walnut, flax seed or cod liver oils are better options for you to use.
9. Potato Chips
Just like French fries, potato chips contain refined carbs which in turn produce AGEs. They are also often loaded with sodium and fried in vegetable oil. We don’t have to tell you just how awful these can be for those of you with arthritis.
10. Red Meat
Persons with arthritic pain may find that they have flare ups after eating meat, particularly red meat. This is because meat, especially red meats such as beef or lamb, increase inflammation in the body. It is best to avoid red meat altogether if you can or when cooking, try to cook it off the grill.
You may be tempted to switch from butter to margarine thinking that this would be a better option for you, but do not be fooled. Margarine is just as harmful to your arthritis as is butter. This is because it contains trans fats, am artificially created fat that turns unsaturated fats into solids. Trans fats will lower your good cholesterol while increasing your bad cholesterol. In addition, your inflammatory markers in your body will also increase.
12. Processed Meats
All processed foods, meat or otherwise are major inflammatory aggravators. This is as a result of the saturated fats sodium that they contain. Additionally, processed meats are known carcinogens and can produce AGEs. It would be best if you limit your intake of these kinds of foods and maybe focus more on homemade meals.