The right diet can help you manage chronic pain.
Our diet frequently takes precedence over other lifestyle modifications when we want to make them. It can become a little more challenging to manage diseases. You will get a fairly limited list of meals if you search for “foods to avoid if you have arthritis” on Google, which can make controlling your symptoms even more difficult. Foods that are beneficial for reducing inflammation are also heart-healthy. Each system in the body is interconnected. Your diet will benefit from having more fruits, vegetables, good fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Everyone has moments when they might feel like having a piece of cake or some of their mother’s renowned lasagna. Go ahead and eat these things if your body can handle them. Being attentive to your body is crucial. If you feel better after giving up gluten and fried foods for a week, keep eating them. Otherwise, don’t. Let the feelings you have after eating a particular food or skipping it serves as a reminder, not a punishment.
Your diet can aid in the management of your chronic pain symptoms while reducing any inflammation that may be present in your body due to arthritis or other inflammatory disorders. Examine your diet and concentrate on the elements you can change or reduce right away. Simply keep in mind that food is not always the cause of inflammation; it can also be an ingredient or food group. Here are 12 foods that might make your body swell up.
Drinks Sweetened Artificially
Aspartame is a synthetic sweetener that can be found in a wide variety of foods as well as diet drinks. It is composed of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Despite being FDA-approved, studies on its effects have produced conflicting results, and it is unclear how it will affect those who have autoimmune diseases. Due to the fact that it is an unfamiliar substance, your body may react by attacking the chemical, which might create an inflammatory reaction. This is a process that takes place over time. This is a fantastic place to start if you often consume diet soda.
Studies have revealed that diets high in saturated fat, which is often present in abundance in processed meats and is associated with an increased risk of developing arthritis, promote inflammation in the body. Choose nitrate- and nitrite-free varieties. Reduce your weekly intake of bacon from four to two days.
According to several studies, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like soda or juice increases your risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Additionally, regular intake of beverages with added sugar has been connected to conditions like obesity, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation, all of which have been associated with the emergence of RA.
Here, it’s important to pay attention and thoroughly study labels. Trans fats are those that are listed as “partially hydrogenated oils” in an ingredient. Trans fats, which are frequently present in fried foods and have the same effect on the body as saturated fats do, have been linked to an increase in inflammatory biomarkers like C-reactive protein. Consuming trans fats is linked to a higher risk of obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for RA.
Consuming sugars, which are present in foods made from refined carbohydrates like white bread, has been proven to accelerate the production of AGEs, molecules linked to inflammation and the onset of arthritis. The majority of us have already switched to healthier bread kinds like whole-grain bread with more fiber, multigrain bread with nuts, or even gluten-free bread. Consider switching to face sandwiches as a simple way to cut back on bread.
The same guidelines that apply to bread also apply here. Refined carbohydrates are known to stimulate the production of AGEs, which are known to cause inflammation. It’s good to know that spaghetti is still an option! The weekend tradition of eating marinara and meatballs with your family can still be maintained with the availability of so many new bean-based pasta varieties and gluten-free options.
If you have inflammation, this is perhaps the most common category of “things to avoid.” Although the connection between gluten and arthritis pain is uncertain and has not been proven by studies, some people think that their arthritis symptoms get worse after consuming gluten. A higher risk of developing arthritis is associated with having Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease similar to some forms of arthritis. There are now more options than ever for consumers adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, including gluten-free pizza crusts, bread, pasta, and more. A word of warning: even if a food is free of gluten, it still contains calories. You still need to be careful to keep your diet balanced and your portion sizes in check if a gluten-free diet has been recommended to you in order to lose weight (which can ease the strain on your joints).
Soybean Oil and Vegetable Oil
Omega-6 fatty acids are prevalent in vegetable oils. Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for healthy development and growth, but the typical Western diet tends to be overly rich in them, which can lead to the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals when consumed in excess. An increased ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is linked to an increased risk of developing chronic inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, according to a 2012 study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Processed Snack Foods
Refined carbohydrates or sugars, trans fats, and vegetable oils are the trifectas of pro-inflammatory substances found in processed snack foods. The majority of chips and crackers lack nutrition and are frequently high in sodium. Try replacing the crackers in your cheese and cracker snack with a piece of fruit. Balanced snacks are just as crucial as balanced meals.
It makes me sad to think about giving up my favorite desserts. But consider your feelings when you indulge. Do you notice that your joints feel a little stiffer the following day? Maybe you have a little less energy than usual. The idea of realization is what’s important, not restriction. Never eat anything if it makes you feel bad afterward! Desserts frequently contain sugar and trans fats, which are major pro-inflammatory ingredients in processed snack foods.
Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption is acceptable and, in some cases, even helpful in lowering the risk of developing arthritis (it has been shown to lower inflammatory biomarkers like C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and TNF-alpha receptor 2). However, moderation is key. Alcohol may also burden the liver and interfere with the efficacy of treatments for arthritis.
Thousands of canned and prepared foods, deli meats, and fast food restaurants all contain this flavor-enhancing food additive. Although studies have not found a connection between MSG consumption and arthritis, some people think that MSG may act as a pain trigger for those with the condition. What’s the bottom line? Try to build your meals and snacks with a combination of one protein, one carbohydrate, and one fat in order to achieve balance. This formula can be found in my book The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss ($23.39, amazon.com). Prioritize blood sugar control as well, because it is one of the keys to preventing Type 2 diabetes. According to studies, Type 2 diabetes is linked to chronic, low-grade inflammation and may hasten the development of inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.