Individuals with arthritis are well aware of the chronic inflammation associated with the disease. But did you know that the wrong diet can worsen your arthritis symptoms? Some foods can actually increase inflammation and the painful symptoms of arthritis.
If you suffer from arthritis, it’s important to avoid these six inflammatory foods:
- Red Meat
- Fried Foods
- Processed Foods
- Refined Grains
What are inflammatory foods to avoid?
Arthritis refers to the inflammation and breakdown of cartilage in one or more joints, which can lead to chronic inflammation and joint pain. This pain can be devastating to an individual’s health and overall well-being. If you’re suffering from arthritis, it is important to take steps to reduce inflammation. One such method is to adjust your diet.
It is important to understand which foods to add to your diet, and which foods to remove, in order to help reduce the chronic inflammation of arthritis. Researchers have found several types of food that can worsen your arthritis symptoms. We’ve compiled a list of the top six inflammatory foods which arthritis sufferers should avoid.
1. Red Meat
When considering inflammatory foods to avoid, red meat may not be the first one that comes to mind. In the past, red meat has often been considered part of a healthy diet. After all, some types of red meat are high in protein, vitamins, iron, and zinc— all of which are required by the human body to build muscle, bone, and maintain the vital systems which keep our bodies running effectively. But red meat can also have a negative effect on the human body and actually increase inflammation. The reason for the inflammatory effect is because, along with protein, vitamins, iron, and zinc, red meat also contains high levels of saturated fats and compounds referred to as advanced glycation end products (AGEs), both of which can trigger inflammation.
By eating red meat, individuals with arthritis are consuming substances which can further their chronic inflammation. It would be wise to minimize the amount of red meat and fatty acids in your diet or avoid it altogether if you can.
Much like red meat, dairy foods may not be the first ones that come to mind when thinking about inflammatory foods to avoid. It has long been believed that dairy foods can be beneficial to one’s health. After all, who doesn’t remember their mother making them finish their glass of milk when they were younger, so they can grow up to be healthy? In some respects, mom was right, and dairy foods do offer health benefits. Dairy foods are rich in protein, vitamins and are a great source of calcium and potassium. These nutrients are required by the human body to maintain the delicate systems which keep the body working.
However, similar to red meat, dairy foods— especially high-fat dairy foods like some cheeses, butter, and margarine— contain high levels of saturated fats and AGEs. This causes reactions in the human body which lead to inflammation. Therefore, you’ll want to be very careful when consuming dairy foods, and pay close attention to your body’s reaction.
Take note of how you feel when consuming dairy products and adjust your diet accordingly. A glass of milk may be fine to have every once in a while, but eating high-fat cheeses at every meal will almost certainly cause inflammation and worsen your arthritis pain. In the long run, you’ll feel better if you can remove all dairy products from your diet.
3. Fried Foods
Unlike with red meat and dairy products, it should be no surprise to find fried foods on this list. Fried foods have long been associated with unhealthy eating. Mom may have told us to finish our milk so we can grow up to be healthy, but she most likely never told us to finish our fried food so we can grow up to be healthy.
Fried foods are often high in trans fat and AGEs. Although it may taste delicious, this unhealthy food can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and, most importantly for arthritis sufferers, inflammation. Fried foods can be a major contributor to inflammation, leading to increased arthritis pain.
It is important for arthritis sufferers to steer clear of fried foods altogether. Despite being delicious, the negatives attributes of fried foods far outweigh any benefits. In addition to the unhealthy effects of trans fat and AGEs, fried foods also lead to weight gain when eaten on a regular basis.
Weight gain can further complicate the symptoms of arthritis. As arthritis sufferers know all too well, arthritis can lead to pain, stiffness and decreased mobility. Any additional weight gain beyond your recommended healthy weight can lead to increased pain and stiffness as well as decreased mobility. Fried foods can negatively affect your health, overall well-being, and quality of life. Keep away from fried foods and replace them with healthier alternatives when making your diet modifications.
4. Processed Foods
Arthritis sufferers should also avoid processed foods. The term processed food may refer to any food that has been deliberately changed by the addition of chemicals or by other means before it is available for consumption. Processed foods can include breakfast cereals, canned vegetables, canned fruits, baked goods, and prepackaged meals. Much like fried foods, processed foods often contain high levels of trans fat, which leads to painful inflammation. Therefore, processed foods, even though they can offer a certain level of convenience, should be avoided whenever possible.
Arthritis sufferers seeking to avoid the trans fats found in processed foods should always look for the term hydrogenated oil on suspected processed food labels. Hydrogenated oils should be avoided, as they contain trans fats and will likely lead to inflammation and increased arthritis pain.
As with fried foods and perhaps even processed foods, it should be no surprise to see sugar on this list. It has been well established that sugar is “bad” for us. Was there ever a time when we thought sugar was good for us? Maybe as children attempting to live out our dreams of entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. But outside that fantasy, consuming large quantities of sugar is most definitely a detriment to our health and overall well-being.
Eating sugar can lead to diabetes, heart disease and yes, painful inflammation. The refined sugars found in chocolate, candy, and soda can initiate the release of specific proteins found in the human body which leads to inflammation. Therefore, even though it may be very difficult, arthritis sufferers should avoid sugar whenever possible.
6. Refined Grains
Refined grains should also be avoided if you suffer from arthritis. Refined grains are typically found in foods such as white flour and white rice. When eaten, refined grains can lead to elevated blood glucose levels, which in turn cause inflammation. Consequently, arthritis sufferers should avoid foods consisting of refined grain from their diet. Additionally, foods which contain refined grains may also aggravate gluten sensitivities in those who possess gluten allergies.
Gluten can refer to the substance in certain grains which is responsible for the elastic properties of some types of dough. When ingested by those sensitive to and/or allergic to gluten, it can trigger a host of symptoms including fatigue, cramping, gas, nausea, a skin rash and, most notable to those with arthritis, inflammation.
Unfortunately, many individuals with gluten allergies are often unaware of their condition. Therefore, it is important for everyone suffering from arthritis to determine if they indeed have a gluten allergy. Keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of a gluten reaction. Your primary doctor may refer you to an allergist who can help confirm a possible gluten allergy.
If you’re suffering from arthritis, be sure to avoid refined grains. And if you are also diagnosed with a gluten allergy by a physician, you should carefully avoid products containing gluten as well. The gluten-free movement is growing, and there are a large variety of foods you can eat while on a gluten-free diet.
How to avoid inflammatory foods?
We’ve talked about a variety of pro- inflammatory foods which arthritis sufferers should avoid. But changing your diet is never easy, and avoiding popular foods can prove to be quite a challenge. The question remains, what is the best way to avoid inflammatory foods?
One of the best methods for making diet modifications is to use an approach often referred to as the substitution method. The substitution method employs the strategy of replacing inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods, such as leafy greens, vegetables, almonds, walnuts, tomatoes, olive oil, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and fatty fish like salmon. The substitution method can help you to avoid the inflammatory foods which increase the symptoms and pain associated with arthritis.
Avoiding inflammatory foods and adopting a natural anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way to help manage the inflammation and pain of arthritis. This is especially true in conjunction with other remedies for arthritis symptoms, such as exercise, anti-inflammatory drugs, and the use of an effective product like Arthritis Wonder cream. When applied to affected areas once a day, the wogonin contained in Arthritis Wonder will relieve osteoarthritis pain in as little as 5 minutes.
Chronic inflammation and pain negatively affect your health, mobility, and lifestyle. Arthritis can be a debilitating disease, but there are treatments and remedies like Arthritis Wonder that can help. One great way to improve your symptoms is to change your diet. By understanding which inflammatory foods to avoid, you can help minimize your arthritis symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
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