It’s common knowledge that healthy diets can improve arthritis symptoms. Yet, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with new diet fads and conflicting research reports. In this episode, Rebecca and Julie tackle the most common diet trends for people with arthritis and discuss the pros, cons and risks.
Nutrition expert and registered dietitian, Dr. Lona Sandon, will help us separate fact from fiction.
Here’s a run-down of diets discussed on the episode:
Keto – The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet.
Paleo – A paleo diet includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and limits dairy, grains and legumes, including beans and corn; this diet became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago.
Intermittent Fasting – Doesn’t limit the foods you eat, just when you eat it; most intermittent fasting regimens recommend 8-16 hours without eating.
Cleanses/Detoxes – These diets have a short-term elimination of foods and/or food groups; many cleanse or detox diets include shakes, smoothies or fortified water drinks for the majority of your calories.
Tune in today to learn which diet can help you!
Now that the holiday feasts are over and the New Year is here, it’s a good time to take stock of your diet and consider healthy changes – especially if you have gout.
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that can unleash intensely painful flares in individual joints, often in the big toe. An estimated 8 million Americans experience gout attacks, which can last for a few days. The condition can also become chronic and lead to the destruction of joints. Although there’s no cure, there are medications to control gout, as well as lifestyle changes you can make to manage the condition – and reduce or even eliminate attacks.
Gout develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood; the uric acid can form needle-like crystals in soft tissues and joints. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down chemicals called purines. Purines occur naturally in your body but are also found in certain foods and beverages. If your body can’t get rid of the uric acid efficiently enough (it’s cleaned out of the blood by your kidneys and eliminated in urine), the uric acid in your blood can build up and reach levels that could cause problems (above 6mg/dl).
One way to minimize the risk of a gout flare is to cut back on high-purine foods. The DASH diet – a low-sodium diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables over red meats and processed foods – is recommended for people with gout. The Mediterranean diet – which emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains and healthy fats – may also help. Find more gout info here.
For specific foods and beverages, keep the following tips in mind:
Worst Foods & Beverages for Gout
- At the top of the list of what to avoid is booze. Beer and liquor readily convert to uric acid and they slow down its elimination. Studies have shown mixed results about whether wine is OK in moderation.
- Drinking sugary beverages, such as sodas sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices or other sugar-containing drinks, is associated with gout. Notable exception: cherries, especially tart cherries, may be beneficial for gout.
- Go light on red meats, particularly organ meats like liver, tongue and sweetbreads, which are all high in purines. Also avoid or minimize the amount of bacon, venison and veal you eat.
- Maybe surprising: Turkey and goose are very high in purines. Chicken and duck are better bets.
- Some seafoods also are high in purines, including anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters, oysters and shrimp.
- Some vegetables are on the watch list, too: Consider cutting back on mushrooms, asparagus and spinach – but veggies of any kind are much less likely to trigger a gout flare than alcohol or organ meats.
- Learn more about foods to accept or reject here.
There are also many things you can add to your diet to help avoid or manage gout. Drink plenty of water, milk and tart cherry juice. Drinking coffee seems to help as well. Be sure to talk with your doctor before making any dietary changes.
Get your New Year off to a great start, whether it’s changing your diet, getting in a more positive frame of mind, or embracing a feel-good hobby. Live your best life in 2020! Join the Live Yes! Arthritis Network FOR FREE. Our community is here to help you.
A diet that is full of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins can help you feel your best and stay healthy. And, if you have arthritis, adding fatty fish, nuts and healthy oils such as extra-virgin olive oil, may be especially beneficial. Continue reading Five Must-have Foods for Your Arthritis Diet
Food is part of the fun during the holidays, which can make sticking to a healthy diet a challenge. Take this advice from registered dietitians and enjoy yourself – without ruining your weight-loss progress or causing a flare.
Continue reading Stop the Holidays from Sabotaging Your Arthritis Diet
From granola bars to pasta, the flood of products touting high protein might have you wondering if you should be getting more protein. For most Americans, that’s probably not the case, and the packaged products filling grocery shelves may not be the best sources, because many high-protein packaged foods are also high in added sugars and calories.
Continue reading How Much Protein Do You Really Need in Your Arthritis Diet?
When you have arthritis, you know that what you put in your body has a huge impact on your health and well being. Maybe you’ve seen foods in grocery stores marked “Non GMO” or heard the debate over genetically modified organisms, and you may be wondering if you should avoid them. Opponents say foods with GMOs may be harmful, and a law was passed in 2016 requiring labels on them. Some manufacturers are voluntarily labeling their products. But experts say safety concerns are overblown.
“There is a lot of confusion and fear surrounding GMO ingredients in foods,” says registered dietitian Kim Larson, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Let’s clear up the confusion.
Continue reading Genetically Modified Foods: What You Should Know
Fiber packs a big punch when it comes to your health. Research shows it helps lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss, which can ease pressure on joints. Scientists also have discovered that nutrients in dietary fiber help promote beneficial gut bacteria, which may reduce inflammation. And new research found that eating a high-fiber diet is linked with a lower risk for knee osteoarthritis and pain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends about 30 grams of dietary fiber a day for men and 25 grams for women – much more than the 18 and 15 grams, respectively, that Americans typically consume. The good news is that adding just one fruit, vegetable or whole grain to every meal or snack can help.
Continue reading Fiber Up Your Arthritis Diet
Not too long ago, you had two nut butter choices to spread on your toast: creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Now peanut butter has competition, each with its own additional nutritional benefits. Add these tasty spreads to your arthritis diet.
Continue reading Beyond Peanut Butter: Add These Tasty Spreads to Your Arthritis Diet
Research has shown that eating a lot of refined carbohydrates, especially white flour and having a low-fiber diet increases inflammation. Getting 25g or more of fiber in your diet may also reduce the risk of colon and other cancers, lower cholesterol and possibly help regulate blood sugar. Stocking up on whole-grains products are good for overall health as they naturally have plenty of vitamin B-6, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, and manganese. And studies also show that people who eat three or more servings of whole grains a day lower their risk of heart disease. Because high-fiber foods can help you to feel full faster, eating the right amount may make it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy weight which is important for people with arthritis.
Have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Try high-fiber gluten-free grains such as amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and cornmeal.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Bread and Pasta
Meats, soups, fruits or vegetables, the canned variety offers many benefits. You’ll still get the inflammation-fighting omega 3 fatty acids in canned salmon, sardines and tuna. Canned vegetables and fruits are often processed shortly after they are picked, and nutrient losses don’t occur during shipping, on the grocer’s shelf, or in your home. Their portability makes them great for an arthritis diet on the go. They last longer and can save you money.
And there are some veggies that may be more beneficial in canned form rather than fresh. Canned tomatoes, for example, are a better source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, because cooking makes them easier for the body to absorb. According to a comparative analysis of canned, fresh, and frozen fruits and vegetables by the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, fiber content is as high in canned products as in their fresh counterparts and the canning process may actually increase calcium levels in fish as compared to its freshly cooked variety.
Continue reading Arthritis Diet Power Shopping: Canned Foods