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.
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.
Whether you’re serving them up in a sauce or stringing them for decorations, cranberries are a cheerful holiday staple. The bright berries are packed with antioxidants and fiber, providing cardiovascular and immune support. The problem is that we normally eat these tart berries in super-sweetened products. But by making your own cranberry treats, like these, you can get the nutritional perks without a sugar overload.
Good-for-you foods provide a vast spectrum of nutrients important to battling arthritis inflammation, strengthening bones, fighting disease and generally helping you feel your best. So why not load up on vitamin and mineral supplements to make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients? Food trumps supplements for several important reasons:
You’re aiming to cook healthful, anti-inflammatory meals, but you’re in need of some wholesome side dishes. You want your plate full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats to pack a nutritious, anti-inflammatory, and arthritis-friendly punch.
You may be tempted to reach into the cabinet for a convenient box of seasoned pasta or even a rice mix to make your life easier, but Heather Bainbridge, a registered dietitian at the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, says it’s almost as quick – and a lot healthier – to make easy sides yourself.
Those with or even a mild sensitivity to gluten– a protein naturally found in wheat, barley and rye – may need to be creative when it comes to cooking and baking from scratch. Gluten can cause an inflammatory response in the body and may worsen arthritis symptoms if you have a sensitivity. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you think you have an allergy before eliminating gluten. Here are five lesser-known grains for standard flour that you can try.
Crafting an arthritis-friendly diet? Not all salads are created equal. What starts as a healthy foundation of vegetables often winds up suffocated in condiments and high-fat toppings.
Be picky about what you put on your salad, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, professor and Guthrie chair in nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “When you cut down on calorie-dense ingredients, you can ultimately eat more salad,” she says.
Build a healthier salad with these tips: