Refined carbohydrates provide calories but do not contain enough nutrients. Sugar and enriched flour are examples of refined carbohydrates. These ingredients can have a bad effect on blood sugar levels, energy, appetite, and mood. Healthcare providers recommend avoiding enriched breads, pasta, and snack foods to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Cane sugar, brown rice syrup, and corn syrup are also on the list. Beverages rich in added sugar, such as soda, chocolate milk, sweetened coffee drinks, and fruit punch must also be avoided.
Trans fats can trigger inflammation. Avoid eating snack foods such as potato chips, crackers and pastries, frozen meals, peanut butter, canned soup and fast foods and switch to fruits and vegetables.
Meat and Eggs
Meat and eggs are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming too much of these can exacerbate the symptoms of osteoarthritis including inflammation. It is recommended to consume more foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna over red meat and eggs.
Fried and Processed Foods
According to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, cutting back on the fried and processed foods like frozen foods and fried meat can lessen inflammation. It could also help restore the body’s natural defense.
Heated, Fried, or Pasteurized Foods
Foods cooked at high temperatures are high in advanced glycation end product (AGE). AGE is a toxin that damages certain proteins in the body. When this happens, the body will try to break the AGEs by using cytokines which are inflammatory messengers. AGEs may result in inflammation and arthritis.
Dairy products contain protein that may contribute to arthritic pain. Instead of getting protein from dairy, have some spinach, beans, tofu, lentils, nut butters and quinoa. These could also provide the protein you need.
Just like omega-6 fatty acids, corn oil could also trigger inflammation.
Salt and Preservatives
In some cases, high consumption of salt may lead to joint inflammation. It is better to stay safe and reduce salt intake to a modest amount as possible. Avoid prepared meals because these are high in sodium.
Too much iron can develop osteoarthritic joint changes. Taking iron supplements must be avoided by individuals with osteoarthritis, unless recommended by a doctor.
Whether you’re managing or preventing osteoarthritis, the recommended diet is to eat foods which are high in nutrients.
To have healthy joints, try eating fresh fruits and vegetables, peas, beans, whole grains, seeds, nuts, lean meat and fish. These foods provide all the nutrients you need in keeping a healthy body and flexible joints.
Dietary supplements have also been shown to benefit people affected by osteoarthritis.
- Fish oils – These oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are shown to have helped in reducing inflammation in the body. This boosts the anti-inflammatory agents of the body.
- Vitamin C and E, copper, zinc and selenium – All these antioxidants help in lowering the level of cytokines in the blood. As a result, pain and other symptoms brought about by inflammation are also reduced.