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HEALTHY

Find out how what you eat can affect your arthritis

Some people find that changing their diet can reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It may be necessary to avoid foods that trigger inflammation, like sugar and saturated fat. Purine-rich foods should also be avoided. Alcohol, bacon and trout are all examples of foods that can be avoided.

Unhealthy Fats

Different types of fat can increase inflammation in the body. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that someone with arthritis avoid:

 

Omega-6 fatty acid is found in oils, such as corn, sunflower, safflower and vegetable oil. Omega-6 fatty acids, when consumed in moderation are not harmful. Unfortunately, they are taken in large quantities by many Americans.

All sources of saturated fat include meat, butter and cheese. The daily calories consumed by an individual should contain less than 10% saturated fatty acids.

Trans fats are harmful to your health because they increase inflammation, lower “good” cholesterol and raise “bad” cholesterol. Trans fats have been removed from many prepared meals in the last few years. However, you should still read the nutrition information panel to make sure.

Sugar

A nutrition study found that people who drink sugar-sweetened soft drinks regularly are at a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Harvard Health states that consuming too much sweetener increases your risk of heart disease. Other possible outcomes include inflammation, obesity and chronic diseases.

Read the nutrition information on all breakfast cereals and sauces. Soft drinks may also contain a surprising amount of sugar.

Nightshades

The nightshade group of vegetables contains solanine. Even though it hasn’t been proven that nightshades can cause arthritis pain, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that removing nightshades from the diet may help relieve some symptoms.

Vegetable nightshade species

  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes

Arthritis Foundation recommends that people with arthritis stop eating nightshades and then gradually introduce them back into their diet. You can track their reactions to certain dishes by keeping a food diary.

High Purine Foods

In addition to gout medication, a doctor may suggest a diet low in purine.

Purines are converted by the body into uric acids. An accumulation of uric acids in the bloodstream can lead to a gout attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, purines are found in foods such as:

Red Meat
Organ meat, like liver
Alcohol
Lunch meats or bacon (or other cured meats)
Some types of seafood like mussels and clams

2018 study revealed that purine-rich food like mushrooms, beans, and cauliflower have no association with gout.

Summary

Sugar and saturated fats that cause inflammation can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Some people may also find that purine-rich food and nightshades can cause arthritis flare-ups.

You can remove certain foods from your diet for a couple of weeks and then slowly reintroduce each one to see if you find a trigger.

Anti-inflammatory food can help manage arthritis symptoms. Anti-inflammatory foods include plant-based food like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

A licensed dietician can help someone who is battling arthritis and has trouble finding the right diet.

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