Following the basics of healthy eating can help improve health and wellbeing in everyone, including those with arthritis.
Keeping a healthy weight helps reduce the load on weight-bearing joints including the spine, hips, and knees, making life easier.
Unfortunately, no special diet has ever been proven to significantly alter the course of any type of arthritis with perhaps the exception of gout. However, people always want to know what they can do to change their diet to improve their disease.
The Western Diet and Inflammation
High levels of CRP, a marker for inflammation, have been linked to the “Western Diet”. This diet is the perfect recipe for inflammation because it consists of high levels of saturated fats from meat products, plus highly processed or refined white flours.
The “Western Diet” is an ideal “Pro-Inflammatory” diet because it consists of high levels of refined sugars, few phytochemical rich vegetables and fruits, and it is high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fats.
Foods to Know
Common Pro-Inflammatory Foods
- White Breads including bagels
- Processed meats such as hot dogs or bacon
- Red meats such as grilled steaks or barbecued ribs
- Oils that solidy at room temperature including butters, margarine, lard, and even coconut oils.
- Dairy including milk, ice cream, and cheeses
- Sweetened drinks including sodas and fruit juices
- Sugary snacks including cake, candy, jams, and sugar itself
Common Anti-Inflammatory Foods
- Salmon and Anchovies
- Walnuts and Almonds
- Beans and Lentils
- Yogurt and Kefir
- Purple vegetables
- Fruit such as apples, blueberries, grapes
- Spices including Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon
- Olives and Avocado
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The 10-Step Arthritis Diet Plan
- Weight Loss: If you are overweight then weight loss almost always seems to help people with arthritis regardless of how you do it. People always feel better carrying less weight around.
- Increase your servings of fruits and vegetables
- Eat whole grains
- Replace red meat with beans and other legumes or nuts
- Include fish (salmon) and white meat (chicken breast)
- Moderate dairy products and eggs
- Select health fats and oils such as olive oils. Avoid any fats that solidfy at room temperature
- Add herbs and spices such as turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, and ginger
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid sweet treats and desserts
To learn more about your diet and arthritis we recommend the book: The Complete Arthritis Health, Diet Guide, & Cookbook by Kim Arrey and Dr. Michael Starr.