Fats And Oils To Avoid
Not all fats are created equally. Learn which ones to limit in your anti-inflammatory diet.
Not too many years ago, people were told to avoid all fat. Today, fat is no longer the dietary bad guy. In fact, certain fats are essential to a healthy eating plan. But others may increase your inflammation and harm your overall health.
Fats to Limit
Found in meat, butter and cheese, saturated fats stay solid at room temperature. Saturated fats can raise your total and your LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels. People with arthritis are more at risk for heart disease, so they need to be watching , says Christine McKinney, RD, a clinical dietitian at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Small amounts of saturated fats can be incorporated into a healthy diet, but should be limited to less than 10% of your total calorie intake. That would be no more than 20 grams of saturated fat per day for a person consuming 2000 calories.
Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Polyunsaturated oils contain two types of essential fatty acids : omega-3s and omega-6s. Omega-3s are found in oily fish, flaxseeds and walnuts and are known to be anti-inflammatory. Omega-6s are found in oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, soy and vegetable, and products made with those oils. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals, and the American diet tends to be very high in omega-6s. They arent bad and shouldnt be avoided, but you dont want them to dominate your intake.
May Accelerate The Skin Aging Process
Wrinkles are a natural sign of skin aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health.
However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed up the skin aging process.
Advanced glycation end products are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging .
Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely .
When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.
More research is needed to fully understand the connection between sugar and skin changes in humans.
Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.
How To Consume Sugar In Moderation
These simple practices may seem small, but youll be amazed how they reduce your osteoarthritis pain. If your knee is hurting, give Arthritis Knee Pain Centers® a call at 1-833-300-5633 or visit arthritiskneepain.com to schedule your FREE, no-obligation pain assessment.
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How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body
Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isnât good for you. Yet youâre probably still overdoing it. Americans average about 270 calories of sugar each day, thatâs about 17 teaspoons a day, compared to the recommended limits of about 12 teaspoon per day or 200 calories.
Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose.
No matter what itâs called, sugar is sugar, and in excess, it can negatively affect your body in many ways. Hereâs a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe.
How Does Sugar Affect Chronic Pain
Consuming sugar causes our bodies to release insulin and stress hormones. These chemicals, in turn, can trigger inflammation, which is one of the most common causes of chronic pain.
Inflammation occurs when the body sends white blood cells to an area of injury or infection. The white blood cells then go to work protecting and healing the affected area. This sudden influx of cells to a single place causes swelling, redness, and tenderness.
Sometimes this swelling may pinch or aggravate nerves, which can cause pain. Inflammation is a very natural response to bodily harm, but it can become chronic if it continues even in the absence of injury. Excess sugar consumption can promote chronic inflammation.
The parts of our bodies where we have the least amount of blood circulation are at greatest risk of inflammation. That is why the joints and back are common chronic pain points and can be the most dramatically impacted by sugar consumption.
Research points to refined sugars as posing the greatest risk of causing inflammation. Refined sugar is the type you find in sweets like baked goods, candy, and ice cream.
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And Go Easy On Coffee Concoctions
Thats because a medium pumpkin spice latte from one popular coffee house has more than 12 teaspoons of sugar and 420 calories a medium frozen mocha swirl from another chain contains about 35 teaspoons of sugar and 730 calories. Thats right in one drink. Some flavored syrups are all sugar, says Dubost. Unsweetened tea and coffee are your healthiest options, she adds, but if you prefer flavor, consider the syrups made with non-nutritive sweeteners.
Why Is Sugar Bad For Osteoarthritis
Consuming too many processed sugars can lead to the release of cytokines, pro-inflammatory proteins that can lead to increased joint pain, stiffness, and swelling for those already suffering from osteoarthritis. In addition to these cytokines, refined sugars can also lead to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.
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Theories That Link Sugar Intake With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Should I Cut Out Gluten Dairy Or Choose A Plant
Many people with arthritis have concerns about a link between eating gluten and the symptoms of arthritis being made worse. But there is no research that directly links gluten to any type of arthritis.
Some people can experience problems with gluten, including coeliac disease, allergy and intolerances. But these are very rare, and you should speak with a doctor or dietitian if you are having problems.
Some people say that a dairy-free diet helps their arthritis. However, research on this is mixed, so its worth seeing what works best for you.
If you feel unwell after eating dairy, you could be lactose intolerant. This means that you cant properly digest lactose, the sugar thats naturally found in milk products. If youre concerned about this, its worth speaking to your doctor.
Dairy products, such as milk and yoghurt, are packed with calcium. Calcium helps to maintain healthy bones, and if you dont get enough calcium, it can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Many people with arthritis are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis
If you decide to follow a vegan or plant-based diet, it can help you get more fruit and vegetables on to your plate Its important to make sure you get all the nutrients you need, particularly calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D and selenium. Read our vegan diet tips.
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Foods That Can Make Arthritis Worse
Arthritis, also known as joint inflammation, is inflammation of one or more joints in your body. The term “arthritis” itself isn’t actually a single disease, but refers to 100+ types of arthritis and related conditions. Symptoms throughout the body include pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion that makes performing certain tasks difficult, and these symptoms can intensify with age.
If you suspect you suffer from arthritis, it’s always best to meet with a healthcare professional to determine the best path of action for you. But in addition to medications, physical therapy, and potentially joint surgery, lifestyle changes can make a big impact on how severely you experience arthritis symptoms.
“With arthritis, we want to keep inflammation at bay. The less inflamed the joints, the less pain you will be in,” says Daily Harvest‘s nutritionist Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN. So how should you go about reducing inflammation? As a first step, avoid the foods that science links to chronic inflammation from your diet ASAP. An excellent starting point: ” fried foods and refined sugar while increasing less-processed whole foods can alleviate some symptoms of arthritis, like pain and swelling,” notes Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, owner of Chelsey Amer Nutrition, adding that doing so can also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Read on for 20 of the worst foods that can make arthritis worse so you know what to skip.
May Increase Your Risk Of Depression
While a healthy diet can help improve your mood, a diet high in added sugar and processed foods may contribute to changes in mood and emotions.
It may even increase your chances of developing depression.
Researchers believe that chronic systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and a disrupted dopaminergic reward signaling system all of which can be caused by increased sugar consumption may contribute to sugars detrimental impact on mental health .
A study following 8,000 people showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day .
Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes .
A diet rich in added sugar and ultra-processed foods may increase depression risk in both men and women.
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Add Even More Good Guys
You shouldnt have to deal with RA alone. Because its a chronic disease, your and your doctors responses to your symptoms change over time. You may find that as you improve your diet and become healthier, you dont need as many medications, or may even be able to switch to therapies that have fewer side effects.
To find out if your diets working for your health, to get help making changes, or to build an RA support team, contact us today. Reach out to the office nearest you by phone or use our online system to request an appointment.
How To Reduce Sugar In Your Diet
Cutting back on sugar? Here are six sweet alternatives and the best ways to use them.
Whether youre trying to cut calories, reduce inflammation or curb your consumption of refined products, reducing table sugar in your diet is a smart start. While some people can cut out table sugar cold turkey, others may prefer to use alternative natural sweeteners or even artificial sweeteners in sugars place. Here are six alternatives to sugar, along with their pros and cons and how to use them. Sweetener SafetyWith so many products to choose from, it can be a challenge to pick the right one. Complicating the picture is that some artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are controversial, despite having FDA approval, and their safety is still being studied and debated. Natural sweeteners arent off the hook either: Some, like agave, are charged with being too processed, while others are no different calorically and metabolically than sugar.Why is it so hard to get a straight answer about these non-sugar sweeteners? Food studies are notoriously hard to do on humans: They take a long time to complete, humans eat many foods that interact with each other and often it is hard to separate food choice from more general health behaviors. Plus, many studies are funded by the industry, which has a stake in the outcome, or they are done in animals, which may not translate to humans.With those caveats, heres our scoop on six sugar substitutes.
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Gluten May Be A Food To Avoid With Arthritis
Research shows that some people with rheumatoid arthritis also have celiac disease, which is triggered by gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains that gives dough a chewy texture. When someone has celiac disease, eating gluten causes an immune reaction in the small intestine that can lead to bloating and diarrhea.
In some people, the inflammatory reaction may extend to the joints, which only aggravates rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. While dietary interventions for rheumatoid arthritis remain controversial, the gluten-free trend is showing some positive results, notably the easing of celiac rheumatic symptoms, according to research published in September 2016 inAutoimmunity Reviews. But before trying a gluten-free diet, get tested for celiac disease, Michet suggests.
How Added Sugar May Worsen Arthritis Symptoms
Consuming too much processed sugar causes the body to release pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines, says Bruning. Cytokine levels are already high when you have inflammatory arthritis that chronic inflammation is what causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints.
Overindulging in high-sugar foods also stokes your appetite and can cause weight gain. Added sugar contributes calories with no nutritional value, explains Joy Dubost PhD, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and food scientist in the New York City area. When youre overweight or obese, that fatty tissue produces hormones that can put you into more of an inflammatory state.
In fact, a review of research found obesity can lead to more active and severe rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Extra weight also puts more pressure and stress on the joints, which can worsen the pain and stiffness associated with inflammatory arthritis, say experts.
Another effect of too much sugar in your diet: too many harmful compounds called AGEs form in the blood, which also contribute to chronic inflammation.
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Sugary Drinks And Arthritis
Sugary drinks can also be a problem if you have arthritis. Studies have shown that there is a strong association between gout and sugar-sweetened soft drinks containing fructose. Research also shows that there is evidence that fructose has a specific effect in promoting obesity in the U.S.
Other studies have concluded that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soda can cause an increased risk of RAhowever, that doesnt include diet soda. Sugary drinks are known to increase inflammation in the body.
Soda is another source of sugar to avoid if you have arthritis. An average can of soda is 150 calories and the majority of the calories is from added sugar. There is an average of 10 teaspoons of sugar in an average can of soda. In addition, soda tends to have high amounts of phosphate. If phosphate is not properly balanced with calcium it can cause damage to the bones.
How To Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Excessive added sugar has many negative health effects.
Although consuming small amounts now and then is perfectly healthy, you should try to cut back on sugar whenever possible.
Fortunately, simply focusing on eating whole, unprocessed foods automatically decreases the amount of sugar in your diet.
Here are some tips on how to reduce your intake of added sugars:
- Swap sodas, energy drinks, juices, and sweetened teas for water or unsweetened seltzer.
- Drink your coffee black or use a natural alternative for a healthier option.
- Sweeten plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavored, sugar-loaded yogurt.
- Consume whole fruits instead of sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies.
- Replace candy with a homemade trail mix of fruit, nuts, and a few dark chocolate chips.
- Use olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
- Choose marinades, nut butter, ketchup, and marinara sauce with zero added sugars.
- Look for cereals, granola, and granola bars with under 4 grams of sugar per serving.
- Swap your morning cereal for a bowl of rolled oats topped with nut butter and fresh berries, or an omelet made with fresh greens.
- Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
- Use natural nut butter in place of sweet spreads like Nutella.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar, or agave.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.
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