When it comes to relieving joint pain, a disciplined diet can have hugely beneficial effects. If you are affected by arthritis, bursitis, or another conditions that cause pain in your joints, the chemicals in some foods can result in increased inflammation and further pain.
We all know that eating our greens is a good idea, but which foods need to be avoided to manage pain? To help you improve your diet and look after your joints, here are five foods you should aim to cut down on.
Many of us have a sweet tooth. Unfortunately, sugar doesn’t like our bodies as much as we like it. For one thing, too much processed sugar in your diet can result in weight gain, increasing the pressure you put on weight-bearing joints like your knees. Sugar also triggers the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines, making your inflammation worse.
So detox your fridge of things like soda, cake, chocolate and sweetened juices. The occasional treat is okay, but cutting down your sugar intake is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health and take care of your joints.
2. Red meat
You should keep your intake of processed and red meats to a minimum, but you don’t have to cut meat out altogether if you don’t want to. Lean proteins like skinless chicken and quinoa are very good for you, providing vital nutrients and energy. On the other hand, saturated fat is known to worsen arthritis and cause inflammation.
If you are affected by arthritis, you need to keep your cholesterol low. This means saturated fats should comprise less than 10% of your calorie intake. Make some simple dietary swaps like choosing oils over butter, and opting for low-fat dairy products.
The jury is still out over whether small quantities of milk increase inflammation. But many practitioners advise people with joint pain to cut back on dairy consumption. If you like milk, limit the quantity you drink and always choose 1% or nonfat. Alternatively, opt for unsweetened almond milk instead.
4. Refined grains and flour
When we eat white bread and certain pastas, our digestive system quickly turns them into sugar. Refined grains also have a greater concentration of inflammation markers in our blood. Choose nutritious whole grains instead, like brown rice and multi-grain bread.
5. Trans fat
Trans fats have become synonymous with fast food, fried products, and junk food. While these foods can be tempting, trans fats trigger systemic inflammation, and should be avoided.
To keep your joints healthy, cut down on processed snacks like potato chips, and deep-fried foods such as French fries. Margarine, frozen packs, pies, donuts, and certain cookies are also high in trans fats.