Last week we talked about a healthy diet for arthritis sufferers, on the flip side, here are some pro-inflammatory foods you should try to avoid.
Consumed properly and in moderation, notorious artery-cloggers like meats, eggs and dairy products can be an important (and delicious) part of a healthy diet. And sometimes it can be hard to find protein and certain vitamins elsewhere.
But these foods also tend to be guilty of containing large amounts of saturated fat and a fatty acids called arachidonic acid, both of which can make inflammation worse. Similarly, trans fats can cause the same problems, but without some of the benefits. Insist on low fat dairy products, lean meats and egg whites.
Sugary Foods and Simple Carbs
This category contains the most obvious pro-inflammatory bad habits… and for many people the most difficult bad habits to break. High-sugar foods such as soft drinks, some juices, candy, pastries, popular “candy coffees” like mochas and blended iced drinks, and sugary cereals can all lead to inflammation (as well as innumerable other problems). The list is long and notorious. High-sugar foods worsen inflammation because they increase levels of pro-inflammatory compounds like cytokines. Foods like white rice and white bread — while less obvious than Snickers bars — can have similar effects.
There’s plenty of debate about nightshades — i.e. foods like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant — but many experts believe that this family of plants makes inflammation pain worse, despite other, more obvious and well-documented nutritional benefits. The reason lies in a chemical called solanine, a natural substance used by plants as a defense mechanism that has been known to cause pain in some arthritis patients. Since the science here is still unclear, monitor your own reactions to these foods.
TV Dinners & Fast Food
We know the allure — you’re busy, with little time to cook. But cheap, frozen, pre-prepared dinners and fast food taste decent for a reason. Since it’s difficult to lock in more natural flavors in such foods, these meals tend to contain enormous amounts of lowest common denominator ingredients like sodium and cholesterol instead. Despite the tempting benefits, avoid these.
Grimacing about changing your dinners? This kind of diet isn’t that different from what most nutritionists recommend for non-arthritis patients as well. So use the anti-inflammatory benefits as the motivation you’ve been looking for to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Visit our Guide to Joint Health for more arthritis health and lifestyle tips and remember to continue using Castiva Warming Arthritis Pain Relief Lotion with Capsaicin or Castiva Cooling Arthritis Pain Relief Lotion for fast acting temporary relief from arthritis and joint pain.