A good diet is important for everyone, but for people suffering from arthritis it becomes even more important. A good diet not only helps a person stay fit but also keeps the disease in check. Experts, in a nutshell recommend seven basic guidelines for a balanced and a healthy diet, they are:
- Eat a variety of foods
- Maintain ideal weight
- Avoid too much fat and cholesterol
- Avoid excess sugar consumption
- Eat foods with enough starch and fiber
- Avoid too much sodium
- Drink alcohol in moderation
Based on the recommendations suggested by your physician or doctor you could alter the above such that it suits you.
Some salient aspects which determine a good diet for an arthritis patient are:
A good diet includes some choice of items from each of five different groups of foods:
- Breads and cereals
- Poultry, fish, lean meats, or dried beans
- Low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt
Eating a variety of foods gives you the nutrients your body needs to grow and function well.
However, one needs to keep in mind that arthritis could make it hard to induce variety in the diet.
- Fatigue and pain can lower your appetite
- Also swollen joints and loss of movement can make you avoid foods, such as vegetables, that need more time or effort to prepare and cook
A few tips to bear in mind while choosing a healthy diet are:
Alcohol can affect the way arthritis drugs work. It can weaken your bones. And it also adds pounds, since alcohol puts extra sugar in your diet.
Watch Sodium Intake
Many older adults with arthritis also have to watch how much sodium (salt) they eat because they have high blood pressure. While some frozen and fast foods are convenient, they may also be high in sodium. Some arthritis drugs, such as corticosteroids, may cause the body to keep too much sodium. Sodium causes your body to retain water, which can affect your blood pressure.
A few things to include in the diet:
- Starchy foods are high in carbohydrates, which help supply your body’s energy needs. When cutting down on fats and sugars in your diet, you need to increase the amount of starchy foods you eat to give your body another source of fuel for energy
- Fiber helps in avoiding constipation and keeps your bowels regular. Some types of fiber result in softer stools and more rapid elimination of waste.
What Foods are Bad for Arthritis?
To make your arthritis diet healthy and balanced besides adding healthy food one need to eliminate foods that are bad for arthritis. Now the question arises is what food is bad for arthritis? Listed below are few food items which are considered to be bad for arthritis and worsen arthritis symptoms:
- Dairy products
- Excess sugar and salt
- Caffeinated and carbonated drinks
- Red meat
- Additives and preservatives
- Night shade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, red peppers, etc.
- Tobacco or smoking