Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent disease caused by continuous degeneration of the bones and cartilages of the joint. Frequently used joints like knuckles and wrists, and weight bearing joints like hips, knees and ankles, are most susceptible to this condition. Ailing joints lose significant amounts of mobility and functionality, and often exhibit symptoms like inflammation, swelling and pain. Keeping your weight under control and maintaining a healthy balanced diet can effectively deter the onset and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Conversely, unhealthy food choices can trigger inflammatory responses and exacerbate your condition. The following is a list of four types of foods you should avoid if you have osteoarthritis.
1. Whole Fat Dairy
Whole fat dairy is high in saturated fat, which promotes cholesterol buildup, hinders blood circulation and can instigate inflammatory responses. Some researchers advise that dairy foods should be avoided completely if you have osteoarthritis. Dairy is hard to digest and is one of the common allergens. But if you do not have a milk allergy, you may benefit from the extra calcium, vitamin D and linoleic acid in milk. To stay on the safe side, your best bet is to switch from dairy to soy products. Soy is comparable to milk in terms of the above nutrients. It also contains generous amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and a variety of antioxidants that help fight inflammation.
2. Trans Fat and Saturated Fat
There is nothing like trans fat to clog up your arteries, and you should take care to completely eliminate trans fat from your diet. Foods that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil have hidden trans fat. Saturated fat is a little better, but can still raise your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Fried and oily food, red meat, pastries and desserts are all strongly inflammatory and can aggravate your joint problems. Trade your red meat for cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, cod, and halibut. Cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E and pantothenic acid. These nutrients are very effective in dousing inflammatory and suppressing arthritic pain and swelling. Steam, boil and simmering your food are the best cooking methods to preserve the nutritional content without the excess oil.
3. Highly Sweetened Foods
Refined sugar is known for causing inflammations. Highly sweetened foods are also loaded with empty calories and frequent intake of these foods can make you gain weight. Some artificial sweeteners leave remnant chemicals in your body, which can exacerbate your joint issues. Opt for fruits as your sweet treats. Fruits are naturally sweet and are loaded with fiber, antioxidants vitamins and minerals which can help relieve your symptoms without the danger of weight gain.
4. Salty Foods
Sodium inhibits your body’s absorption of calcium and deters collagen production. A high sodium diet can lead to the loss of bone mass and reduced joint space. Keeping your daily sodium intake to below 2,000 milligrams is crucial to building healthy bones and cartilages and preventing joint deterioration. Spices like ginger, red chili pepper and cumin are all known herbal remedies for osteoarthritis. Use these herbs to enhance the flavor of your food instead of salt.