TORONTO – One in six Canadians over the age of 15 report suffering from arthritis. And the inflammation that causes their joint pain can often be exacerbated with certain foods.
The ones to avoid, according to dietitian, author and public speaker Kim Arrey, are foods with a lot of saturated fat (found in red meat, cheese and butter), and with a high glycemic index. The latter will raise your blood sugar quickly and can lead to high levels of inflammation. Arrey cited white bread, potatoes and the sweet stuff – including cereals and instant oatmeal – as top culprits.
She and The Arthritis Society believe following the Mediterranean diet can help.
“By far the biggest impact of the Mediterranean diet is that it includes a healthy mix of foods at lower fat and calories than the typical North American diet, which can help people manage their weight,” explained Douglas Emerson of The Arthritis Society.
“Carrying excess body weight is damaging to your joints, and can contribute significantly to the pain experienced by a person living with arthritis.”
He added that many components of the diet are also believed to help fight inflammation, and in some cases even reduce pain.
Emerson highlighted the following parts of the diet that can benefit someone with arthritis:
But there is one component of the Mediterranean diet arthritis sufferers should be cautious about: “nightshade vegetables.” Those include eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes.
“These foods pack a lot of nutritional punch with few calories, but also contain a chemical called solanine that may play a role in arthritis pain for some people.
Both he and Arrey point out that there are over 100 different types of arthritis, so how one person’s arthritis reacts to certain foods can be different than another’s reaction.
“The bottom line,” Emerson said, “is make healthy food choices, eat in moderation, and discuss any health, diet or medication changes with your physician.”
© 2015 Shaw Media