How To Eat Less Salt
Excess salt consumption can raise your risk of serious health problems. | By Linda Richards
Health experts agree, too much salt is a bad thing. But how much is too much? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , people over 51 years old, African Americans, and those with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease should get 1,500 mg about ½ teaspoon of sodium each day. Everyone else should limit salt to less than 2,300 mg a day. Yet the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium a day.
Too much salt makes cells attract water like a sponge. The retention of water increases pressure on blood vessels and raises blood pressure, says Lalita Kaul, PhD, nutrition professor at Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C. Cutting down on salt can lower your risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, kidney disease and a heart attack. Eating less salt may also reduce calcium loss from bones, reducing osteoporosis and fracture risk.
People with rheumatoid arthritis may feel salts effects even more. Corticosteroids, commonly used to treat RA, cause the body to hold more sodium. Kauls advice: Keep salt to less than 1,500 mg daily.
Even if you arent a salt shaker, you may get too much. Nearly all canned, ready-made convenience foods contain sodium to keep them from spoiling. Restaurant cooks add salt to make food tasty.
Easy Ways to Lower Your Salt Intake
Foods And Beverages To Avoid With Arthritis
Arthritis is a common health condition involving chronic inflammation in your joints. It causes pain and damage to joints, bones, and other body parts depending on the type .
Osteoarthritis, which is noninflammatory, is the most common though over 100 types exist. In fact, up to 40% of men and 47% of women may be diagnosed with osteoarthritis during their lifetime .
Meanwhile, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory conditions that are considered autoimmune diseases. Gout is another common type of inflammatory arthritis .
Research shows that dietary interventions, such as eliminating certain foods and beverages, may reduce symptom severity in people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as improve their overall quality of life.
Here are 8 foods and beverages to avoid if you have arthritis.
Sugar Intake Promotes Weight Gain And Obesity Which Can Worsen Arthritis
Obesity is common among arthritis sufferers and forms a risk factor for the development of arthritis.
Losing weight is one of the therapy goals in arthritis. Added sugar intake is very well associated with obesity and weight gain.
Added sugar makes you crave for food that is deficient in nutrients and high in carbs making your body nutritionally deficit and gain more weight.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, added sugars in beverages are the most highly consumed, which is responsible for obesity and weight gain.
Research states that the added sugar can make you obese by increase body fat, muscle fat and liver fat. Therefore, sugar intake can be harmful in arthritis patients by increasing pain and inflammation in the body.
What does this mean?Obesity is a risk factor and reason for worsening arthritis symptoms. Added sugar is prominent in increasing weight and obesity which can lead to more damage to your body and complicate arthritis management.
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Why Quitting Sugar Is So Darn Hard
Are you ready to quit sugar cold turkey? Good luck. Not only is sugar-free food hard to find, but evolutionary and cultural influences come into play, too.
Back when food was way scarcer, our ancient ancestors needed to take every advantage they had to consume high calorie foods. So the human brain evolved to perceive sugarand fatas very rewarding, says Schwartz. Today, our brains are still wired for feast or famine, even though you can buy thousands of calories of food for a couple bucks at the local convenience store.
Schwartz agrees that sugar can cause major health problems, but says it isnt acting alone. The most potent way to activate the brains reward system is actually by combining sugar with fat, he says. And much of the American diet contains both of these components.
Thats why one bite of ice cream never feels like enough and before you know it, youre looking at the bottom of a pint. Or why you find McDonalds french fries so hard to resistthe ingredient list includes both dextrose, an added sugar, and fat in the form of canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil. Dip those fries in ketchup and youre getting even more sugarthis time high fructose corn syrup.
I wouldnt say people become dependent on it in the way they become dependent on a drug, says Schwartz. But for some people, the anticipation of eating something that is highly rewarding becomes an important focus for how they live each day.
The Link Between Sugar Excess Body Weight And Psoriasis
Diets high in sugar have been associated with weight gain and high levels of body fat . This is relevant to the discussion at hand because obesity and excess body weight have been linked to psoriasis, and research suggests that losing weight may help combat psoriasis. These observations should come as no surprise, given that psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, and high levels of body fat have been shown to promote the release of pro-inflammatory hormones .
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May Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease
High-sugar diets have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide .
Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels all risk factors for heart disease .
Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits .
A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 1721% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar .
Just one 16-ounce can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie diet .
This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limit for added sugar.
Consuming too much added sugar increases heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and inflammation. High-sugar diets have been linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.
Reasons Why Sugar Worsens Arthritis + Foods To Avoid
Inflammation is a response of the body towards any external and internal injuries. Inflammation is seen in numerous disease conditions, one such condition being arthritis.
Arthritis is a condition where one or more joints in the body are inflamed. It can affect any joint of the body. It is can be of many different types depending on the mechanism by which it affects the body.
Arthritis afflicted patients experience immense joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. As the disease progresses the inflamed joint affects the joint cells and damage them which further impairs functioning.
Managing arthritis utilizes medications to reduce pain and inflammation along with exercise and physical therapies.
Diet control is a major factor in managing arthritis as it can influence the symptoms. Some types of food can help you in reducing the pain and inflammation whereas others may cause an increase in them.
Sugar is the most used and liked ingredient of most people’s diet. It is added to a wide variety of delicacies. Read on to find out how added sugar affects your arthritis health.
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Gluten May Be A Food To Avoid With Arthritis
Research shows that some people with rheumatoid arthritis also have celiac disease, which is triggered by gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains that gives dough a chewy texture. When someone has celiac disease, eating gluten causes an immune reaction in the small intestine that can lead to bloating and diarrhea.
In some people, the inflammatory reaction may extend to the joints, which only aggravates rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. While dietary interventions for rheumatoid arthritis remain controversial, the gluten-free trend is showing some positive results, notably the easing of celiac rheumatic symptoms, according to research published in September 2016 in Autoimmunity Reviews. But before trying a gluten-free diet, get tested for celiac disease, Michet suggests.
Potentially Relevant Pathophysiological Mechanisms
Looking at the effects of glucose, there is evidence for a specific role of glucose on oxidative markers, which can, in turn, lead to increases in biomarkers of chronic inflammation. High dietary glycemic index has been linked to increased inflammatory responses by means of recurrent hyperglycemic responses in the early postprandial phase, as well as elevated levels of free fatty acids in the late postprandial phase, both of which are considered to result in an overproduction of free radicals and releases of proinflammatory cytokines, which may, in turn, induce inflammation and vascular damage . Fructose has a low glycemic index , and there is evidence that suggests that consumption of foods with a lower dietary GL/GI is associated with anti-inflammatory effects. Accordingly, ingestion of fructose may contribute to a reduction of chronic inflammation, due to the avoidance of glycemic spikes . This may be one potential explanation for the absence of consistent signals or harm in response to fructose intake.
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Overdoing It On Added Sugar Can Contribute To Inflammation Heres How To Eat Less Sugar Without Quitting Cold Turkey
Heres the thing: Sugar itself isnt inherently bad. It gives you energy and occurs naturally in many healthy foods, like fruits, veggies, and dairy, says Jen Bruning, MS, RD, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
The problem is when you overdo it on *added* sugar the kind found in processed foods and drinks. Consistently consuming too much can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes mess with your mood and even give you more wrinkles. Plus, eating too much added sugar may exacerbate inflammation which is particularly important when you have rheumatoid arthritis or other forms of inflammatory arthritis.
How To Consume Sugar In Moderation
These simple practices may seem small, but youll be amazed how they reduce your osteoarthritis pain. If your knee is hurting, give Arthritis Knee Pain Centers® a call at 1-833-300-5633 or visit arthritiskneepain.com to schedule your FREE, no-obligation pain assessment.
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Tips To Help Manage Both Conditions
Having RA doesnt automatically mean youll develop insulin resistance or diabetes. But your risk is increased, so making healthy choices is crucial. Start with these steps, which are good for both your joint health and your blood sugar:
Keep moving. Ask your doctor for advice on exercising safely and successfully with RA. Staying active helps maintain your strength and flexibility, and it also helps manage your pain and control your weight. Plus, regular exercise reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have , an active lifestyle helps keep your blood sugar under better control.
Lose weight. Drop those extra pounds to take pressure off your hips and knees, which may ease your RA symptoms. Losing weight can also reduce the amount of inflammatory chemicals in your body that are made by fat. If youre at high risk of getting type 2 diabetes, you can lower your risk by losing weight. And if you already have diabetes, you may find that you need a lower dose of diabetes medicine when you exercise consistently.
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How Sugar May Affect Ra
A 2017 survey of people with RA found that the foods most often linked to worse symptoms were sugary ones, specifically desserts and sodas. One reason may simply be that people who cut out added sugar end up losing weight, which can improve RA symptoms, explains survey co-author Sara Tedeschi, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. âItâs hard to separate the effect of dietary change from the effect of weight loss.â
The tie between sugar and RA is nothing new. Many people assume that the autoimmune disorder started happening only recently. But it was first seen by Western doctors in the late 19th century, when sugar became more widely available to the public. âAt the same time as we started seeing tooth decay and gum disease, we started seeing RA,â explains Avram Goldberg, MD, clinical director of NYU Langone Rheumatology Associates in Lake Success, NY. âWe think that the sugar caused a change in bacteria in the mouth, which in turn made some people more susceptible to the condition.â
Also, many people with RA have proteins in their body called anti-citrullinated protein antibodies , Hsiao explains. These cause the inflammation that triggers the disease. Experts think sugar triggers your body to make more ACPA, she says, which can make your symptoms worse.
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Foods You Should Avoid When Suffering From Osteoarthritis
Here is the list of foods you should avoid if youre suffering from osteoarthritis:
#1 Wheat products
Wheat products stimulate the inflammatory response of your body. Eating a lot of pasta and grain products may make your arthritis pain wore. Try to eat whole grain products. Avoid yeast additives and whole grains containing gluten.
#2 Fried food
Eating food high in saturated fats such as donuts and French fries can increase inflammation in the body and worsen your arthritis pain. The oils you use to cook food can raise your levels of cholesterol. Thus, when cooking, try to use avocado or olive oil.
#3 Omega-6 fatty acids
Foods containing omega-6 fatty acids like red meat and egg yolks should also be avoided as saturated fats can increase inflammation in the body, making the arthritis pain worse. Instead, choose the foods rich in omega-3s.
Salty food causes your cells to keep water, which means that they swell up. Eating too much sodium can lead to inflammation. Instead of salt try to use such spices as garlic pepper, flavored peppers, or lemon zest.
According to some studies, eating processed cakes, cookies, and other bakery products may change the immune-response of your body to disease. Eating sugar-rich carbohydrates can result in worse inflammation. Try to use natural substitutes such as honey and maple syrup.
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Added Sugar Increases Inflammation In Arthritis
Added sugar is found to play a major role in increasing inflammation in the body. It is evidenced by research that sugar has a major role to play in developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Added sugar increases the C-reactive protein and cytokines in the body, which are chemicals that are responsible for inflammation.
Sugar intake increases the insulin secretion in the body, a higher amount of insulin in the body also gives rise to inflammation.
End products derived from the added sugars in the body are found to possess damaging properties. These products tend to accumulate as one gets older and adds on to the bodys inflammation.
Research on animals has shed light on the chemical process that added sugars undergo. These studies reveal that added sugars activate the pro-inflammatory chemicals that initiate inflammation in the body.
What does this mean?Added sugars are responsible for increasing inflammation in the body through various biochemical processes which worsens arthritis in patients.
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Best And Worst Foods For Arthritis In Seniors
Besides osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis, many other diseases can affect the joints, including Lyme disease, lupus, Sjogren disease, etc. Despite the different types of arthritis in seniors, they all cause similar symptoms. These include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The intensity of the symptoms may vary from day to day, making it frustrating to live with. But in addition to exercises and other targeted treatments, you can eat to relieve symptoms and live your best life. What are the best foods for arthritis? And which are the worst?
Foods Arthritis Sufferers Should Avoid
Arthritis stems from the degeneration and overuse of joints. It mostly affects the knees, fingers, and hips. Individuals with this condition experience joint pain and stiffness that often gets progressively worse, especially as they age. There are many types of arthritis out there, though the two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Although arthritis is not a pleasant condition, however, there is arthritis treatment out there. Many patients take anti-inflammatory medication to achieve arthritis relief. There are also topical ointments for arthritis out there. Some individuals even engage in pickleball for arthritis, along with other forms of physical activity. Of course, it is vital to note that individuals with arthritis must pay attention to their diet. Certain foods can have a significant and negative effect on their symptoms.
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