Ditch The Coconut Oil If You Have Osteoarthritis
The type of fat you consume can make a big difference in how you feel when you have osteoarthritis. In a study published in 2018 in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers followed over 2,000 individuals with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis for four years. Participants filled out a questionnaire about their eating habits and the researchers took X-rays of their knees at yearly intervals to measure the amount of space in their knee joints .
In the end, the study authors found that higher levels of total fat and saturated fat intake were associated with greater losses in joint space, while those who ate more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats didn’t lose as much space in their joints. Those who ate the least amount of saturated fat lost only 0.25 millimeters of space in their knee joint, while those who ate the most saturated fat lost 0.37 millimeters.
While you probably know that meat and dairy products are high in saturated fat, you might not realize that coconut oil is as well. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated .
To Prevent Osteoarthritis Add More Olive Oil To Your Diet
When it comes to arthritis-proofing your diet, extra-virgin olive oil is an excellent choice. It’s full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which, according to a study published in 2018 in Arthritis Care & Research, help reduce the loss of joint space over time in arthritic knees. Olive oil is also high in anti-inflammatory plant compounds that may reduce inflammation and slow or prevent osteoarthritis.
In a 2013 study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers explained that lubricin is a substance produced in joints that helps lubricate and protect cartilage. When a joint is injured or repeatedly stressed, the body releases immune molecules called cytokines. Cytokines are inflammatory and suppress the production of lubricin. The researchers found that olive oil, in combination with physical activity, helped reduce cytokine levels and increase lubricin levels in rats with injured knees. They concluded that eating a diet rich in olive oil could prevent osteoarthritis in humans by safeguarding cartilage from inflammation.
In addition to fighting osteoarthritis, olive oil may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer .
Osteoarthritis: New Medical Findings
Traditionally, OA was considered a non-inflammatory type of arthritis. However, new scientific findings suggest that in both cases, low-grade inflammation is a major driver of ongoing joint degeneration, and that the distinction might not be as big as once thought. Therefore, the diet recommendations described below can often refer to both types of arthritis.
Before implementing any dietary changes, discuss it with your medical team.
Don’t Eat That Four Foods To Avoid Eating With Arthritis
Here are a few foods to avoid with arthritis.
Fats and Oils
Fats and oils are a normal part of your diet. However, there are certain types of fats that are simply not good for you and should be avoided if you have arthritis. While you should limit saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, you should completely avoid trans fats. Not only does trans-fat increase bad cholesterol, but it also decreases good cholesterol.
While you can find small amounts of trans fats naturally in certain meats, the worst trans fats can be found in manufactured goods. Common trans-fat foods you should avoid include:
- Fried foods
- Pre-packaged baked goods
Its best to avoid any type of food with added trans-fat. It simply isnt good for your body and can make symptoms worse if you have arthritis.
One of the most common, yet difficult foods that people with arthritis should avoid is excessive sugar. The reason this should be avoided is that high levels of sugar in your body can lead to increased advanced glycation end-products . The result? Inflammation. Foods with excessive sugar to avoid include:
If you live with arthritis, then you should absolutely limit your sodium intake. Often, people assume that food must taste salty in order for it to have high levels of sodium. However, this is simply not true. Here are a few foods that are actually very high in sodium, and should be avoided:
- Breakfast cereal
- Frozen dinners
- Processed lunch meats
Avoiding Dairy Helps With Osteoarthritis
There are also claims that avoiding dairy can help with osteoarthritis. Although milk, cheese, and other dairy products for some people, these foods can have anti-inflammatory effects in others.
An elimination diet can help people to determine whether or not their symptoms improve or worsen with dairy intake.
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Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
While there are over 100 different types of arthritis, the generally accepted definition is that arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, and inflammation. However, the severity and intensity of the symptoms can vary significantly from patient to patient.
Arthritis is an incredibly common disease that can take a toll on a person, both physically and emotionally. While there are certainly a variety of medications that a person can take, your diet can also play a critical role in how well you feel on a day to day basis. While this may feel somewhat overwhelming, it also gives hope that people can take back some control of their health and do things to help their body thrive even if they have this disease, which can sometimes become debilitating.
Keep in mind, though, that certain foods can enhance inflammation, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen when you have a disease like arthritis. Believe it or not, some foods can trigger arthritis-like symptoms.
Tips For Eliminating Inflammatory Foods For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Maintaining a healthy diet can be done by simply eliminating or reducing inflammatory foods for rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some tips to help you to better avoid these kinds of foods:
- Always read ingredient labels and look for indicated levels of saturated and trans fats
- Compare different product brands to see which ones have lower levels of unhealthy fats and sugars
- Switch to natural cooking oils like olive or avocado oil
- Avoid deep fried foods or ones that have been cooked at high temperatures
- Choose more low fat and trans-fat-free options when buying packaged foods
- Add more omega-3 fatty acids and reduce omega-6 fatty acids
- Eat as close to nature as possible by consuming less prepackaged and processed foods
If youre concerned about how inflammatory foods for rheumatoid arthritis are affecting your symptoms, talk to your doctor about dietary solutions. Remember to stick to as many fruits, vegetables and whole grains as possible to help lower your inflammation levels.
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Types Of Food To Avoid If You Have Arthritis
Many people dont realize that their diet can often times ease or worsen joint pain, depending on the type of food intake. As arthritis is a problem of chronic inflammation, it is important to avoid inflammatory foods and replace them with others that have anti-inflammatory effects. Below are five types of food to avoid if you suffer from arthritis.
1. Fried & Processed Foods
Studies have shown that consuming fried and processed foods, such as fried meats and frozen meals, can actually worsen inflammation. Furthermore, regular consumption of these foods can lead to weight gain, putting extra stress on your joints. Swap these unhealthy choices with more vegetables and fruits.
2. Sugars & Refined Carbs
High amounts of sugar in your diet result in an increase in AGEs . AGE is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurized. HealthLine.com reports that AGEs can damage certain proteins in the body, and the body tries to break these AGEs apart by using cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers. Depending on where the AGEs occur, they may result in arthritis or other forms of inflammation. To keep this from happening, be sure to cut out sweets, soda and white flour baked goods.
3. Dairy Products
4. Salt & Preservatives
5. Alcohol & Tobacco
How To Eat When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
This article was co-authored by Siddharth Tambar, MD. Dr. Siddharth Tambar, MD is a board certified rheumatologist at Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. With over 19 years of experience, Dr. Tambar specializes in Regenerative Medicine and Rheumatology, with a focus on Platelet rich plasma and Bone marrow derived stem cell treatments for arthritis, tendinitis, injuries, and back pain. Dr. Tambar holds a BA in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo. He earned his MD from State University of New York at Syracuse. He completed his Internship, Residency in Internal Medicine, and his Rheumatology Fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr Tambar is board certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine. He also holds Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Diagnostic and Interventional certifications from the American College of Rheumatology and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 76,011 times.
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How Can I Keep To A Healthy Weight
Keeping to a healthy weight is important for your general health, but it can also have benefits for people with different types of arthritis.
Being overweight can put more strain on your joints particularly those in the legs. The force put through your knees when walking can be two or three times your body weight, so losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference. Being overweight can also increase inflammation in the body, which could cause you more pain.
Vitamin D Deficiency And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Vitamin D is important for a good overall health and plays an important role in making sure our muscles, heart, lungs and brain function well. Our body can make its own vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think. In fact, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called it a worldwide problem which is recognized as a pandemic. Ive already mentioned the importance of vitamin D and how it can cause 12 common diseases as well as dementia.
People who have higher levels of Vitamin D in their bodies have been found to have lower incidences of heart disease, depression, obesity and certain forms of cancers.
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What To Eat When You Have Arthritis
Arthritis can be a very painful condition, but knowing the best foods for arthritis may provide some pain relief. Since arthritis is characterized by the inflammation and stiffness of the joints, going on an anti-inflammatory diet may help ease the symptoms of arthritis. What are the foods in an anti-inflammatory diet? We have compiled a list of delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods as a guide.
Malnutrition In Ra Patients
Patients with RA are often at a higher risk of malnutrition for multiple reasons. First of all, weight loss is a common symptom in RA patients. Its thought to be due to the autoimmune condition itself producing inflammatory responses which cause an increase in metabolic rate. This means that the body burns through more calories than normal, which can lead to weight loss. This is not considered healthy weight loss. This type of weight loss can potentially leave the patient undernourished or malnourished.
Secondly, many patients taking the common disease-modifying antirheumatic drug called methotrexate, have been known to have a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. Many RA medications produce side effects such as stomach ulcers and other digestive concerns which can make it difficult to eat. These conditions combined with weight loss further compound the problems of malnourishment in patients. Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies in RA include a lack of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6
A proper diet for RA that is rich in these vitamins and minerals is important for keeping patients healthy.
Finally, many RA patients are at risk of developing osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones caused by a calcium or vitamin D deficiency. RA patients should be aware of this potential risk and ensure their diet accounts for this potential deficiency.
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How Can My Diet Affect My Condition
Eating a balanced diet and having a healthy lifestyle such as regular physical activity, not smoking, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have a huge impact on arthritis and our health in general.
Although there are no diets or supplements that will cure your arthritis, some people do find that their condition is affected by what they eat, how much they weigh and their physical activity levels.
There are many types of arthritis, and there are differences between people, so what works for one person may not work for another.
When it comes to what we eat, the two things that can have the biggest impact on arthritis are:
- Your weight being overweight can increase the strain on your joints, so keeping to a healthy weight can help. Being overweight can also increase your risk of developing certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
- Eating a balanced diet eating a diet with all the vitamins and minerals you need is important for everyone, but for people with arthritis it could help reduce the side effects of some drugs and protect you from conditions affecting the heart and blood, which can be a complication of some forms of arthritis.
Changing your diet probably wont have as great an impact on your arthritis as medical treatments, and its not recommended that you stop any of your treatments.
You should always speak to a healthcare professional before you make any major changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Clinical Contributors To This Story
Halyna Kuzyshyn, M.D. contributes to topics such as Arthritis, Men’s Health, Women’s Health.
Roughly 54 million adults have been doctor-diagnosed with arthritis and according to the Arthritis Foundation, the number of people battling this disease by 2040 is projected to soar to over 78 million.
Arthritis is a general term that encompasses conditions of joint pain and functional limitations. Symptoms of joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and a decreased range of motion mark the illness.
There are many different types of arthritis, divided into two main categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory. The most common form of non-inflammatory arthritis is osteoarthritis, while the most common inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory illness that occurs when joints and other tissues are mistakenly attacked by the immune system. Halyna Kuzyshyn, M.D., board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine, explains that if the tissue remains inflamed it can lead to the loosening of tendons and ligaments while also destructing joints with cartilage damage, bone erosion, and loss of function.
While there is no concrete research on diets that can treat rheumatoid arthritis, researchers have identified certain pro-inflammatory foods. Dr. Kuzyshyn advises that the following six foods should be avoided or at least limited to help reduce inflammation and joint pain:
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Virgin Coconut Oil Can Reduce Inflammation
It is known that virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and the Arthritis Foundation has acknowledged it in their website.
In a study published in International Immunopharmacology the researchers extracted antioxidants unique to virgin coconut oil and injected them into rats with induced arthritis. They found that the unique coconut oil antioxidants reduced inflammation associated with arthritis more effectively than current pharmaceutical drugs.
You can consume virgin coconut oil in moderation, up to 2 tablespoons a day for an adult. However, dont start immediately from 2 tablespoons a day, as it may cause you loose stools and nausea that may occur when consuming high amount of coconut oil. Start from 1 teaspoon per day, and gradually increase it to 2 tablespoons per day over 1 or 2 weeks.
Can You Cure Arthritis With Diet
If arthritis is caused by inflammation, and certain foods can help reduce inflammation, then surely that means an anti-inflammatory arthritis diet can completely cure it, right? Well not quite.
There is no absolute cure for arthritis, not least a simple diet fix. But, eating certain foods that reduce inflammation and help increase the strength of our bones and immune systems can help when it comes to managing symptoms of arthritis.
Certain foods can also make symptoms worse. Repeatedly eating a food that we are intolerant to can put a great amount of stress on our bodies and cause inflammation. These are foods to avoid with arthritis and should be eliminated from your diet to help ease arthritis symptoms.
The University of York conducted a survey* to help understand the benefits of elimination diets based on the results of a food intolerance test.
Out of the 177 people who reported experiencing general aches and pains, including joint pain, 88% reported an improvement having removed their trigger foods. We define these as foods which show a positive IgG reaction to antibodies in the blood.
Overall in the study, 76% of people who rigorously followed the recommended diet reported a benefit, 68% of which experienced this after 3 weeks.
*Survey carried out with a total of 5286 people who had taken the yorktest or to give it its scientific name a food-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay blood test.
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