Healthy, Balanced Diet Is Important
Whether or not you need to lose weight, it's important for people with arthritis to eat a healthy, balanced diet. It's important for everyone to eat a healthy, balanced diet for better overall health. You may have heard the joke, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” Any medical professional will tell you that it's never too late to take better care of yourself.
Diet Advice from Dr. Andrew Weil
Dr. Andrew Weil, a popular health advisor (
Eliminate polyunsaturated vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated oils.
Eliminate trans-fatty acids.
Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax seeds or flaxseed oil, soy foods).
A fish-oil supplement with DHA and EPA can be taken by people who would prefer not to eat fish.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those recognized as high in antioxidants.
Add ginger and turmeric to your diet.
Avoid refined and processed foods.
The New Food Pyramid
A new food pyramid was released in 2005 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
MyPyramid.gov will generate a personalized plan for you. It also explains the types of foods in each food pyramid group, how to count the amounts of food in each group, and other useful tips to promote healthy eating.
You can find MyPyramid on the Web at
Jumpstarting Better Dietary Habits
It is easy to understand why people with arthritis are less likely to consistently eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet compared to healthy individuals: Chronic pain can interfere with your appetite. Your desire to eat well may rise and fall with your level of pain. Arthritis pain and physical limitations may make meal preparation more difficult. Simply put, you don't feel like eating and you don't feel like cooking.
Some of the medications you take can cause stomach upset or heartburn, steering you away from preparing or eating a nutritious meal. When your pain level is high, comfort foods may seem more appealing, but their nutritional value is likely to be low.
People with arthritis should have the same goals for good nutrition and good health as any person, perhaps even higher goals. Through various healthy actions, you must stay as healthy as possible in mind, body, and spirit despite having a chronic disease. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet is one of those actions.
A consultation with a registered dietician may be something to consider. A dietician can assess your nutritional needs and evaluate how arthritis is affecting your dietary choices. Sometimes it only takes a bit of guidance to get you back on track. A dietician can make recommendations and create a daily or weekly dietary plan just for you. Your doctor can refer you to a dietician.