Hello everyone I hope you are all well!
We are going to take some time today to look at what foods inflame arthritis and therefore the foods we should make an effort to avoid.
A little sidenote, everyone is unique and different so some people may have specific foods that cause them inflammation. Different people can have varying intolerances to certain foods.
Let us take a look at what we have for starters.
OILS – Certain oils such as vegetable, soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut oil all raise our omega-6 fatty acid levels. This creates imbalance in our bodies leading to inflammation.
Stick to using olive oil.
The inflammatory oils listed above our what’s called fully hydrogenated oils and can also be found in packaged baked goods such as crisps, margarines and peanut butter.
TRANS FATS – These are very similar to the above and are found in fried foods, takeaway foods and cakes, pretty much all the things we like to nostalgically label ‘comfort food’.
How many times have we been suffering from a hangover and someone says;
“A fried breakfast will sort you out”.
Many of us believe this and even worship something as simple as a bacon bun to cure our alcohol induced illness. Of course, we do know that it is really the salt making us feel better as we are dehydrated.
If you know you are going to get slightly tipsy one evening maybe plan ahead and prepare a fruit and veg smoothie that you can have in the morning to replenish the nutrients the alcohol will sap from you.
SATURATED FATS – Found in things like butter, cheese and certain meats saturated fats can have an inflammatoy impact in your gut so keep an eye on how high your intake is.
Are you ready for your mains?
MEATS – I like meat and I eat it regularly as part of my diet, the problem with meat and inflammation stems from the kind of meat you are buying and consuming.
Things like deli meats are a no no.
These have usually been smoked or cured in order to preserve them and make them last longer. Things like canned hot dogs are no different they will increase inflammation in the body.
Grain fed meat is the other issue here. Animals get fed grain and wheat, are pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics then guess what happens?
We eat them and we, in effect, eat what they have. Is it really any wonder then that things like Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are on the rise. Or the rise of human resistance to antibiotics due to over exposure to them?
It is frustrating when people don’t recognise this connection.
To buy grass fed or organic meat, that way you aren’t consuming all the toxins.
REFINED CARBOHYDRATES – Heavily associated with diabetes and that excess fat round your waistline that you can’t seem to shift.
Foods such as pasta, pizza, bread, fries.
All these have been stripped of any nutritional value and will flood your bloodstream with sugar, spiking insulin levels and inflammation.
Modern day advancements of course hold benefits and one that cannot be underestimated is the spiraliser. Because of this we can now choose to have courgette or butternut squash spaghetti instead of pasta.
There are recipes out there for cauliflower rice and cauliflower base pizza I have sampled all of them and they are tasty, nutritious and best of all, don’t cause inflammation!
Do you care to see our dessert menu?
SUGAR – This can’t be a huge surprise after reading the above. I am including sweetener in this as well as I don’t believe they are any friendlier to us than sugar is.
And the biggest problem? It is ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE!
Fizzy drinks and soda, things like Pepsi have sugar in it so maybe you think you will make the healthy choice and choose Pepsi Max because that has no sugar in it.
Well whilst it may not contain sugar it contains a replacement and what is that replacement? Sweetener, sometimes displayed on labels as Aspartame.
It is all a trick, you are tricked into thinking you are making a healthier choice whilst still buying their brand and product.
Don’t even get me started on energy drinks! If you have any energy drinks in your home I would recommend emptying them into a bowl and throwing your cutlery and jewellery in it.
The acids will bring the shine back to them, so imagine what it will do to your gut lining and no I don’t mean it will make it really clean and shiny, it will flood your blood and gut and cause inflammation.
ALCOHOL – I don’t think anyone should need educating here so I will save us all some time. If you are going to drink do it infrequently and not to excess.
The sugar issue obviously includes things like cakes, cookies, doughnuts I am sorry to tell you.
The alternative for the sweet tooth is use the internet and search for a healthier dessert alternatives, they do exist out there and if anyone has any then fet sharing below.
Leave a tip
I have left the nightshade group of foods out of this list mainly because it upsets me. Why?
I love my tomatoes!
The nightshade family is a group of foods that have been said to inflame arthritis. These foods are peppers, aubergine, potatoes and tomatoes.
Out of the four of them I only eat tomatoes and don’t think I will be stopping I love them and personally there isn’t enough evidence for me that they negatively effect arthritis symptoms.
The answer to the problem of what foods inflame arthritis is to stick to a whole foods diet. Where possible try to buy food as nature intended without being chemically altered or processed.
We are human beings which means we are flawed to an extent and the amount of brain retraining that is needed to alter your relationship with food can take time.
This means there are going to be slip ups along the way. If you are going to ‘cheat’ and eat some of the foods above there are some tips.
If you want to indulge in some of the above I would say to do it early in the day where possible. A lot of the above get stored as glucose so the body can use it for energy.
If you indulge early in the day you have more chance of exercising and using up the glucose stores.
On the other hand if you decide to eat a takeaway later at night and then go to bed, all that glucose will be stored and not burnt off meaning you can expect to feel bloated and sluggish the day after.
This is why I don’t like the idea of ‘cheat days’, if you are going to ‘cheat’ then try to do it early in the day in a short timeframe.
Look for alternative recipes and ways you can replace some of the products listed in the article with healthier options, this could mean that you don’t feel as restricted if you can still eat a variation of the product you crave.
Consider switching to a Ketogenic diet.
I have spoke before about the success I have experienced on a Keto diet and I believe that is due to keeping carbohydrates low and therefore keeping inflammation low.
Of course not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation is good for healing when the body suffers an injury but chronic inflammation is unbelievably detrimental to the smooth running of your body.
Hope this helps, leave a comment with your thoughts/opinions and we will speak soon!