What is the best diet for arthritis?

What is the best diet for arthritis?

Read Time8 Minutes, 12 Seconds

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well!

I touched on something in our last article about diets. We have mentioned them many times before and discussed ways we can reduce pain by eating in a certain way.

Recently I have had success shifting some unwanted lb’s and as we have said many times before, the more weight you lose the more pressure you are taking off weight-bearing joints.

As well as weight loss I have also experienced feelings of increased energy, improved quality of sleep and more mental clarity.

Sounds good eh?

Well, those are the benefits I have experienced I am not saying everyone needs to be doing this diet I am simply giving people an answer when they ask what is the best diet for arthritis?

Hunger, Hungry, Eating, Cookie, Biscuit

In my opinion and after the different diets and ways of eating that I have tried, I feel this has shown the best results for overall health not just for arthritis.

As with most diets, it won’t be for everyone and different ways people are already eating will put them off this diet but we will talk more about that.

The ketogenic diet

A lot of you will already be familiar with this diet and it is proving quite popular at the moment.

There is often a flavour of the month diet and this seems to be it, the truth is that the thinking and basis of this diet have been used time and again for years to aid weight loss.

Deep down people know that the best thing you can do to lose fat is to reduce carbohydrates and focus on eating natural fresh products.

This is in essence what the ketogenic diet promotes, did you know on a keto diet you actually eat fat in order to lose fat?!

Why does that work?

Choosing your fuel

The body is a vessel that needs fueling so it can give us the energy to perform tasks. It can either take fuel from glycogen stores or fat stores.

Fuel, Pump, Energy, Gas Pump

When eating a carbohydrate such as a baked potato the body converts it into glucose which means our blood sugar spikes and the glucose we don’t use is kept in glycogen stores ready for when we need it.

A couple of problems with this is that it isn’t a good idea to keep spiking our blood sugar levels throughout the day. This can lead to sugar crashes, dependence and craving of sugar.

Secondly is the issue of storing glucose for when we need it.



We may only use a little and then the next day have a meal with pasta or rice this means there is even more glucose being stored and how do we notice that storage, it shows as body fat and weight gain.

You may think that if you exercise enough to use all the glucose that you consume from the carbohydrate then it’s fine but remember the sugar spike in the blood, the sugar crashes and dependence.

What is the alternative then?

Keto.

When you look at macronutrients, which are the percentages of food types that we eat, a common template is 50% carbohydrate 30% protein and just 20% fat.



If we then look at the breakdowns that are advised whilst on a ketogenic diet we notice a big difference;

5% carbohydrates 25% protein 70% fat.

WOW. I know, I just knew you where thinking that, what a huge difference that is but won’t we be lethargic and have no energy with such little amount of carbs?

Nope.

At the start I said our bodies can run off two different fuel sources. If we stop consuming a mass amount of carbs we are no longer creating stores and stores of glucose (body fat).

Our bodies have a look around sort of a stocktake if you will, they notice there is no longer a stream of carbohydrates coming into the body.

Think of it as a factory you have two lines running constantly, one carbs and one fats for a long time the line with the carbs has been the busier line more product has been packed up and stored from this line than the other.

Factory, Industry, Manufacture, Workshop

Suddenly the tables have turned and the workers notice that the line with the fats is now the busy line and there isn’t much coming down the carb line. So the workers run over to the busy line and start packing and storing that.

All the glucose stores that have been packed away get used up through our daily activities and exercise, then when there is nothing left the body looks for an alternative to run off and what it finds is the fat stores.

Your body will now start to burn the fat stores as fuel meaning you will lose weight (body fat).

Fats

So let’s explore this a little further.

People may think if you are consuming a load of fat then you will be prime for a heart attack or stroke and the answer to that lies in what fats you consume.

I believe the argument for natural produce comes in here. Many foods that have been altered and manufactured with additives can contain things like trans-fats which aren’t good for you at all.

Healthy fats can be things like fatty meat like lamb, avocados, nuts and nut butter are healthy fats, olive oil is full of healthy fats.

Asparagus, Steak, Veal Steak, Veal, Meat

For things such as bacon and sausage whilst I do eat them I still limit how much I have. They are full of saturated fats and it is still recommended that you do not over-consume foods that contain this.

This point leads nicely on to the next topic – Dirty Keto

For those of you wanting a more in-depth idea of what’s good and bad on keto, you can check out our keto board on Pinterest here.

Dirty Keto

This is the term that refers to somebody who is doing a keto diet, losing weight but is ultimately unhealthy and that’s because they aren’t eating good, clean fats.

Let’s face it it’s silly to think that consuming sausage, bacon, cheese and things like that EVERY DAY is good for you, even if you are losing weight.

Bacon, Bread, Breakfast, Broiled, Brown

As with most ideas of a healthy lifestyle, balance is key.

And we still need to have balance, all we are doing is shifting the priority fuel.

Consume healthy fats, a little saturated, eat wild caught fish, consume green leafy vegetables these are carbohydrates that will not spike your blood sugar and cause fat stores.

I think of dirty and clean keto like this;

For those of you who have an outside burner like a chiminea, when you burn painted wood or manufactured things that have chemicals like laminate flooring it produces a thick black smoke.

When you burn the natural wood pieces made for burning it produces a clear white smoke. Consider this the clean keto and the thick black smoke is dirty keto, so make sure your body is producing the right smoke so to speak.

So what are the benefits of keto?

We have already discussed how the system of keto means you will lose body fat.

If following a ketogenic diet in the clean healthy way the benefits you can expect are;

More mental clarity and focus, less brain fog.

Vast improvement in energy levels.

Reduction in cravings such as sugar.

Less risk of chronic disease.

Reduced INFLAMMATION!!!!!!

Yes, Summer, Write, Sand, Holiday

There are other benefits for vanity such as clear skin and anti-ageing effects but just look at the last two benefits there, particularly the last one.

Reduced inflammation, absolutely the thing we need when suffering from such a disease as arthritis!

Another big benefit, in my opinion, is breaking the sugar addiction, this addiction is prevalent in the modern diet and you may not even think you are addicted.

Try looking at what products you eat that contain sugar and sweetener, bear in mind the different names it goes under such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, dextran, galactose, aspartame and so on.



There are plenty of these different names it helps to hide sugar content from us, so learn as many as you can look out for them on labels, don’t consume any and see how bad you crash.

A common issue to those starting a ketogenic diet is for a few days near the start people complain of feeling ill and under the weather, this is commonly known as ‘keto flu’ I believe it is linked to the reduction in sugar and withdrawal symptoms.

Since being on a keto diet for a couple of months I have lost a stone in weight whilst seeing an improvement in muscle mass, have more energy than I have had for a long time and sleep really well.

Slimming, The Weight Of The, Health

Exceptions

Of course, there are people out there reading who may be vegetarian or vegan and feel they would struggle for things to eat on keto.

My advice would be to use the power of the internet and do your own research to see what you could eat and if you feel you could cope on a keto diet.

This article is in answer to the question what is the best diet for arthritis?

In my opinion after the ones I have tried I have found the ketogenic diet to be the best and it makes sense to me why it works.

People may think they are eating an anti-inflammatory diet already because they avoid obvious inflammatory foods, the problem is things like carbohydrates that spike blood sugar and cause excess body fat is causing inflammation.

Not to mention the ever-growing diabetes epidemic but that’s a discussion for another day.

As always we look forward to hearing from you comment below or on our social media, there are new followers every day so it should provide some interesting discussion.

Take care, speak soon,

Andy

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32 thoughts on “What is the best diet for arthritis?”

  1. I like the great information explaining what the ketogenic diet is, as well as how to use it effectively. Just as you mentioned, eating a diet high in fat, but the wrong type of fat can lead to things such as a stroke or heart attack. Also, although I am not a Dr, I would think that a low simple sugar diet, sticking to more complex carbs would be great for any diabetic. I also know there are natural substances that will help with inflammation as well. This is great information for anyone wanting to follow a healthy eating plan.

    • Hi Justin thank you for reading and commenting!

      I am glad you enjoyed the article and information. I agree with you about the possible benefits this could have for diabetics, I do know of someone who adopted the Ketogenic diet and after a year they actually stopped all medication and reversed the disease.

      Very promising stuff.

  2. Great article – really interested in reading about the Keto diet. I have a friend who tried the Atkins diet with some success, which I understand is similar, but I wondered what are the main differences ? As you said weight loss is so important for reducing the amount of stress through the joints to reduce inflammation. I guess there are many other factors that can also contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Mark thank you for reading and commenting.

      From what I can gather the difference between them is that you can have an unlimited amount of protein on the Atkins diet whereas with the Ketogenic diet you are limited and the focus is more on increasing fats. I am no expert though, somebody else may chip in with some more information on that.

      Absolutely there are many factors that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle!

  3. Hi Andy,

    I’m a massive fan of the Keto diet. I recommend it to a lot of my clients and site visitors as a good diet for increased testosterone production. Interesting that it also assists with arthritis, do you think it may be because this style of eating reduces inflammation.

    • Hi Nate thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, I do feel that the reduction of inflammation is the key to why the diet is useful for arthritis. Of course, the weight loss that can come with it is beneficial as well.

  4. Hi Andy, this is a really informative article. I particularly love how you break down the different aspects of the keto diet and make them really easy for anyone to understand. While I’ve not tried the keto diet, I have eaten a paleo style diet in the past so I’m familiar with increasing fats and decreasing carbs in my diet. I probably need to start back this type of eating as my body felt better overall.

    • Hi Tamika thank you for reading and for your kind comments.

      Yes I must admit I have tried a whole range of different diets and eating styles and I have to say that I’ve felt the best on a keto diet. Having more energy, feeling alert and sleeping soundly.

  5. Hi Andy

    I really liked your article. I’ve heard a few things about the Keto diet recently in a BBC documentary. I find it interesting when people bawk at the idea of actually increasing your fat intake, but that’s all down to a lot of early misleadig information about fats in general. It’s only recently that main stream media and even doctors are now realising the vast differences between what good fat is and what bad fat is. It’s all down to education and you’ve nailed it with this article!

    If only we could get the food industry to realise this as well, but there is still way to much processed food and just really bad eating habits. Too much fast food and ready meals.

    Get back to basics! eat natural and not processed!

    • Hi Chris great to hear from you! Thank you for commenting and I am glad you enjoyed the article.

      Totally agree, there was so much harmful misleading information about fat and a lot of it was very uneducated.

      Thankfully people and professionals are starting to realise what benefits healthy fats can have.

  6. Hi Andy, thank you for this article. I’ve never tried the keto diet, but I have reduced my daily intake of unhealthy carbs and I’ve started eating more fibres recently. I will have a closer look on the type of fats that I am consuming to have a bigger picture of my diet.

    • Hi Angelique thank you for reading and commenting!

      Yes I do recommend you have a more in-depth look at the Keto diet as it has worked wonders for me!

      Good luck ?

  7. Turn the pyramid upside down and reverse the names, who would ever think that will be the best advice a few decades ago?
    Thank you for explaining Keto and the benefits it has on inflammation. Can it be the combination of carbs and sugar maybe dairy too causing it?
    Thank you for valuable info.
    Stella

    • Hi Stella thank you for reading and commenting!

      I am glad you found the information useful and yes perhaps things like refined carbohydrates and refined sugar are causing a whole host of problems for our health.

  8. Awesome article, Andy!

    I just published an article about the keto diet, myself. Mine is more focused on providing a general understanding of what keto is and what a keto diet may look like.

    I actually recommend keto for those looking to lose fat on their muscle-building journey, but I had no idea that it would benefit those who suffer from arthritis as well. This is a very interesting find!

    • Hi Andre thank you so much for your kind words!

      Good to hear from a fellow blogger that shares the same interests. I agree with you that Keto is fantastic for losing body fat and building muscle and I have begun to see some welcome changes to my body.

      It is only my opinion that it will benefit those with arthritis, only because I have seen massive pain reductions since doing it and a great increase in energy levels.

      Thank you for reading.

  9. Hello Andy!! Very informative article about the keto diet. You explained it well and also included the difference between healthy and dirty keto diet. Good insight!! You said very well that more weight equals more pressure on a joint and hence more pain so healthy eating is important to alleviate the pain.

    • Hello Nidhi, thank you for reading and commenting!

      Thank you for your kind words about the article I am glad you enjoyed reading it and found it informative. I did try to get the main facts about a Ketogenic diet in the article but I also wanted to use metaphors and explanations that hopefully make it easier to digest, no pun intended, I promise!

  10. Wow it’s very good post.
    I’m interested in the keto diet and this post really gives me helpful information.
    Thanks for the good post and I’m looking forward to your next post!

  11. Hey Andy,
    that’s an amazing article and am sure people piggybacking arthritis will definitely look through the lines again and again. Also agreed with you that eating a lot of fats would aggravate the level of stroke.

    Additionally, when all is tried and done, you may still try Indian pennywort(Centella Asiatica) for Arthritis.
    Wishing you lots of success.

    • Hi Phomrong thank you for your kind words!

      I am glad you enjoyed the article and see the value in the information here.
      Thank you for the tip and for reading.

  12. Hey Andy, I have to say that I have tried this diet my self. Before converrting into a vegetarian, I have tried the keto diet. While on this diet I did feel lethargic. I think iit was one of the worst times of my life, and I did all of what the keto “gurus” said, eat grass fed meat, eat more veggies, stay away from sugar. And nothing worked.
    I think I was an exception as you said. Now as a vegetarian I feel a lot better!
    However, I think that this diet can help a lot to those who have arthritis!

    • Hi Stefano thank you for reading and commenting!

      I would be inclined to think that the lethargic feeling you had could well be what’s known as ‘Keto flu’. In the early stages of switching to the Keto diet, your body can experience a sugar crash and leave you feeling lethargic and achy. Many people experience this but it usually only lasts a few days and they subside, so the trick is to battle through it.

      That being said I do agree that there are always exceptions and what works for one may not work for another, the most important fact is that you have found a healthy way of living that suits you!

  13. Thank you so much for this wonderful article Andy!
    Arthritis happens in all ages and it’s definitely important to keep a healthy diet.
    Actually my brother started this crazy ketogenic diet a few months back as he wanted to stay clean for awhile.
    It actually helps to cleanse his body and gave him lots of energy.
    It also helps in his bodybuilding regime as well.
    Great info on the topic!
    Appreciate much!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting Winson, I am glad you enjoyed this article.

      I agree with you that it does help to cleanse the body and provide more energy. I also found that I have plenty of quality sleep as well which really helps to recharge and repair the body.

      I have only recently gone back to the gym so can’t say much for the bodybuilding but certainly wouldn’t say no to a few extra muscles!

      All the best.

  14. Hi Andy, Thanks for this informative article, I too suffer from athritis but in the knees in my case. I shifted a lot of weight last year and I agree with what you said about losing weight reducing the pressure on your joints.
    I still have pain now and again but have not had it flaring up for a while. It is all down to eating better as you have described in your post. so anyone reading this should give healthy eating a try. They will definitely feel the difference, I can vouch for that.
    I feel your article will help a lot of people who are trying to lose weight and help them get a bit of relief from their athritis.
    Frank

    • Hi Frank sorry to hear that you have arthritis in your knees, glad to hear that you shifted some weight to relieve some pressure on the joints.

      It is good to hear that you find the article useful and believe that it will help people in our situation. Well done to you for keeping your pain at bay by eating better and making healthy choices!

      As always thank you for reading and commenting.

  15. Hi thank you so much for this wonderful article. I have been very interested in a keto diet for some time, however had never connected it as a good diet to reduce inflammation and therefore be great for Arthritis. I only suffer with mild arthritis in my hands, however I also suffer with severe back pain, so any diet that reduces inflammation is a plus for me. I am however a vegetarian so do worry about the sources of fat etc. But as you suggest I will do some further research. Maybe this could be a topic of a future article?

    • Hi Sara thank you so much for your kind words I am really pleased you enjoyed the article. Yes, I could look into the fat sources, just off the top of my head there are some you can use. There are nuts and seeds that will provide healthy fats as well as avocados, olive oil can be used to get healthy fats you can use it in cooking. I use it by drizzling it on salads or vegetables, anyway I can get it onto my meals because I do think it is hugely beneficial.

      If you pop over to our Pinterest page you may find some ideas there on our Keto boards.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  16. Keto is the best! I totally agree that it helps arthritis in all areas of the body.

    I have been diagnosed with advanced arthritis in my neck from a car accident in 2008. And now that I have my shoulder injury, I have arthritis there as well. Sigh.

    Since I have been on Keto and have been taking larger doses of vitamin D3 as well as Vitamin K, my joint pain is all but gone. I am also taking collagen daily and that helps as well.

    This is a great post on Keto and so helpful! Thank you.

    • Hi Irma great to hear from you again!

      Yes, I take Vitamin D3 and K as well and believe they contribute to keeping the pain away as well as the other benefits they provide. I think we share a similar mindset and that is to fight back, take our future back into our own hands and take back control!

      Stay awesome!

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