Arthritis is rife in the UK; more than 10 million people have arthritis or other, similar conditions that affect the joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. Their causes may differ, but they share similar symptoms. The most common being stiffness and painful swelling in particular joints.
These symptoms can place an immense burden on people’s lives, making everyday tasks painful and difficult.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments that can help slow it down.
One effective strategy is to cut out unhealthy foods that may be exacerbating your symptoms.
Researchers have concluded that fried and processed foods can aggravate arthritis.
Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined disease prevention through diet.
In their study, they found that decreasing the amount of fried and processed foods eaten can “reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defences.”
Evidence has also shone a light on why fried and processed foods are to be avoided – these foods contain saturated fat.
Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation, which is not only an indicator for heart disease but it also worsens arthritis inflammation.
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Saturated fat is found in:
Butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil.
Cakes.Biscuits.Fatty cuts of meat.Sausages.Bacon.Cured meats like salami, chorizo and pancetta.Cheese.
Research also suggests it isn’t just what you eat but how you eat that can have a profound impact on arthritis.
An advanced glycation end product (AGE) is a toxin that appears when foods are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurised.
GEs damage certain proteins in your body – your 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.
Research has shown that reducing the amount of food cooked at high temperatures in your diet could potentially help reduce blood AGE levels.
A healthy approach to eating also brings the added benefit of helping you to lose weight.
This is important because losing weight can help you cope with arthritis.
The NHS explains: “Too much weight places excess pressure on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles and feet, leading to increased pain and mobility problems.”
Exercise can also encourage weight loss and bring direct benefits for managing arthritis.
According to the NHS, regular exercise can also:
Improve your range of movement and joint mobilityIncrease muscle strengthReduce stiffnessBoost your energy.
“Combined with a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise will help you lose weight and place less strain on your joints,” adds the health body.