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Food and Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups: Is There Anything on the Menu You Can Eat?

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Sometimes I wish I could be like my 106-year-old grandmother who, as she so delicately puts it, “can eat anything, anywhere, at any time, cooked anyhow, with anyone, under any circumstances, without any problem!” In fact, she claims that “good eatin’” is her secret to longevity, especially when the core food groups are salt, grease, cream, gravy, and butter.

Okay, so Grandma is not “normal” by most folks’ standards. In fact, I would venture to say that many of us, regardless of how healthy we are (or not), tend to follow some sort of diet to help alleviate pain and inflammation, keep the weight down, provide more energy, and so on and so forth. Food plays a very significant role in how we look, feel, and act.

When you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, just opening up that refrigerator door or scanning a restaurant menu can be the ultimate test. When you give in to your temptations, those foods can cause your joints to swell, ache, and stiffen up.

All is not lost! You can still eat the foods you love; you just have to practice what my grandma has told me all along: moderation. Do you enjoy red meat? That’s fine; just opt for the leaner cuts. If your taste buds are begging for salt, grab a handful of nuts instead of a bag of chips.

For rheumatoid arthritis patients, it is important to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Just because you are making smarter food choices does not have to make them boring. If you challenge yourself to spend just one week consuming antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, high-fiber grains, and healthy fats, you will most likely notice a significant reduction in flare-ups, aches, and pains related to your condition.

When you eat a diet high in saturated fats, that’s when trouble starts brewing. Red meat, pork, poultry, eggs and butter are animal products that contain harmful saturated fat, which is known to quickly trigger inflammation throughout the body. If you regularly consume these products, be prepared for muscle pain, joint pain, heartburn, fatigue, and even acne problems.

What’s a lazy weekend morning, then, without an omelet? Go ahead and enjoy one. Just use the egg whites instead of the whole egg.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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