Our patients are often asking us for advice on diet. Whether this is to improve general health, reduce body weight or to reduce inflammation due to arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions read on…
Aim for variety.
Include as much fresh food as possible.
Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish or fish oil supplements and walnuts.
Replace refined carbs with alternatives such as brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes.
Spice it up! Ginger, turmeric and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Minimise your consumption of processed foods and fast foods.
Minimise saturated and trans fats (margarine).
Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice.
Polyunsaturated fats such as canola, sunflower and peanut are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Excess consumption of these has been linked to inflammation. Opt for other oils such as olive and coconut oils.
Sugar – only consume this from natural sources such as fruit and honey in small amounts.
Alcohol – limit to one to two glasses once or twice a week.
Drink at least 2 litres of water per day.
Drink pure water or drinks that are mostly water (tea, very diluted fruit juice, sparkling water with lemon)
What about gluten and dairy?
Some people have an intolerance to foods such as gluten and dairy. This may spark the inflammatory cascade so avoid if you fall into this category.
If you think you might have a food sensitivity it is worth going on an elimination diet for two weeks to see how you feel.
This is a group of plants including potatoes, capsicums, tomatoes and chillies. A more comprehensive list can be found here.
Whilst there have been no scientific studies regarding this, anecdotal evidence suggests one in three arthritis sufferers are adversely affected by these foods.
It’s worth eliminating them for two to three weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
What about weight and body fat?
BMI and waist measurements are a good check to see whether you fall into the healthy weight range
An excess of abdominal body fat is linked with inflammation.
If overweight, losing just 10% of your body weight can reduce this inflammatory reaction.
This also reduces load on larger joints in the body such as the hips and knees.
For specific conditions we recommend patients seek the advice of a dietician or naturopath. Ask us at our next appointment and we’ll refer you to the right practitioner.