You've heard about an arthritis diet from some well-intentional friend or in the pages of a magazine or book. Its a myth.
There are over 100 arthritic conditions and Gout has been linked to what we eat. In Gout,people either make too much uric
acid or are unable to flush it out through the kidneys and urine. As a result,the uric acid crystallizes and accumulates in
joints,causing pain and inflammation.
People who have Gout are sometimes advised to avoid foods that contain purines:meat,poultry,dried beans and peas,fish
such as anchovies, herring , scallops,and certain vegetables.
But the dietary link to other forms of arthritis is not as clear. Certainly some people are allergic to some foods,and
this might worsen the pain and symptoms of arthritis. And there are some foods,such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold
water fish like mackerel and sallmon,which might help fight inflammation in certain types of arthritis.
Still,the evidence so far is scare that any diet change in and of itself will protect us from arthritis. So until research
proves otherwise,a well balanced diet is the next best thing.
As we digest food,it is broken down into nutrients that are absorbed into our blood stream and carried to every cell
in our body. We need about forty different nutrients every day to stay healthy.
Often overlooked as a nutrient is water. It transports nutrients throughout our body and flushes away waste products.
We should drink eight large glasses of water per day. that may seem like a lot,but other liquids-alcohol,coffee,and some types
of soda-are diuretics that rid our body of water,so it's important to keep hydrated.
Enjoying a variety of foods helps keep you healthy. No one food provides all the nutrients your body needs. Choose from
a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and lean sources of protein, including legumes, fish, low-fat dairy products and lean
meats, to optimize nutrition and taste and promote a healthy weight.
Learning more about how your body uses the nutrients different foods provide can help you better understand how eating
well affects your health. Every day your body requires a certain amount of energy from carbohydrates, protein and fats to
function properly. Both the energy provided by food and the energy your body needs to function are measured in calories.
Use the following recommendations as a guide when planning your daily meals and snacks. Calories: 1,600 to 2,800 a day
The calorie is a measurement of the amount of energy provided by a food or recipe. Daily calorie needs vary with age, sex
and activity level.
Average calorie goals per day:
1,600 — Most women and some older adults
2,000 — Adult average
2,200 — Most men, active women,
teenage girls and children
2,800 — Active men and teenage boys
For general health and better weight control, try to distribute calories evenly at eating times throughout the day.
Protein: About 12 percent of calories In a 2,000-calorie diet, 12 percent of calories from protein is 60 grams.
Your body uses protein to make and maintain tissues such as muscles and organs. However, most Americans typically eat far
more protein than they need. A high-protein diet is often high in fat and cholesterol.
You can get protein from a variety of sources. Legumes, poultry, seafood, meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds are your
richest sources of protein. Grains and vegetables supply small amounts. Choose sources that are also low in fat.
Reduce emphasis on meats and other animal foods as part of your meals. Even if you don't eat any animal protein, you
can easily get enough protein as long as you eat a variety of foods that provide enough calories to maintain your healthy
Carbohydrates: About 55 percent to 65 percent of calories Foods high in carbohydrates are used mostly for energy.
Complex carbohydrates are the starches and fibers in grains, vegetables and legumes. Simple carbohydrates are the sugars in
sweets, fruits and milk.
Try to eat most of your carbohydrates as complex carbohydrates. Your body absorbs complex carbohydrates more slowly than
simple sugars for a more continuous energy supply. Complex carbohydrates also provide more nutrients and fiber than sweets.
Fat: About 20 percent to 30 percent of calories Fat is your most concentrated energy source. Some fat is required
in your diet for your body to function properly. Too much fat can have a negative impact on your health.
Different kinds of fat include: Saturated. Major sources are butter, cheese, whole milk and cream, meat, poultry, chocolate,
coconut, palm oil, lard and solid shortenings. Polyunsaturated. Most vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fat.
When vegetable oil is hydrogenated to form margarine or shortening, trans fatty acids are formed. Monounsaturated. Olive
and canola oils and nuts contain mainly monounsaturated fat. Saturated and trans fats increase your risk of coronary artery
disease by raising your blood cholesterol levels. High blood levels of cholesterol can lead to narrowing of your arteries
and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Polyunsaturated fats lower your blood cholesterol but also seem to be susceptible to oxidation. Oxidation is a process
that enables cells in your arteries to absorb fats and cholesterol. Over time, oxidation speeds the buildup of plaques, which
narrow arteries. In the right amounts, monounsaturated fats may help lower blood cholesterol and are resistant to oxidation.
Control calories from all fats. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, limit fat to about 65 grams daily. When you do use fat,
try to choose monounsaturated sources, such as olive oil. Using oils in place of margarine also minimizes trans fats.
Saturated fat: No more than 10 percent of total calories Although both trans and saturated fats raise blood
cholesterol levels, foods containing saturated fats are more prevalent in typical diets. In addition to limiting fat, eat
smaller portions and choose low-fat varieties of foods that contain saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses and milk.
Cholesterol: No more than 300 milligrams (mg) a day Almost all foods made from animals contain cholesterol. Concentrated
sources include organ meats, egg yolks and whole-milk products.Limit cholesterol but don't overemphasize its significance.
The primary dietary determinant of high blood cholesterol is saturated fat. For some people, however, dietary cholesterol
can raise the level of blood cholesterol higher.
Sodium: No more than 2,400 mg a day Sodium occurs naturally in foods. It also makes up 40 percent of table salt
(sodium chloride). You need only a small amount of sodium - less than one-quarter teaspoon of salt -to help regulate
fluid balance. Too much sodium may contribute to a rise in blood pressure, putting you at risk of heart attack and stroke.
Control sodium by limiting processed foods. Also cut back on the salt you add to food in cooking and at the table. As
you use less salt, your preference for salt will lessen, allowing you to enjoy the taste of the food itself.
Dietary fiber: 20 to 35 grams a day Dietary fiber is largely plant cell material that resists digestion. Insoluble
fiber holds onto water, adding bulk and helping prevent constipation. It also reduces your risk of colon cancer. It's found
mainly in vegetables, wheat bran and whole grains. Soluble fiber may help improve blood cholesterol levels and blood sugar
control. Generous amounts are found in oats, legumes and fruits. The best way to boost fiber is to eat a variety of whole
grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits. When buying breads or grains, look for the word whole on the label.
Our body cannot make vitamins,so it is important that we consume some every day. There are thirteen essential vitamins,and
each has a specific role in keeping us healthy. There is strong evidence that people who eat a lot of vitamin-rich foods such
as vegetables,fruits and whole grains,are in better health then those who do not.
Minerals help regulate fluid balance,muscle contractions,and nerve impulses, and are essential for the development of
teeth and bone. There are at least twenty minerals in a balanced diet,including calcium, magnesium, sodium,iron, potassium,and
Major minerals such as calcium are needed to build bones in childhood and slow the rate of bone loss in adulthood to
help prevent the bone-thinning condition of osteoporosis. Like vitamins,the best way to get minerals needed for health is
by eating a balanced diet rich in fruits,vegetables,and whole grains.
Women who are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis,should have 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium every day,depending
upon age and any medications they are taking. Teenage girls should consume this much calcium in order to build up as much
bone mass as possible.
Additionally,recent evidence suggests that increasing Vitamin D along with calcium may be a effective way to prevent
bone loss. If you don't get enough calcium and vitamin D from you diet,try supplements. Ask your doctor whether you need supplements.