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Sock's Rheumatoid Arthritis Page 1:
Diet And RA
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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 weight.
 
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.
 
Trans. 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 phosphorous.
 
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.
 

Guidelines- Diet and Exercise.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of  Agriculture have developed dietary guidelines that offer specific recommendations on what people should eat to maximize their health and help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. In general, we should
 
* Maintain a healthy weight to reduce our risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease,a stroke,certain types of cancer ( including postmenopausal breast  cancer and cancer of  the uterus,colon,and kidney ) and also to reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes,inferity,arthritis,gallstones,snoring,or sleep apnea.
 
* Eat a variety of foods to get the energy,protein,vitamins,minerals,and fiber needed for good health.
 
* Choose a diet low in saturated fat,trans-saturated fat,and cholestrol-or substitute monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats whenever possible-to reduce risk of heart disease and obesity.
 
* Choose a diet with plenty of fruits,vegetables,and whole grain products, which provide needed vitamins,minerals,fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
 
* Use salt only in moderation to help prevent high blood pressure,a risk factor for heart disease.
 
* Use sugars only in moderation to curb weight gain and dental cavaties.
 
* Drink alcoholic berverages only in moderation because alcohol supplies calories,but no or few neutrients. One drink per day may have a protective effect against heart disease. Do not drink any alcohol if one is pregnant.
 
* Eat a maximum of 4 ounces of lean meat,skinless poultry,or fish once or twice a day;this should provide all needed protein.
 
Diet alone cannot keep you healthy. Regular exercise is also required to promote overall well-being and build strong muscles,and to ensure that we are providing as much support to our joints as possible. A regular fitness plan will help to:
 
* Strengthen our heart,enabling it to pump blood more efficiently through the body ( carrying much needed nutrients and oxygen ).
 
* Im prove levels of cholestrol in our body by lowering harmful LDL cholestrol and increasing "good" HDL cholestrol.
 
* Increase the breathing capacity.
 
* Strengthen our bones by slowing the process of bone thinning ( osteoporosis ).
 
* Strengthen our muscles and provide more support to the joints.
 
* Decrease blood pressure.
 
* Reduce risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
 
In many instances a regular exercise plan will help lose weight,which in turn takes pressure of the joints. To shed pounds we need to expend more calories than we consume each day. The best way to lose weight is to begin slowly,aiming for no more than 2 pounds per week. And what we do eat should be healthy food such as fruits,vegetables,and whole grains.
 
But regular exercise will help us do more than just lose weight. It increases our endurance and helps digest foods more readily and helps for a better sleep at night. It also enables us to withstand stress and anxiety better,and will enable us to,less likely,to become depressed. All these factors will enable us to cope better with the symptoms of arthritis should they occur.
 
Regular exercise also benefits our joints directly. Our muscles and tendons help to align the bones and absorb the sometimes impressive amounts of force placed on the joints every day. Losing weight and strengthen muscles will provide furhter support to the joints.