After diagnosis, many people wonder if there are any types of food that they should eat or avoid to help reduce their symptoms. In fact, there are no particular diets or types of food that will make your arthritis better or worse. Instead, the aim should always be to eat a well-balanced diet and to keep to a healthy weight.
Below are useful tips and information to keep in mind about healthy eating while living with arthritis.
We all snack between our main meals, especially now that we’re working from home more. The truth is, snacking can be part of your healthy eating regime. Quite often, people categorise their treats as either ‘good snacking’ or ‘bad snacking’. You just need to identify the snacks that suit your own nutrition/weight management goals.
Here are some tips that could help:
- Plan your menu the day before: If you have a clear idea of what you aim to have, you’ll feel less temptation to reach out for something high in taste but poor in nutrients.
- Read the food label. The more you understand about what you’re actually eating, the better.
- Choose snacks which have less saturated fat and sugar. Opt for a snack that’s high protein and/or rich in fibre, like nuts or a high protein yoghurt with fruits.
Eating is more than just fulfilling your nutritional needs. The enjoyment and social element of eating is also very important.
You can still enjoy eating out without it being detrimental to your nutrition or even fitness goals. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
- Make a healthier choice. Choose a restaurant/pub rather than a fast food outlet. You can also experiment with healthy food swaps, for example substituting chips with a jacket potato or sweet potatoes.
- If you order a takeaway, you can try ordering boiled rice rather than fried rice, soup instead of crackers, tandoori meats instead of creamy curry, replacing a doner kebab and mayo with a shish kebab and salad.
- At the fish and chips shop, aim for a smaller portion of battered fish and/or chips, with little or no salt.
- Keeping an eye on your portion size is really important when you go somewhere else for food. Be sure to keep the size of your meal similar to a meal you’d eat at home.
- Keep an eye on the frequency you eat out. Make sure you view eating out or takeaway as a treat, rather than a habit.
Eating a healthy, varied diet and maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone, especially those living with arthritis. For people that are looking to reduce their body weight, controlling your food intake would be something you need to do in the first instance. Here at Arthritis Action we often say ‘enjoy your food, but not too much’.