Diet for Osteoarthritis

No foods or combination of foods have been shown to improve or worsen osteoarthritis. As a result, there is no special "osteoarthritis diet." Instead, people with the condition should keep their weight under control and eat a well-balanced diet. In addition, you should get regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week and limit your intake of alcohol, fats, and sugars.

Is There a Special Diet for Osteoarthritis?

Many people with osteoarthritis wonder if there is a special "osteoarthritis diet" that can help slow down the progression of, or even cure, the disease. The short answer to this question is no. There are no foods or combination of foods that have been shown in clinical studies to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis. However, there are also no foods that have been shown in clinical studies to make the condition worse.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, "Until more data are available, patients should continue to follow balanced and healthy diets, be skeptical of 'miraculous' claims and avoid elimination diets and fad nutritional practices."

The Well-Balanced Osteoarthritis Diet

If you have osteoarthritis, it is important that you eat a well-balanced diet and control your weight. A well-balanced diet can help you feel better and can be a positive step in dealing with arthritis. It can also help decrease your chances of developing heart disease or certain types of cancer.
Controlling your weight can help minimize stress on the weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and the joints of the feet. It can also minimize your risk of developing other health problems.
Some suggestions for eating a well-balanced diet and controlling your weight include:
    • Fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Limiting foods with saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars.
  • Getting regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Limiting your intake of alcohol.
(Click Arthritis and Exercise for more suggestions on ways to stay active with osteoarthritis. Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range.)
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