If you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, the food choices you make can have an impact on the day-to-day quality of your life. Symptoms of stiffness or pain may limit your ability to prepare foods. In turn, you may rely on whatever is handy rather than well-balanced meals. Poor food selections may result in unwanted weight gain, limited activity and further aggravation of your symptoms. In addition, the medications you’re taking may alter your appetite and nutrient needs. So it’s especially important to establish good eating and activity patterns. As you think about what to eat, keep in mind that your goals are good health, good food and good taste.
Many people think that choosing a healthful diet requires making drastic changes in what they eat. Often, that’s not the case at all. For many, a few small, gradual changes can make a big difference in the long run. To select a healthful diet, follow these tips:
Balance your choices over time
Your food choices over several days should average out to the right balance of nutrients. Not every food or meal you eat has to be perfect. If you eat some foods high in fat, salt or sugar, complement them with other foods that are low in these ingredients.
Moderate your intake
If you eat reasonable portion sizes, it’s easier to include all the foods you enjoy and still have a healthful diet.
Try something new
No single food supplies all the nutrients you need. Increase the variety of foods you eat by trying new fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, and dried peas and beans.
Doctors all over the world suggest that you should include the following foods in your daily meals for a healthier life that can make arthritis not much of a problem for you. The quantity of the foods is also mentioned for your convenience.
• Bread, cereal, rice, and/or pasta, 6 to 11 servings
• Fruits, 2 to 4 servings
• Vegetables, 3 to 5 servings
• Meat, poultry, fish, dry, beans, eggs and/or nuts, 2 to 3 servings
• Milk, yogurt and/or cheese group, 2 to 3 servings
• Fats, oils and/or sweets, it should be used sparingly