Patient Education on Foods to be Avoided with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis in senior citizens and is the result of progressive wear and tear of the joint over the years. Osteoarthritis also has serious bearing with the nature of job due to the wear and tear on the joint, while performing the job. Individuals can benefit greatly by avoiding certain foods if they are suffering with osteoarthritis. We have provided a list of foods to be avoided with osteoarthritis in this post. Nurses can use this teaching to educate the patients and caregivers  regarding foods to be avoided with osteoarthritis.

Individuals with osteoarthritis should avoid following foods –

Gluten containing foods:

  1. Consumption of gluten containing foods, such as, wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and malt could contribute to exacerbation of osteoarthritis in individuals with history.
  2. Avoiding/minimizing consumption of these gluten-containing grains and products made of them can be of significant help in preventing exacerbation of joint pains in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Added sugars:

  1. Consumption of food products with added/extra sugars can lead to release of chemicals in the body that promote inflammation and joint pains.
  2. Processed foods could be high in added sugars. Individuals with osteoarthritis should minimize intake of processed foods and added sugars, to help reduce inflammation and improved relief from joint pains.
  3. Avoid/minimize intake of regular soda, smoothies, and coffee concoctions such as, pumpkin latte, Mocha Swirl, and whipped coffee, as they are high in added sugars and contribute to worsening of joint inflammation.
  4. Also, avoid/minimize consuming products, such as, jams, jellies, cereals with added sugars, fruit juices with added sugars, as they are high in added sugars.
  5. Added sugars could be mentioned on the food labels under various names, such as, sucrose, cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.,
  6. Individuals with osteoarthritis should scan through the food labels closely, to avoid picking items listed rich in added sugars.
  7. Picking low-carb versions and diet versions of favorite foods and minimizing consumption of desserts, such as, cookies, candies, and ice cream, can be of significant help in preventing exacerbation of joint pains in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Red meat:

  1. In general, red meat is known to aggravate inflammation in various body parts.
  2. Excessive consumption of red meat by individuals with osteoarthritis can lead to worsening and frequent exacerbation of joint pains.
  3. Avoiding/minimizing consumption of red meat products can be of significant help in preventing exacerbation of joint pains in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Processed bread and products:

  1. Refined bread and products, such as, white bread and pasta, are also known to aggravate inflammation of joints, leading to exacerbation of osteoarthritis in individuals with history.
  2. Processing of these foods can lead to generation of some chemicals known to contribute to or aggravate inflammation and joint pains.
  3. Avoiding/minimizing consumption of white bread and pasta can be of significant help in preventing exacerbation of joint pains in individuals with osteoarthritis.

Highly processed meats:

  1. Cooking food at high temperatures can lead to generation of some chemicals known to contribute to or aggravate inflammation and joint pains.
  2. So, individuals with history of osteoarthritis should avoid or minimize consumption of highly processed, grilled, and baked meat & meat products, such as, hotdogs, bologna, and sausages.

Highly processed dairy products:

  1. Consumption of highly processed dairy & cheese products, such as, butter, margarine, American cheese, parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese can lead to generation of some chemicals known to contribute to or aggravate inflammation and joint pains.
  2. So, individuals with history of osteoarthritis should avoid or minimize consumption of highly processed dairy and cheese products.

Vegetables:

  1. Vegetables belonging to nightshade family, such as, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, green peppers, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, and potatoes are believed to promote inflammation.
  2. These vegetables contain a product called solanine, which is known to aggravate inflammation in various body parts.
  3. Individuals with history of osteoarthritis must limit or observe moderation with intake of these vegetables and products made of them. Avoiding them during an episode of arthritis exacerbation can be helpful.

Omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats:

  1. Consumption of food products rich in omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats is known to aggravate inflammation, leading to exacerbation of joint pains in individuals with history of osteoarthritis.
  2. Products rich in omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats include seed and vegetable oils such as, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and cottonseed oil.
  3. Individuals with history of osteoarthritis should avoid or minimize use of the above mentioned oils for cooking and consumption.

Alcoholic beverages:

  1. Alcohol causes inflammation in various body parts and also, impairs the ability of human body to regulate/control the inflammation.
  2. Also, inflammation worsens the harmful effects alcohol can have on various body parts. Thus, alcohol and inflammation mutually complement each other’s harmful effects on human body.
  3. Individuals with history of osteoarthritis must limit or observe moderation with consumption of alcoholic drinks, to help control/regulate joint inflammation.
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