Diet

9 Steps to Creating an Osteoarthritis Diet

Christina Lasich, MD Mar 28th, 2012 (updated Jul 1st, 2015)
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Eating better always seems to be a process of elimination. While eliminating sugars, simple carbohydrates, and artificial chemicals can help improve health, some foods should be added to the diet.

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Drink plenty of fluids
Drink plenty of fluids

Believe it or not, thirst is not a good predictor of hydration status. By the time that you feel thirsty, you are probably already somewhat dehydrated. Most people probably spend a good portion of their life mildly dehydrated.

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More fruits and vegetables
More fruits and vegetables

The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society both recommend that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  Research tends to suggest that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better.

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More small, cold-water fish
More small, cold-water fish

The reason to eat small cold-water fish is because they contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation in the body, and they make the walls of the body's cells more pliable, which is important. 

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Eat red meat sparingly
Eat red meat sparingly

While fish have many anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, red meat, sadly, has lots of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.  Red meat and processed meats have been linked to a variety of cancers.

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Fewer processed foods
Fewer processed foods

The processed foods that are best to avoid are the sugary ones.  These include candies, chocolates and ice cream.  Avoid the salty potato chips and foods loaded with saturated fats, too.  Cutting down on these foods doesn't have to be a "sacrifice." 

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Balance required nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6
Balance required nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6

The best nutritional strategy to help control pain is called an “Anti-inflammatory” diet with foods that reduces glycemic load and balance required nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6.

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Plan out the meal in advance
Plan out the meal in advance

Good health starts at the point of purchase. Opt for in-season fruits and vegetables when possible, in addition to stone-ground wheats or carbohydrates high in antioxidants, like quinoa.  Feeling better with improved health is worth the extra effort of proper prior planning for dinner.

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Cook the right way
Cook the right way

Bringing out the flavors in foods is simpler than most realize. By roasting, toasting, bruising and searing foods, even the hardened “meat and potato” person will eat vegetables. That’s right, no gentle steaming or boiling bath for those greens; with high heat and brute force, an intense flavor can arrive on the dinner plate.

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Find anti-inflammatory foods
Find anti-inflammatory foods

Consuming food can still be enjoyable, especially with the wonderful flavor of chocolate paired with a nice red wine. Besides the joy of eating something that tastes so good, both chocolate and wine have some serious nutritional powers with seemingly unending uses towards the prevention and treatment of diseases including chronic pain.