The connection between fat intake and arthritis may be much closer than we think. Arthritis is attributed to many causes and even genetics. But recent studies are showing the link between saturated fats in our diets with the onset and even the aggravation of arthritis. It is therefore important for arthritis sufferers to take a closer look at their diet when considering solutions to relieving their symptoms such as inflammation and pain.
When we eat saturated fats and accumulate it in our bodies, the body tries to process these fats in various ways. Some of these chemical processes can also be harmful to our bodies. Some responses trigger the body’s defense systems which attack the body in vital locations such as the joints. So instead of getting rid of the fats, they create a pro-inflammatory response which worsens the arthritis. These can be seen through our common white blood cells which are found in very large numbers right at the inflammation sites in rheumatoid arthritis. They produce positive or negative chemical responses based on the kind of fats the individual is consuming. It is therefore essential to consume the ‘right’ fatty acids and cut out the ‘bad ‘fats to keep the balance right and reduce inflammation of joints.
A study done on rheumatoid arthritis patients in 1981 showed that completely removing fats from their diets resulted in a complete remission of the arthritis. The arthritis came back when the fatty diet was introduced again. This change in inflammation levels as a direct consequence of changing fat content is a significant step in understanding the relation between a diet rich in saturated fats and the body’s response to them. (Clin Res 29:754, 1981).
Foods to avoid are:
- Greasy and fried foods.
- It is also best to stay clear of fast foods (and often fried) which are very high in saturated fats
- Keep starchy foods such as potatoes to a minimum along with red meat
- Highly sweetened drinks such as sodas an unnatural drinks
One of the best ways to achieve the balance is to consume essential fatty acids. Because they are naturally anti-inflammatory they can counteract the effects done by saturated fats and begin the natural healing process. Eating alkaline food reduces the fat in the body and inflammation of joints thus neutralizing an acidic body. Eating the right foods is not enough; exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet plays an important part in healing arthritis effectively.
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