It’s no secret that what your aging relative eats can affect their health. In fact, a balanced diet filled with healthy foods is a recommendation that doctor’s make for improving a whole host of medical conditions, including arthritis. Typically, a healthy diet includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.
But, did you know that there are also some foods that people with arthritis should avoid? Some foods can increase inflammation, interfere with medications, or make pain worse. If you’re a caregiver responsible for planning meals for an older adult with arthritis, here are some foods to eliminate or relegate to the “once in a while” list.
Sugar and Processed Carbs
When a person eats sugary foods, like desserts, pastries, and candy, the body releases cytokines. Cytokines trigger inflammation. Sugar can be hard to avoid if you’re not sure what to look for on nutritional labels since it has many names. In general, watch out for ingredients that end in “ose,” such as fructose or sucrose. Instead of sugary desserts, caregivers can offer naturally sweet fresh fruits as an alternative.
Red meat, like beef, contains saturated fat. Saturated fat can contribute to inflammation and may also lead to obesity. Excess weight can place more strain on joints, increasing arthritis pain. It may not be necessary to completely eliminate red meat from the older adult’s diet, just serve it infrequently. When you do include red meat in a meal, look for cuts that are as lean as possible.
Dairy products contain a certain kind of protein that can increase arthritis pain for some people. If you find that dairy affects your aging relative’s joint pain, they can get protein from other sources. Plant-based proteins are a good choice. Try adding tofu, lentils, quinoa, and beans to their diet.
Fried foods are a known trigger for inflammation. They can also cause weight gain. Instead of frying foods, like fish and chicken, try baking, broiling, or grilling it.
Alcohol is a little controversial when it comes to whether it is helpful or harmful for people with arthritis. Some studies show that drinking a little alcohol may be beneficial in comparison to no alcohol at all. However, drinking too much alcohol can increase inflammation. The choice to consume alcohol or not is an individual one, but regardless of whether your aging relative enjoys a glass of wine or a beer now and then, clearly it is in their best interest to drink only in moderation.
If you’re a family caregiver struggling to find time to prepare healthy meals for someone with arthritis, consider arranging for homecare. Homecare providers can come to the person’s home to prepare meals and clean up afterward. They can also take the older adult grocery shopping. Homecare can come to the house just a few times per week or as often as necessary to ensure your aging relative stays as healthy and comfortable in their home as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Florida City FL, contact the caring staff at Providence Healthcare Services. We provide services in all of Miami Dade county and the Upper Keys. Call (305) 220-1088.
Nercy is a native of Miami, Florida and has resided here her entire life.She has a genuine love for the people, the culture, and the community of Miami. She serves on several healthcare committees and is actively involved in numerous business associations and health related organizations dedicated to advocacy, education, and improving the health and wellbeing of those in the community.
Nercy is a Licensed Healthcare Risk Manager in the state of Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Florida International University and a Master of Business Administration from Liberty University.Nercy is an active member of the Homecare Association of Florida.