I just don’t know where the year has gone at the moment! I know that diet isn’t normally something that is associated with December, but I have noticed that it is a topic that comes up fairly often on HealthUnlocked, and on the off-chance that some of you, like me, are anticipating putting on a few pounds at Christmas I thought you might be interested in some pre-seasonal dieting information.
The word diet conjures up different things to different people. On the one hand, diet is about what you eat and how this can improve your overall health. On a more specific level, people talk about going on a diet because they want to lose weight. Of course, the best way of doing both is to change your eating habits so that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet. The weight loss may be slower than on some ‘fad’ diets, but it will be better for you, and may help you to keep the weight off.
The main advice on diet for people with RA is to have a healthy, balanced diet, the same as it would be for anyone in the general population, and of course keeping your weight at a reasonable level puts less strain on your joints. Exercise can help with weight loss, as well as having other benefits, like keeping your muscles strong. The level of exercise you are able to do will obviously vary, but here are some useful exercise links:
You will often hear of ‘exclusion’ diets for people with RA, where you are advised to cut one thing or another out of your diet. You should always be careful when doing this that your diet is still balanced, and that you are not cutting out important vitamins and nutrients altogether. It is also very important to note that while some people’s RA does not seem to be affected by what they eat, for those that are affected, the foods that they need to cut out are very individual. It is not a case of: “All people with RA must cut out X,Y and Z” from their diet. For some it will be ‘X’, for some ‘Y’ and for some it might be ‘F’. So, what works for one person may not work for you. You could find out if any foods are irritating your condition by keeping a food diary for a while, where you monitor what you eat and how you feel each day. I also think the following information on diets might be helpful:
This is our general article about diet and RA:
Here is a specific ‘festive’ article to help you over the Christmas period:
Wishing you a happy advent period!
Helpline & Information Coordinator