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Foods Seniors with Rheumatoid Arthritis Should Avoid

Your elderly loved one’s dietary choices may be worsening his or her rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, as some foods are more likely than others to directly impact inflammation that leads to unpleasant joint pain. If you provide home care in Tracy for a senior loved one with RA, here are a few foods you’ll want to eliminate from his or her diet.

Meat

The health risks of excessive meat consumption are well documented. Red meat is loaded with saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids that lead to obesity and inflammation. Lean cuts may still provide protein without added inflammation, though many studies indicate those who follow a strict vegetarian diet experience fewer rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Dairy

A specific protein in many dairy products can exacerbate RA symptoms, and some people with RA also develop antibodies to milk proteins. These antibodies develop due to mistakenly identifying dairy as a harmful substance in the body.

Sugar

Refined sugar, as sweet as it may taste to the tongue, is nutritionally empty. Cutting down on sugar is one of the most essential steps anyone with rheumatoid arthritis can take, as chronic inflammation makes it difficult for the body to process sugar and increases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Alcohol

Though moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to have either neutral or positive effects on many health issues, excessive use is never encouraged. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, too much alcohol can lead to spiking C-reactive proteins in the body, which increases inflammation. Alcohol can also be a dangerous mix if your loved one is taking any medications for his or her rheumatoid arthritis.

Though your loved one may be hesitant to drastically change his or her diet, especially if any of these foods are considered favorites, the best thing you can do is encourage moderation. Any improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms will be positive, and ideally your loved one will appreciate the results and continue to improve upon them.

If your elderly relative could use a helping hand grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals, consider a caregiver in Tracy from Home Care Assistance who can ensure your loved one is eating an RA-friendly diet and provide the emotional support he or she needs while making a serious lifestyle change. For more information, call (209) 650-8500 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.