Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares With Food

What you eat can make a big difference in how you feel. Follow these RA-friendly, flare-fighting food tips!

Michele C. Hollow
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Meat may cause flare-ups. British research suggests that people who frequently eat red meat are more than twice as likely to have arthritic flare-ups as are those who avoid meat. The investigators think the problem could be linked to various substances in meat, such as collagen, additives, or even infectious agents.

Although experts are not yet prepared to advocate a definitive “rheumatoid arthritis diet,” many suggest that people with RA carefully track what they eat and try to eliminate items that cause them trouble. “No diet known so far can reverse RA,” says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator in Sonoma County, California. “However, foods high in saturated fat and/or trans fats, processed food, and foods made with white flour and sugar, may be problematic for many people. It’s really best to see how one does without these foods to see whether there is any reduction in symptoms.”

Jeanne Peters is onboard with that advice. These days, she generally builds her meals around fish and colorful vegetables and herbs—the brighter the better. “I believe,” she says, “that food should be healing, healthful, and taste great.”

Bon appetit! 

April 2013