Healthy Eating & Weight Management
Good nutrition and weight management are important parts of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you manage your arthritis and improve your overall health.
Benefits of healthy eating
- Increased energy throughout the day
- If overweight, even a 5 – 10% weight loss can help reduce joint pain & inflammation and improve your body’s ability to move and allow medications to work better.
- Reduce risk of other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and thinning of bones.
Develop healthy eating habits
Changing your eating habits may seem overwhelming. But taking just a few small steps can result in significant changes. Some small changes include:
- Plan your meals ahead of time, use a grocery list and shop for meals.
- Shop the outer areas of the grocery store and read labels to make better choices.
- Make small changes by trying new foods.
- Eat smaller food portions to maintain a healthy weight & waist measurement.
- Choose a variety of foods at each meal from each group of Canada’s Food Guide to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients.
- Choose whole foods instead of processed foods. Include more raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains such brown rice, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, and whole grain breads.
- Eat more dark green, red and orange vegetables & fruits.
- Include more plant-based meals in your week.
- Eat a little high quality protein such as lean meat, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds or legumes at every meal.
- Choose healthy fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, olive/coconut oils and fish, while decreasing saturated animal fats and avoiding trans fats (hydrogenated fats )
- Boost calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, & magnesium intake to build strong bones.
- Drink fluids such as water to prevent dehydration. Limit juices & soft drinks.
- Limit sodium and choose sea salt over table salt.
- Avoid eating genetically modified foods (such as corn, soy & canola oil) & foods grown with high amounts of pesticides.
- Choose local or organic foods when possible.
- When your hands hurt, use cut-up fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, or prepared meals delivered from the local grocery store or agencies such as ‘Better Meals’ or ‘Meals on Wheels.’
- Speak to your doctor, nurse or dietitian if any dietary supplements are needed.