Your Diet and Inflammation Knee Osteoarthritis and What Causes It
Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs when there is too much wear and tear on or loss of the cartilage, the cushioning part of the joint. Osteoarthritis means “inflammation of the bone and joint,” The risk of OA is increased in those who are overweight, in those who have had injuries (for example in sports), in women, and with aging.
But Exactly What Is A Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a specific eating plan consisting of plant-based carbohydrates like vegetables and some fruits, whole grains, fish and poultry (very little red meat), nuts, healthy herbs and spices, and wine. The key seems to be the right balance and combinations of foods.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Italy and Greece back in the year 1960.
Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of many killer diseases.
Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
A Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
There is no one “right” way to do this diet. There are many countries around the Mediterranean sea and they didn’t all eat the same things.
Learn The Basics
Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
Eat in Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
Eat Only Rarely: Red meat.
Don’t Eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
Foods to Eat
You should base your diet on these healthy, unprocessed Mediterranean foods.
* Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
* Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
* Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
* Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
* Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
* Whole Grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole grain bread and pasta.
* Fish and Seafood: Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc.
* Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey and more.
* Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.
* Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
* Herbs and Spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
* Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil.
Whole, single ingredient foods are the key to good health.
There is usually no need to count calories or track macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) on the Mediterranean diet.
Healthy Mediterranean Snacks
You don’t need to eat more than 3 meals per day.
But if you become hungry between meals, then these are acceptable snacks:
* A handful of nuts.
* A piece of fruit.
* Carrots or baby carrots.
* Some berries or grapes.
* Leftovers from the night before.
* Greek yogurt.
* Apple slices with almond butter.
How to Follow The Diet at Restaurants
It is very simple to make most restaurant meals suitable for the Mediterranean diet.
1. Have some sort of fish or seafood as your main dish.
2. Ask them to fry your food in extra virgin olive oil.
3. Only eat whole grain bread, with olive oil instead of butter.
A Simple Shopping List For The Diet
It is always a good idea to shop at the perimeter of the store, that’s usually where the whole foods are found.
Always try to choose the least processed option. Organic is best, but only if you can easily afford it.
* Vegetables: Carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, kale, garlic, etc.
* Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc.
* Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, etc.
* Frozen veggies: Choose mixes with healthy vegetables.
* Grains: Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, etc.
* Legumes: Lentils, pulses, beans, etc.
* Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashwes, etc.
* Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
* Condiments: sea salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, etc.
* Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackarel, trout.
* Shrimp and shellfish.
* Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.
* Greek Yogurt.
* Pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
It is best to clear all unhealthy temptations from your home, including sodas, ice cream, candy, pastries, white bread, crackers and all sorts of processed foods.
Any and All
Hydrogenated oils, added sugars, margarine, refined grains, butter, processed meats, and high-fat foods should be avoided in the Mediterranean diet.
The Study on the Mediterranean Diet and Arthritis
What’s in the study:
published in Clinical Nutrition last month, consisted of 4,358 subjects who had been diagnosed with knee arthritis. Researchers used a tool called a Mediterranean diet score (aMED) to determine how well the subjects stuck to the Mediterranean diet. Then they evaluated the results. The study concluded, “Higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with lower prevalence of knee OA.”
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the cartilage, the cushioning part, of a joint. I mentioned above that hydrogenated oils, margarine, added sugars, and processed foods are not part of a Mediterranean diet, all things which, in some form or fashion, cause or contribute to chronic inflammation. So it’s clear to see why perhaps a Mediterranean diet could lower the prevalence of knee arthritis, which is a result of inflammation in the knee joint.
Always check with your Doctor before starting any new diet plan.