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Feb 2

New dietary guidelines: 5 things nutrition experts want you to know – Rutland Herald

New federal dietary guidelines encourage Americans to focus more on eating healthy throughout life, to be flexible in their eating patterns and to cut down on empty calories.

The recommendations released every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are designed to promote nutrition and prevent chronic disease.

The high prevalence of diabetes, cancer and heart disease could be reduced if people ate better, said Judith Wylie-Rosett, a professor of health promotion and nutrition research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Chronic diseases are often related to obesity and poor nutritional habits.

Here are five important takeaways from nutrition experts:

The recommendations emphasize that healthy eating comes in many forms and can be adjusted to fit cultural traditions, personal tastes and different budgets.

Swapping out red meat, for example, doesnt mean people have to force down their least-favorite source of protein.

You can go with a plant-based diet or eat seafood, poultry and legumes rather than red meat, said Penny Kris-Etherton, a distinguished professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

The new focus on customization based on culture, budget and personal preference is a departure from the guidelines past one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating.

For the first time, the guidelines say children under 2 should completely avoid foods and drinks with added sugars, such as cake, ice cream and fruit drinks.

But the guidance for added sugars otherwise remains unchanged, despite a report last summer from the dietary guidelines advisory committee that called for everyone ages 2 and older to cut consumption to 6% of daily calories, down from the currently recommended 10%.

Similarly, the guidelines stuck with previous advice on alcohol no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women in adults who choose to drink.

Sugar is often added to a variety of foods where you might not expect it, including bottled spaghetti sauce, ketchup, breads and cereals. Its important to read nutrition labels and select foods accordingly, Kris-Etherton said.


The guidelines for the first time outline recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood. For example, babies should exclusively have breast milk for the first six months of life. If breastfeeding isnt an option, babies should be fed an iron-fortified infant formula.

In addition, the guidelines recognize that people 60 and older have slightly different nutritional needs. For instance, vitamin B12 deficiencies are more common in older people, so older adults are urged to eat the recommended amount of protein, a common source of B12, as well as B12-fortified foods.

Foods are not eaten in isolation but in a wide array of combinations over time a dietary pattern.

The idea, Wylie-Rosett said, is to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables rather than focusing on specific nutrients. For example, beta carotene is a plant pigment and antioxidant found in carrots and other vegetables.

There are over 600 carotenoids, but the only one we talk about is beta carotene, she said. Weve created our nutrient guides to avoid deficiencies, (but) what we need to do is focus on optimal health.

To that end, the guidelines recommend people vary their source of protein, fill half their plate with a mix of different fruits and vegetables, select low-fat dairy or soy alternatives, and avoid foods high in sugar, saturated fat and sodium.

The theme of the 164-page guideline is to make every bite count. That means avoiding high-calorie junk foods such as potato chips, cookies and calorie-laden (and nutrient-poor) fast foods in favor of healthier options, Kris-Etherton said.

Think whole grains, fruits and vegetables; vegetable oils instead of butter or coconut oil; and low-fat dairy and leaner proteins.

When you fill up on all the right foods, you dont want the other foods, because youre full and satisfied, Kris-Etherton said.

And the benefits multiply, she said. People will likely sleep better, be less stressed and have more energy to exercise.

It just goes on and on, she said. Good nutrition really helps with overall well-being.

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New dietary guidelines: 5 things nutrition experts want you to know - Rutland Herald

Jan 30

What is the best diet for rheumatoid arthritis? – Medical News Today

There is no specific diet for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, scientists believe that some foods may help ease the swelling that causes pain and stiffness.

This article explains what RA is and looks at some of the foods that might help relieve the symptoms. It also investigates whether some foods make RA worse and highlights some other ways that people can manage their symptoms.

RA is an autoimmune condition. This means that a malfunction of the immune system causes it.

More specifically, RA occurs when the bodys natural defenses attack the joints. This leads to painful swelling called inflammation. RA usually affects the joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. Sometimes, it can affect several joints at once.

The symptoms include painful aching or stiffness in the joints. People may feel extremely tired and weak, and occasionally, the condition can cause a low grade fever. Over time, RA can damage the joints permanently.

RA is a chronic, long-term condition, and there is currently no cure. Most people will have periods of remission, during which they have few or no symptoms. Other times, their symptoms will get worse. Doctors call these periods flare-ups.

People with RA can usually manage the condition by taking medications and making certain lifestyle changes.

Some experts believe that diet can help prevent flare-ups and manage the symptoms of RA. There is no specific diet that research has shown to help people with RA, but some foods may help control the painful swelling and support the immune system.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, many of these foods are part of the Mediterranean diet. They include:

Salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Arthritis Foundation, these fat molecules help fight the inflammation that causes joint pain in RA.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which support the immune system. The fiber in fruits and vegetables may also help reduce inflammation.

Some of the best sources of antioxidants include blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, spinach, kale, onions, and broccoli.

Olive oil contains antioxidants, polyphenols, oleuropein, and oleocanthal. According to preclinical studies, these compounds have anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Nuts and seeds are useful for fighting inflammation. Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and almonds are great sources of monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber.

Experts recommend eating around one handful of nuts and seeds per day.

Beans are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including:

People with RA could try adding pinto beans, black beans, red kidney beans, or chickpeas to their diet.

Fiber is very important for heart and gut health. It can also help lower inflammation.

Some food sources of fiber include:

The Arthritis Foundation note that fats play a role in inflammation. As a result, people with RA should try to avoid trans fats. These are often present in baked goods, margarine, and fried foods.

Fats that people with RA should try to limit include:

Processed foods such as some ready-made meals, fast food, and cookies are often high in these fats. It is best to avoid these food items as much as possible.

The Arthritis Foundation also recommend that people with RA remove nightshade vegetables from their diet for 2 weeks to see whether or not they notice any difference in their RA symptoms.

Nightshade vegetables include eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. However, scientists need to do more research to investigate this theory before drawing any conclusions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer the following advice to people living with RA.

Many community and patient advocacy groups offer RA self-management courses and workshops. These tend to be free or inexpensive to attend.

During these workshops, people usually learn ways to manage pain, exercise safely, and stay in control of their condition.

When a person has RA, getting regular physical activity eases pain and helps the joints work better. It can also help people with the condition stay healthier for longer.

The CDC recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week.

Having excess weight places pressure on the joints. In turn, this can make RA pain worse and prevent people from being active.

Losing just 1 pound (lb) (0.45 kilograms [kg]) of body weight will take 4 lb (1.8 kg) of pressure off the knee joints, for example.

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating a healthful, balanced diet and exercising regularly.

People with RA should speak with a healthcare provider regularly. There are lots of treatment and management strategies available.

By working with their doctor, people with RA can usually maintain a high quality of life.

There is currently no cure for RA. It is a long-term condition that causes painful swelling in the joints.

Some scientists believe that certain foods can help with the symptoms. This is because some foods contain antioxidants, which support the immune system. Others contain compounds that may fight inflammation.

Some other ways to manage the symptoms of RA include staying active and maintaining a moderate weight.

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What is the best diet for rheumatoid arthritis? - Medical News Today

Jan 30

Porsha Williams Shared an Update on Her Healthy Eating Journey – Bravo

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Porsha Williams Explains What it Means to Be a "Baby Vegan"

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Porsha Williams indulges in the occasional fried-chicken sandwich, and she's a regular customer at Dennis McKinley's Original Hot Dog Factory. (Shehas to beloyal to her daughter PJ's father, after all.) But,on a day-to-day basis,The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member keeps her diet as clean as possible.

The self-described "baby vegan" eats plenty of plant-based foods (see the clip above), and she has also tried intermittent fasting. She's also ordered pre-made meals so that she has quick, healthy dinners on hand at home. And even when she's running low on recipe inspiration, Porsha manages to whip up something that's packed with fiber and protein.

In a recent Instagram Story, the Black Lives Matter activist shared a look at her MacGyver-style meal. "When you tryna be healthy and you don't know what tf to cook," she wrote, adding several laughing emoji. On the menu: three hardboiled eggs, and a mixture of cooked onions and lentils. Clean, cozy ... one could do worse!

Want more The Real Housewives of Atlanta? New episodes air Sundays at 8/7c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.

Bravos Style & Living is your window to the fabulous lifestyles of Bravolebrities. Be the first to know about all the best fashion and beauty looks, the breathtaking homes Bravo stars live in, everything theyre eating and drinking, and so much more. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and get exclusive extras.

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Porsha Williams Shared an Update on Her Healthy Eating Journey - Bravo

Jan 30

Plant-Based Diet Adherence Tied to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk – HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to plant-based diets is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in Diabetes Care.

Zhangling Chen, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS [1986 to 2012]; 76,530 women) and NHS II (1991 to 2017; 81,569 women) as well as the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986 to 2016; 34,468 men) to evaluate the association between plant-based diets and the subsequent risk for type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found 12,627 cases of type 2 diabetes during 2,955,350 person-years of follow-up. Participants with the largest decrease (>10 percent) in the plant-based diet index (PDI) and healthful PDI (hPDI) over four years had a higher diabetes risk in the subsequent four years (PDI: pooled hazard ratio [HR], 1.12; hPDI: HR, 1.23) compared with participants with stable PDI or hPDI, when adjusting for initial body mass index and initial and four-year changes in alcohol intake, smoking, physical activity, and other factors. The risk for diabetes was lower for each 10 percent increment in the PDI and hPDI over four years (PDI: HR, 0.93; hPDI: HR, 0.91). There was no association noted between changes in unhealthful PDI and diabetes risk. Between 6 and 35.6 percent of the associations between changes in the PDI and hPDI and diabetes risk was accounted for by weight changes.

"The findings of the current study not only confirm previous reports but also demonstrate that both four-year and longer-term (eight-year) improvements in adherence to overall and healthful plant-based diets are associated with lower diabetes risk," the authors write.

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Plant-Based Diet Adherence Tied to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk - HealthDay News

Jan 30

Nutrition: Diversify your diet to beat the winter blues – Duluth News Tribune

We are coming up on one year since the pandemic changed our lives. A year is a long time and can especially feel longer during the winter months. Do you find yourself dragging through the day, grabbing an energy drink, soda or extra cup of coffee?

Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or if the winter months, coupled with the pandemic, are wearing you down, take a look at your food choices. Are you ready for a change? I know I am! Healthy nutrition can impact how you feel, and here is how.

First, aim to include a variety of foods and food groups each day to your menu plan. Choose more complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include beans, lentils, 100% whole grain products and starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, winter squash and potatoes.

You will see several of these listed again because they are that important. Yes, these carbohydrates are good for you. By choosing complex carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates, you are fueling your body with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Lets take a closer look at some important vitamins that provide long-lasting benefits and may boost your winter well-being.

Vitamin B6 is a vitamin found in many plant-based and animal products. Vitamin B6 is important for brain development and helps keep the nervous system and immune system healthy. Good sources of Vitamin B6 include chicken, tuna, salmon, liver, dairy, beans, spinach, carrots, oats, bananas, whole grain flour, bran and brown rice.

Serotonin is a chemical released by the nervous system and has been found to help mood, calm nerves and promote relaxation. To increase our bodys serotonin, we need folic acid. Folic acid is another important B vitamin that can be found in dark, green, leafy vegetables and plants, beets, eggs, citrus fruits, nuts, seeds and lentils.

Vitamin D has many important functions, such as reducing inflammation and supporting immune function. Over time, inflammation can increase risk for chronic diseases. This time of year, many of us northern Minnesotans are unable to get enough natural Vitamin D from sunshine.

Other natural forms of Vitamin D can be found in fish such as salmon and canned tuna, egg yolk and mushrooms. Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D and offer the same benefits as natural Vitamin D. Foods that are commonly fortified with Vitamin D include, milk, orange juice, cereal and oatmeal.

Lastly, foods rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E can support healthy immune function, especially important during the cold and flu season. Good sources of beta carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A, include spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and cantaloupe. Good sources of Vitamin C are well known and include citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be enjoyed in nuts and seeds, beans, wheat germ and margarine.

All this sounds good on paper, but how are you going to include these foods into your meals? Plan ahead for both meals and snacks and think about combining the foods above to create a more nutrient-rich meal. Suggest a meal swap with a neighbor a couple times a month. This is a great way to try something different and share your favorite meal as well.

Lastly, consider checking out a cookbook from the library. As you can see, many of the foods above offer a variety of nutrients, so it may be easier than you think to enjoy a wholesome, energy-boosting, COVID-kicking meal plan.

Tammy Licari, RD, CDCES, LD, CD, is a St. Lukes Clinical Dietitian.

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Nutrition: Diversify your diet to beat the winter blues - Duluth News Tribune

Jan 30

Don’t Starve the Energy Beast When a Diet Will Do – White House Chronicle

In politics, any idea can be pressed into service if it fits a purpose. The one I have in mind has been snatched from its Republican originators and is now at work on the left wing of the Democratic Party.

The idea is starve the beast. It came from one of President Ronald Reagans staffers and was used to curb federal spending.

It was a central idea in the Republican Party through the Reagan years and was taken up with vigor by tax-cutting zealots. It was on the lips of those who thought the way to small government was through tax cuts, i.e., financial starvation.

Now starve the beast is back in a new guise: a way to cut dependence on oil and natural gas.

This is the thought behind President Joe Bidens decision to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, bringing oil to the United States from Canada, even after the expenditure of billions of dollars and an infinity of studies.

It is the idea behind banning fracking and restricting leases on federal lands. Some Democrats and environmental activists believe that this blunt instrument will do the job.

But blunt instruments are unsuited to fine work.

It also is counterproductive to set out to force that which is happening in an orderly way. The Biden administration shows signs of wanting to do this, unnecessarily.

Lumping coal, oil, and gas as the same thing under the title fossil fuel is the first error. In descending order, coal is the most important source of pollution, and its use is falling fast. Oil continues to be the primary transportation fuel for the world. World oil production and use hovers around 100 million barrels a day and that has been fairly steady in recent years.

In the United States, the switch to electric vehicles is well underway and in, say, 20 years, they will be dominant. Likewise, in Europe, Japan, and China. That train has left the station and is picking up steam.

Government action, like building charging stations, wont speed it up but rather will slow it down. The market is working. Willing buyers and sellers are on hand.

Every electric vehicle is a reduction in oil demand. But the world is still a huge market for petroleum and will be for a long time. What sense is there in hobbling U.S. oil exports? There are suppliers from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria keen to take up any slack.

Natural gas is different. It is a superior fuel in that it has about half the pollutants of coal and fewer than oil. It is great for heating homes, cooking, making fertilizers and other petrochemicals. Starving the production just increases the cost to consumers.

The real target is, of course, electric utilities. They rushed to gas to get off coal. It was cheaper, cleaner, and more manageable. Also, gas could be burned in turbines that are easily installed and repaired. Boilers not needed; no steam required.

But there are greenhouse gases emitted and, worse, methane leaks at fracking sites and from faulty pipelines throughout the system. These represent a grave problem. Here the government can move in with tighter regulation. If it is fixable, fix it. But methane leaks are no reason to cripple domestic production.

The question for the beast-starvers comes from Clinton Vince, who chairs the U.S. energy practice and co-chairs the global energy practice of Dentons, the worlds largest law firm. He asks, Is it better to sell natural gas to India and China or to let them build more coal-fired plants? Particularly if carbon-capture and sequestration technology can be improved.

If we are to continue to reduce carbon emissions in the United States, we need to take a holistic view of energy production and consumption. Does it make sense to allow carbon-free nuclear plants to go out of service because of how we value electricity in the short term? A market adjustment, well within government purview, could save a lot of air pollution immediately.

The hydrocarbon beast doesnt need to be starved, but a diet might be a good idea.

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Don't Starve the Energy Beast When a Diet Will Do - White House Chronicle

Jan 30

Dave Asprey Thinks Coffee Is a Superfood – GQ

Today, Dave Asprey is well-known as one of the leading figures of the biohacking movement and the founder of the Bulletproof empireif you've ever put butter in your coffee, he's the reason why. But it wasn't always this way: In his 20s, he was working as a computer hacker while tipping the scale at around 300 pounds. He was fed up with feeling awful all of the time and dealing with arthritis and chronic fatigue. Despite doing all of the standard right things his doctors advised, including exercise and counting calories, he was stuck.

So he began experimenting himself, first with a low-carb diet that resulted in a 50-pound weight loss. From there, he was hooked. So hooked that Asprey says he has spent more than $1 million building a better body, experimenting with everything from red light therapy to cold exposure, with the goal to live until at least 180.

Last week, The New York Times bestselling author released his latest, Fast This Way, which reviews the latest thinking on how to turn eating restrictions into better health. GQ chatted with Asprey to find out what his day-to-day looks like while running his business from a 32-acre organic farm on Vancouver Island, off Canada's Pacific Coast. It indeed involves fasting and drinking coffee with butter in itbut also the occasional bite of dairy-free ice cream.

For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and everyone in between about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you.

GQ: What time do you usually get out of bed?

Dave Asprey: I usually get out of bed around 6:45 or 7 a.m. I used to go to bed much later and wake up later, but it's just less convenient. So I used a combination of light and fasting to shift my circadian windows. Now, I go to bed earlier than I ever have in my life. And I do it naturally, which is super cool.

I wake up, and I definitely make a shot of espresso. I usually turn that into an Americano. I also make one for my wife and one for my kids to split because yes, my kids do drink coffee. It's good for you. It's a superfood, screw kale. Sometimes I make it Bulletproof (using MCT oil and grass-fed, unsalted butter). Others, I just do a black, depending on what I feel like for the day.

Talk to me about your morning supplementsI've seen the photos, and there are a lot of them.

I take a handful of the supplements that I put together the night before that are mostly mitochondrial stimulators or other anti-aging things, peptides, etc. We're talking like 40 or 50 pills. Some of them are ones that I formulated for Bulletproof. I also take all of my probiotics in the morning when I wake up, because I have found in recent research that if you take probiotics at night, they disrupt your sleep. If you take them in the morning they seem to work better. I usually take some prebiotic fiber at some point, which feeds the good bacteria. My goal lately has been to make bacteria in my gut the manufacturer of as many of the things that I want in my body as possible. I also take all my minerals and stuff like that.

[In a follow-up email, Asprey clarified that his current morning supplement lineup includes, from Bulletproof, vitamins A, D, and K, glutathione, Eye Armour, copper and zinc, and Smart Mode, along with amino acids and calcium d-glucarate.]

Anything else thats important to your morning routine?

When I wake up, I do just a brief gratitude practice. I just lay there for a minute or two and I have two things that I'm grateful for. One is that I say to no one in particular, Thank you for using me today. I don't say what for, I'm just going to assume things work out the way they're supposed to happen. The second gratitude is, Thank you for making things happen the way they're supposed to happen.

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Dave Asprey Thinks Coffee Is a Superfood - GQ

Jan 30

Sports writer ‘can’t stop farting’ from Tom Brady’s diet – 106.7 FM The Fan Radio Station

An intrepid sports writer is suffering for his craft.

CBS Sports scribe Pete Blackburn says he's tried his hand at eating healthy, Tom Brady-style -- and he isn't impressed by the results.

The questionable dietary program -- which eschews most carbohydrates, "nightshade" vegetables, MSG and coffee, for legumes, whole grains, roughage and a small percentage of lean meat -- left the writer feeling hungry, bloated, gassy, and frequently having to pee.

"Day 2 of the TB diet: I cannot stop farting," Blackburn announced Wednesday.

Brady, whose checkered history of endorsements includes hawking a dubious sports drink claiming to prevent and treat concussions, apparently calls for adherents of his plan to consume huge quantities of H-2-0 every day.

The superstar quarterback's recommendation is to drink half as much as your body weight in ounces every day, Blackburn explains. So someone weighing 150 pounds would drink 75 ounces of water per day.

Chugging all the water has left Blackburn feeling like he could be "popped like a water balloon."

Brady, the surefire future Hall of Famer, has long touted his TB12-branded regimen of dietary supplements, along with the diet, which he has credited for helping to keep him relatively fit and healthy well into his 40s.

Critics say Brady is cynically trading on his fame and longevity to make a quick buck.

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Sports writer 'can't stop farting' from Tom Brady's diet - 106.7 FM The Fan Radio Station

Jan 30

This May Be The Superfood Your Diet Needs, According To Nutritionists –

According to Wahls, beef liver is an excellent source of B vitamins, includingfolate, riboflavin, niacin, and cobalamin (B12). In fact, she says it's superior to greens when it comes to B12, which is not readily available in plants.

Beef liver also contains one of the highest sources of nonsynthetic, preformed vitamin A (aka retinol). "Three ounces of this organ meat provides around 7,900 micrograms of vitamin A, equaling about 883% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)," registered dietitian Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN, tells mbg.This essential micronutrient is critical for immune functioning and difficult to find in most foods. "It's different from beta-carotene, which is what most vitamins/prenatals use," LeVeque explains in her Instagram caption.

In addition to its vitamins and minerals, beef liver "is a great source of high-quality protein to boost the metabolism while also being a good low-calorie and low-carb option," says dietitian Priscilla Blevins, M.S., R.D., L.D. Beef liver is, therefore, a good option for anyone following the keto diet or another protein-rich lifestyle.

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This May Be The Superfood Your Diet Needs, According To Nutritionists -

Jan 30

You Need to Know About Elimination Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis –

Curious if certain foods trigger your RA symptoms? Heres what to know about trying an elimination diet.


An elimination diet for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) seems simple enough: Remove suspected trigger foods from your meal plan and see if your symptoms improve. But the truth is, theres a lot you need to consider before taking that step. In some cases, elimination diets may be appropriate, says Alicia Romano, M.S., R.D., clinical registered dietitian at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. But in other cases, not so much. If youre curious whether an elimination diet is right for you, heres what you need to know.

Its a procedure used to identify foods that may be triggering an adverse reaction, says Romanospecifically for RA, were talking about symptom flares. Basically: You remove the foods from your diet for a while to see whether symptoms resolve. If they do, you can then reintroduce the foods, one at a time, to see if symptoms come back.

Even if youre taking medication for your RA, its still common to experience flares. In some cases, an elimination diet may lead to fewer flares, says Nilanjana Bose, M.D., a rheumatologist at the Rheumatology Center of Houston. And if it works well and you show you can maintain the diet for six months to a year, you may even be able to talk to your doctor about lowering your medication dose, says Dr. Bose. So if youre taking multiple meds, you may be able to try eliminating one of them. Or if youre on methotrexate, say, you may be able to try taking it fewer times per week. That could be great!

Still, dont expect to kick the meds completely, says Dr. Bose. Most patients will need something to keep their inflammation down.

There are lots of elimination diets out there, but here are some of the most common for RA (roughly in order of how much evidence there is to back them).

Worth a try:

Gluten-free: RA patients who are sensitive to glutena protein found in certain grainsmay notice their symptoms get better when they dont eat it. Gluten can hide in many products, including anything with wheat, barley, or rye (like bread, crackers, and flour).

Dairy-free: Some research suggests that dairy may increase inflammation in the body for some people. And anecdotally, some RA patients report fewer symptoms when they avoid dairy. Dairy includes animal milk and foods made from milk, such as cheese, butter, and yogurt.

Maybe, but were not sure:

Autoimmune Protocol: The goal of this paleo-style diet is to boost the immune system by cutting out foods that can produce an inflammatory reaction, including all grains, nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables, eggs, and dairy, says Romano. It also restricts alcohol, tobacco, coffee, processed sugars, and certain medications. That leaves you with fresh fruit (in moderation), sweet potatoes, yams, Chinese or Jerusalem artichokes, and minimally processed meats (ideally wild, pasture-raised, or grass fed). In some cases, it may help you identify trigger foodsbut with no science to back it up, its hard to know how much it can really help, Romano says. We dont really understand the risk-benefit ratio, says Romano.

Probably skip:

Nightshade-free: Some people report worsening RA symptoms after eating so-called nightshade vegetables (eggplants, peppers, tomatoes), though theres no research to support the link. In fact, theyre rich in antioxidants that many people with RA should get more of, says Dr. Bose.

Keep in mind, trigger foods can be different for different people. That means, if you were to try an elimination diet, your doctor might suggest something more individualized based on your unique trigger foods.

Because theres not enough research to back them up, elimination diets are not routinely recommended for RA, says Romano. On the other hand, certain foodssuch as processed sugars, refined carbohydrates, and red and processed meatshave been linked to inflammation, says Dr. Bose. Your doctor is likely to recommend avoiding these foods first before attempting anything more extreme, like an elimination diet.

Next, think about what foods you can add rather than subtract. Are you eating plenty of plants (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes) and foods rich in omega-3s (fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil)? These nutrient-dense foods can support the immune system and may help lower inflammation, Romano says. You may find these dietary adjustments make a big difference in how you feel, and that you dont need an elimination diet after all.

So who might benefit from an elimination diet? Anyone who (after making these healthy changes) has reason to believe they might have a trigger food. If that's you, your doc might talk with you about this approach.

If youre like a lot of people with RA, you can probably spot a trigger food through casual observation alone. But you might find keeping a food journal helpful, Romano says.

Youll want to track three things:

Food/beverage intake: Be sure to include the time and the amount you ate/drank. You may find that the dose matters.

Your symptoms: Rate your symptoms throughout the day on a 1-to-10 scale, Romano advises. This helps establish a baseline for what is normal for you, so you can see when symptoms are getting better or worse.

Any out-of-the-ordinary occurrences: Did you get a poor nights sleep? Did you go on a strenuous hike? Were you under a lot of stress at work? A lot of other factors that can play a role in the inflammatory process, Romano says. So we want to control for that.

By gathering this data, you can more easily zero in on any patterns, and identify (or rule out) potential trigger foods.

When you cut a food out of your diet, you need to compensate for those nutrients youll be missing out on, says Laura Gibofsky, M.S., a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. If someone comes to me saying, Ive removed certain foods, and now Im eating lemon water and carrots, I say, Well, we have a problem because thats not going to meet your nutrition needs.

Getting proper nutrition to support overall health is important when youre living with RA, she says. Plus, if youre on certain medications, you may already be at risk for nutritional deficiencies. For example, steroids can affect how the body uses the bone-building nutrients calcium and vitamin D. So removing calcium from your diet without replacing it could put you at greater risk for weakened bones, says Gibofsky.

Your dietitian can help you avoid nutritional deficiencies by advising you on what foods youll need to eat to replace the nutrients youll be cutting out.

If youre cutting out gluten, for example, youll need to get your whole grains from gluten-free sources, like oats, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. If youre giving up dairy, youll need to get your calcium and vitamin D from dairy-free sources, such as soy milk, yogurt and cheese alternatives, fortified orange juice, fortified breakfast cereal, canned salmon, and almonds, Romano says.

If you cant meet your nutritional needs from food intake alone, your dietitian may recommend a supplement, Romano says.

If you cut out a food and start feeling better, you might be tempted to skip the reintroduction phase of the diet. And thats your call. But consider that you may be able to tolerate the food in smaller amounts without triggering your symptoms. Its a phased approach, says Romano. The end goal is the most liberal diet possible.

Of course, if youve eliminated multiple foods, the reintroduction phase is especially important to identify which of those foods is the culprit. Say you eliminated gluten and dairy for a month, and you have symptom resolution, says Romano. Well, which one is it? Gluten, dairy, or both? To find out, you might first reintroduce gluten and see if your symptoms return. Then youd eliminate gluten again, and reintroduce dairy. Its a step-by-step process and something patients need guidance on, she says. Again: Dont try this on your own!

Keep in mind, even after you go through all this, you may not get the results you want. While some patients do see dramatic improvement in joint pain, stiffness, and energy level from an elimination diet, plenty of others see no improvement at all, says Dr. Bose. It can be quite revolutionary for some, she says, but not for everyone.

If youre going to go forward with an elimination diet, you should be prepared for that possible outcome.

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Jerilyn Covert is a writer, editor, and copy editor with 15 years of publishing experience. Shes written hundreds of articles for Mens Health (where she was an editor for more than 10 years), Womens Health, Runners World, ONE37pm, Whiskey Advocate, Silver Sneakers, and many more. Shes insatiably curious and loves interviewing people who know a lot more than she does. She shares their insights and advice so others can use them to improve their lives.

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You Need to Know About Elimination Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis -

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