Let’s start with a crucial fact: sugars are pro-inflammatory. A long-term study of nearly 50,000 men showed that fructose (e.g., in sweetened soft drinks or fruit juices) was associated with a significant increase in risk of gout, the most frequent form of inflammatory arthritis in men. Soft drinks and fruit juices were analyzed separately, and increased risk factors were found in both.
General nutrition really makes a difference in joint inflammation.
A cross-sectional study of older women found that those with rheumatoid arthritis were significantly more likely to have historically eaten a far less nutritious diet compared to women without rheumatoid arthritis.
One reason your physician may not tell you all about the benefits of a healthy diet is that she or he may not believe it’s a realistic intervention for you. That’s to say, your physician is betting you won’t actually do the dietary work consistently, so there’s little point to actually telling you about this potential solution. (Another reason may be that he or she is entirely unaware of these data). Yes, consistency is a hard thing to learn. But it’s possible, so don’t give up. Perhaps the way you’ve been doing it is what’s not working. Stick with me throughout this entire book and we’ll get through this together.
A healthy diet is in itself anti-inflammatory.
You almost don’t need to try hard to identify specific anti-inflammatory foods if you’re eating mostly plants. General plant food is anti-inflammatory and is full of antioxidant activity. If you want one specific example, (and a few “high dollar words” to use with your friends), try this on: Galactolipids (which consist mainly of special kinds of fat with even bigger dollar names such as monogalactosyldiacylglycerols and digalacto-syldiacylglycerols) are found in a wide variety of edible plants and are not only anti-inflammatory but also anti-tumor.
Galactolipids are in beans, peas, kale, leeks, parsley, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chili peppers, bell peppers or pumpkins (Each of these foods contains a particular galactolipid named: 1,2-di-O-alpha-linolenoyl-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-sn-glycerol.) Seriously, did people use long names like this before “cut and paste”?