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Foods That Might Help With RA continued...

And what should you eat less of?

  • Processed food. There's some evidence that saturated fats in processed foods – like packaged snacks and baked goods, lunch meats, and boxed meal mixes -- could increase inflammation. It’s not clear that these foods affect RA symptoms. But cutting back on them is a good idea for your general health, so it's worth trying.
  • Less alcohol. Remember that if you take medications for RA (like methotrexate) you need to cut back on alcohol. Some people can have one or two drinks a week at most.

Eating more of some of these healthy foods -- and cutting back on the unhealthy ones -- is a good idea. One way to do it is to follow the Mediterranean diet. It's rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish and other lean proteins. One study found that people who stuck to the diet for a few months had more energy and fewer RA symptoms.

Is the Mediterranean diet a sure thing to help your RA? No. But it's a healthy all-around diet, so there's no harm in trying it.

Avoid Extreme RA Diets

Although no special diets are proven to help RA, there are lots of them out there that claim to. You may meet some people with RA who swear by one of them.

Just be careful. Remember that diets can be harmful, especially those that require you to take mega-doses of supplements or cut out whole food groups. Experts say you're better off with a simpler approach.

If you do want to take supplements for your RA or try to use food as medicine, make sure to talk to your doctor first.

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