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Diet and Pain

Tips for Consuming a Well-Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. A diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables will not only provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to function properly, but will also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Controlling your weight can help minimize stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, and the joints of the feet, which can help improve pain. It can also minimize your risk of developing other health problems that can make your pain worse.
Here are some ways you can ensure you are consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet:
  • Eat five or more servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day. Fruit and vegetable consumption will reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Replace refined grain, such as white flour, white bread, and white rice, with whole grains, such as whole-wheat flour, brown rice, and oatmeal. People who eat more whole grains are less likely to gain weight than those who eat refined grains.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free milk products, such as skim milk and yogurt. This can also help with weight control.
  • Limit your consumption of foods that are high in saturated fats and trans-fat. These unhealthy fats increase cholesterol, thus increasing your risk for heart disease. Trans-fat may also cause inflammation.
  • Get your protein from a variety of food sources, such as fish, lean meat, eggs, beans, and nuts. Stay away from red and processed meat, which are less healthy protein options.
  • Limit foods with added salt and sugar. Soft drinks and fruit juices are a major source of too much sugar, and sugar is a major contributor to weight gain. It may also contribute to inflammation.
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of regular physical activity a day on most days of the week.
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