Making healthy choices in your diet
If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a balanced, nutritious diet can help your body perform at its best. By making a few simple substitutions in your everyday diet, you can:
- Eat meals that are healthy as well as tasty
- Help keep weight down to reduce stress on bones and joints
- Help increase energy, stabilize mood and manage fatigue
Five simple rules
- Cut down on salt
Add other flavors instead — choose from a great variety of herbs, spices and other natural flavorings
- Cut down on sugar
Limit refined sugar and go for the natural sweetness found in luscious fruits like cantaloupe instead
- Add foods high in antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances such as vitamins B and C and beta-carotene found in dark-colored fruits (like blueberries and cranberries) and vegetables (like leafy greens, sweet potatoes and carrots) that can stop damage to healthy cells in the body
- Add whole grains
They're low in fat, high in fiber and help fill you up
- Use "good" fats
Like olive and canola oils, fats high in omega-3 fatty acids (also found in some fish and walnuts) may have benefits that may be good for people with RA
|Salty, oily snacks
like potato chips
|unsalted raw nuts, cut-up vegetables or
|Sugar-filled, commercially made
|delicious fresh fruit, or homemade desserts
that include healthful foods, like
whole grains, nuts, berries and other fruit
|Fatty red meats and
|lean meats such as white-meat turkey or
chicken and low-fat dairy products
These suggestions by themselves won't cure your RA, but it's still important to maintain a good diet. So make some nutritious food choices, enjoy flavorful meals…and eat healthy!
Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Sign up for RA newsletters
Get newsletters that cover important RA topics, from pain management to treatment to tips for healthy living and more.
Tools for talking to your doctor
Your personal R.A.P. Sheet can help prepare you for a productive discussion with the rheumatologist.
Glossary Of Terms
biologic DMARD(disease modifying antirheumatic drug)
The newest type of medicine to treat the signs and symptoms of RA. More...
A complex collection of organs and cells that protect the body from foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. More...
A long-term condition where the body's immune system attacks not only foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, but also attacks the body itself. More...