Suffering from knee pain? Try to avoid or reduce these 5 foods!

Published on: 10 July 2022, 12:00 pm IST

Although knee pain is quite a common problem, minor knee and joint pains can be taken care of with simple measures, including a proper diet. 

Foods you must avoid when you have knee pain.
Control your intake of these foods when you have knee pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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It would not be wrong to say that knee pain is one of the most common problems among Indians. In fact, most people get knee pain as a result of obesity or from lifestyle-related disorders including gout and osteoarthritis. Therefore, what foods to avoid and what to eat play an important role in controlling knee pain.

How does diet play a role in controlling knee pain?

A proper balanced diet has a lot of benefits, including building up bone density, strengthening connective tissues, and reducing inflammation. They end up improving the condition of your knees and add a cushion against any form of injuries. A balanced diet with weight management can also aid in putting less pressure on your knees, eventually keeping them steady.

Meanwhile, inflammation is the natural response of your immune system to irritation, disease or injury. When inflammation happens, your body produces a harmful byproduct called free radicals, which respond to toxins and other natural processes. It causes symptoms like redness and swelling. 

knee pain
Knee pain is common, but don’t take it lightly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Due to oxidative stress on the body, too many free radicals build up and can cause damage to cells and tissues, including synovium and cartilage, which are responsible for protecting the knee joint. Additionally, the oxidative stress can trigger joint inflammation. Hence, it is important to avoid products with inflammatory substances. Remember, the right diet can be healing for you but the wrong foods can cause several harmful effects. So, it’s best to follow a few simple dietary and lifestyle habits to keep your knees happy.

Foods to avoid if you have knee pain

Foods or beverages that cause knee pain, vary from one individual to another because each person has a different body which may respond differently to certain things. Not just that, there could also be other lifestyle factors like stress or lack of rest, that aggravate the aches your knees feel.

1. Sugary foods

Sugar is a common ingredient in our diet. But high blood sugar can release inflammatory cells by stimulating the immune cells, which release molecules that irritate your tissues and joints. Fast food, ready-to-eat foods, processed snacks, and bakery items contain a lot of sugar, trans fats, saturated fats, and preservatives.

Excess sugar can also lead to obesity and heart disease. Replacing products made in refined sugar or processed sugar like candy, ice-cream and soda with alternatives like honey, coconut sugar, and maple syrup can help to maintain weight as well.

2. Salt or MSG

Salt, which is known to attract water to the cells in the body, can aggravate knee pain and joint inflammation. On the other hand, monosodium glutamate or MSG is a culprit of chronic joint inflammation and increases joint pain. So, avoid foods containing too much of these ingredients, especially processed or prepackaged products like canned soup, pizza, specific types of cheese, and fast food.

minerals
When it comes to salt and sodium, less is always more. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also, read: I saw my mom using Aak plant oil, and she says it works like magic for her knee pain

3. Trans fats and saturated fats

The main source for trans fats are fries and baked goods, which may cause inflammation and trigger joint pain. These foods also contain omega-6 acids, which are harmful for our body.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol depletes your body’s water and nutrients, which in turn increases inflammation, which can be directly linked to joint pain.

5. Meat

Red meats have high levels of inflammatory markers as they contain trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil. It is advisable to reduce the quantity of red meat in the diet. On the other hand, people who eat a vegan diet (plant-based diets) experience improvements with their symptoms.

It is always better to have a balanced diet to keep your weight maintained. Choosing complex high fiber carbohydrates in place of refined carbs will help in maintaining weight. Including a wide range of fruits and vegetables is also advisable as these add fiber and vitamins, some of which are antioxidants, and they may help to reduce inflammation.

Soumita Biswas Soumita Biswas

Soumita Biswas, Chief Nutritionist, Aster RV Hospital

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