Living with Osteoarthritis: Food

I thought it might be useful for me to share the life changes that I’m making as I learn to live with my osteoarthritis, as some of you out there might find these changes to be useful information. I’ll freely admit that a lot of what I’ve learned over the last few days is daunting, and I will have to make some Lifestyle Changes (TM) that are probably going to require time and effort from me. Woo.

So, food is going to be my most important focus. Why? Because I am 70 pounds overweight, and every single thing I read about osteoarthritis, particularly that of the knees, tells you that you must get weight off. After the pain of this last week, I am totally there.

The trick is how to get the weight off. I haven’t had too much success in recent years with that, so I thought that maybe doing some research into what was good and bad for arthritis sufferers might be in order.

Let’s start with the no’s.

This information is taken largely from

These foods cause inflammation, and so you shouldn’t eat them:

Fried or processed foods (additives are a big no-no)

Heated Foods (fascinating reading on the AGE index. The bottom line seems to be to minimize food cooked at high temperatures)

Sugars and Refined Carbs (from the perspective of weight loss and nutritive balance)

Dairy Products (not in the league of the other forbidden foods, these can irritate tissue, and a reduction is wise)

Alcohol and Tobacco

Salt and Preservatives (during weeks I am lazy, I eat a lot of pre-packaged Weight Watchers meals, which are now a thing of the past. Also, no more diet soda for the same reason.)

Corn Oil! (Curse you, high fructose corn syrup!)


Now, say yes to

Vitamin C: Vegetables and Fruits
Vitamin D: Stinky Fish and Eggs. Fortified with Vitamin D foods allowed
Beta-carotine: Primarily orange fruits and vegetables, leafy green vegetables
Omega 3 Fatty Acid: More stinky fish!, eggs, flax seed, and walnuts
Bioflavanoids: Primarily onions (bulbs), berries, green tea, and cocoa


The practical upshot? Stop eating crap manufactured for you, and/or hawked by the fast food industry. Start eating vegetables, fruits, and stinky fish. Make walnuts your new best friend.

I am transitioning into this diet, finishing off the last of my prepared cereals, WW meals, and so on. Just from the small changes I made last week alone, I have lost 3 POUNDS. Mostly from not drinking diet soda and eating less preservatives in food. Oh yeah. Also the sugar thing.

My goal is to take off the weight fast. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend that, but for every pound I take off, that’s healing for my problem knee. I had to sit out some fun this weekend because I had knee trouble. Not my style, and I’m gonna make sure that happens as little as possible in the future.

Next up: exercise and osteoarthritis.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

One thought on “Living with Osteoarthritis: Food”

  1. My favorite book that got me pumped up about keeping away from processed food and eating, well, just food, is Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Really good read.

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