You probably already know that nibbling on carrots is healthier than diving into a bag of potato chips. And that what you eat affects your weight and energy levels. It’s also a factor in conditions like diabetes and heart disease. But is there a specific diet for ankylosing spondylitis (AS)?
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A registered dietitian says, “There is no specific diet that can cure or treat ankylosing spondylitis.” Joyce Prescott, RD. “But a healthy, comprehensive diet of whole, prepared foods may positively affect inflammatory conditions such as AS.” The meal plan itself may also support weight loss, which can reduce stress and pain in joints affected by ankylosing spondylitis.
Prescott shares more information about anti-inflammatory diets and what people have them for spondyloarthritis They should cross off their grocery lists.
How does diet affect ankylosing spondylitis?
Look for diets that include whole foods, such as Mediterranean diet, consistently points out that the foods you eat can affect inflammation. “When people eat fewer calories from added sugars and animal fats and eat more nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and beans, it increases their overall health,” Prescott says. “And it could support a variety of efforts to keep AS inflammation under control.”
what or what“What is the best diet for ankylosing spondylitis?
There isn’t a lot of research on the best diet for people with ankylosing spondylitis. But what the studies show, Prescott says, is that it’s not about eating one or two specific foods. Your general eating pattern is the most important. It’s up to you to figure out which diet is best for your AS and your lifestyle.
Prescott’s Tip: “A diet that reduces symptoms of AS is one that gives you the results you’re looking for and that you can easily maintain.” When testing various dietary changes for AS, keep a food diary. Note your symptoms to see if the diet reduces any of the following:
People with ankylosing spondylitis often find the following diets helpful:
Healthcare providers typically recommend the Mediterranean diet as the most Heart healthy diet. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and inflammation is a contributing factor. in one Studying 7000 peopleThose who followed a Mediterranean diet were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who followed a low-fat diet.
Another important study It looked at the effect of the Mediterranean diet specifically on ankylosing spondylitis. He measured the participants’ pathological activity score (ASDAS), which indicates the severity of the condition. Results: Subjects who replaced their usual food with more foods in line with the Mediterranean diet noted positive improvement in their ankylosing spondylitis symptoms.
Although the diet is high in carbohydrates, the foods of the Mediterranean diet come from complex carbohydrates and are full of nutrients such as:
- the fruit.
- All grains.
The diet also includes:
- Dairy products.
- Soft meat.
- olive oil.
Since people along the Mediterranean have been eating this way for thousands of years – and living longer and healthier lives – there are plenty of recipes to choose from. Easy to find resources and Start the Mediterranean Diet.
The paleo diet is recently trending diet. It is a return to the way people ate thousands of years ago during the Paleolithic period. This era was before agriculture, so people obtained their food by hunting and gathering. The diet consists of whole foods but removes:
According to Prescott, “There isn’t a lot of research on how the Paleo diet affects people with AS.” But the Great study From the paleo and mediterranean diets I found that both effectively reduce inflammation. The traditional paleo diet is rich in protein. But a newer version for people who eat a plant-based diet is called Albijan dietOffers a vegetarian alternative.
Low starch diet
A low-starch diet reduces or eliminates starchy foods, which are a type of carbohydrate. This diet may be beneficial because starch feeds a variety of normal bacteria in the gut, including a group called . Klebsiella. growth for Klebsiella It triggers an immune response that may cause inflammation.
The theory is that reducing starch in your diet changes your gut microbiome (The natural germs in your digestive system). one study The diet was found to reduce symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and inflammation. However, this study only included a small number of people and the details of the low-starch diet in the study were not well-defined.
Foods to avoid on a low-starch diet include:
- Starchy fruits such as bananas.
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Gluten Free Diet
Gluten is a protein found in some grains such as wheat, rye and barley. For people with celiac diseaseGluten causes severe inflammation and damage to the small intestine. But it may also trigger an immune response in people who don’t have the disease.
We are still learning how gluten can affect people. It appears to cause many gastrointestinal symptoms, says Prescott. “Since both celiac disease and AS are immune disorders and people with ankylosing spondylitis often have digestive issues as well, cutting out gluten may help.”
drinking Butter coffee And eating mostly fat sounds weird. but the keto diet, where calories come primarily from fat, has quickly gained a loyal following since its reboot. Researchers have developed The keto diet in the 1920s For the treatment of children with epilepsy. But in recent years, its popularity has skyrocketed because it shifts your metabolism from using glucose (blood sugar) to burning fat for energy. On the keto diet, you also consume some protein. But you keep carbohydrates to a minimum.
Research shows that the keto diet shows promise in reducing inflammation by… stabilization of blood sugar And help you lose weight. Prescott says that while you eat a lot of fat on a keto diet, it doesn’t have to be a high-calorie diet. Some people who follow the keto diet overeat foods rich in unhealthy saturated fats, such as bacon and cheese. To maintain a healthy diet:
- Choose lean meats such as chicken or fish.
- Add small portions of non-starchy vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Consider adding berries, which are low in sugar and naturally high in fiber.
Foods to avoid with ankylosing spondylitis
When you have AS, try to avoid it Foods that promote inflammation. The biggest culprits are:
Reducing added sugar in your diet is a healthy goal for most people, and this is especially true if you have an inflammatory condition like AS. When you eat a high-sugar diet, you:
- Eat empty calories instead of nutritious foods.
- He may gain weight, which contributes to infections.
- Increased blood sugar, which increases inflammation.
Prescott says cutting back on sugar doesn’t have to be all or nothing. “For example, if you eat a donut for breakfast every day, you may be able to improve your AS symptoms by reducing that to once a week. You don’t have to follow a specific diet. Even simple changes can have an effect.”
not everything Fats Prescott says: Saturated fat, which is largely found in animal products, increases inflammation. But it is vegetable based unsaturated fatsLike olive oil, reduce it. Choose fats wisely.
For example, both peanut butter and salami contain fat. But a peanut butter sandwich is better than a salami sandwich. Peanut butter – with no added oils, sugar or salt – is a healthier option. Prescott notes that it mostly contains unsaturated fats, plus it’s packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Foods that come in packages and containers that have been processed in some way often contain large amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. These snacks and ready-to-eat meals are usually high in refined carbohydrates and low in nutrients. They may contain trans fats (modified fats) that increase cholesterol levels.
If you want to improve your health, stock your kitchen with whole, fresh foods such as:
- the fruit.
- Nuts and seeds.
- All grains.
Using a diet to treat the symptoms of AS
Your diet can make a difference in how you feel overall and may improve AS symptoms. When you experience several dietary changes, notice how they affect you. “If the changes aren’t giving you the results you want, some of the limitations may not be worth it,” Prescott says. “Make the changes that you can. If these changes are helpful and you are feeling better, then naturally you will want to stick with them.”