Weight Loss, Osteoarthritis and Your Christmas Recipes



Tomorrow night will be Christmas Eve and you most likely have your recipes memorized and the ingredients all bought in preparation for the food you will serve your family on Christmas.

What if there is an arthritis patient in your family? Then you have to put that into consideration when planning your meals for the holiday. Not only arthritis, but what if there is a diabetic or an hypertensive person in the family?

If that is the case then I always recommend cooking healthy foods to be on the safe side. Let not be the holidays be an excuse to forget that particular diet you were following in lieu of your condition — diabetes, hypertension, arthritis…etc.

One more thing I would like to remind you of: your weight. If you have arthritis, being overweight or obese is not going to help you. Being close to your ideal weight will surely reduce your risk for osteoarthritis. (Read more about the osteoarthritis-weight association from Johns Hopkins.)

Being overweight is a clear risk factor for developing OA. Population-based studies have consistently shown a link between overweight or obesity and knee OA. Estimating prevalence across populations is difficult since definitions for obesity and knee OA vary among investigators.

Data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES I) indicated that obese women had nearly 4 times the risk of knee OA as compared with non-obese women; for obese men, the risk was nearly 5 times greater. (ref. 6) In a study from Framingham MA, overweight individuals in their thirties who did not have knee OA were at greater risk of later developing the disease. (ref. 7)

Other investigations, which performed repeated x-rays over time also, have found that being overweight significantly increases the risk of developing knee OA. (refs. 8 and 9) It is estimated that persons in the highest quintile of body weight have up to 10 times the risk of knee OA than those in the lowest quintile. (ref. 5)

Case in point: mine. Earlier this year, I weighed a whooping 165 lbs. I am barely 5 ft. tall, so I know that is too far from my ideal weight. When my osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms attacked in mid-August, my weight made it even worse. I changed my eating habits and now I weigh 135 lbs. My OA is better, not only due to my changed diet but also because of the meds, vitamins and other therapies I am taking. The symptoms are less and I don’t suffer as much as I used to.

At 135 lbs., by BMI says I’m still a bit overweight. While I am convinced I need to shed more weight, this holiday season is an odd against that goal. Despite that, I am keeping myself from overeating. I definitely do not want to regain all those pounds I lost.

SO. If you are arthritic like me. remind yourself to eat healthier, not only this holiday season but for all times.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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