With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there are about to be a lot of sugary temptations that will be tough to resist! You might be asking yourself— is it really that bad if I binge on some sweets this year? At Arthritis Knee Pain Centers®, we’re all about moderation. Overindulgence is never a good thing and there are plenty of functional workarounds for how you can responsibly satisfy your sweet tooth without quitting cold turkey. Beat your osteoarthritis pain this Valentine’s Day and every day by being mindful of the following tips and tricks!
WHY IS SUGAR BAD FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS?
Consuming too many processed sugars can lead to the release of cytokines, pro-inflammatory proteins that can lead to increased joint pain, stiffness, and swelling for those already suffering from osteoarthritis. In addition to these cytokines, refined sugars can also lead to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.
HOW TO CONSUME SUGAR IN MODERATION
- PRIORITIZE YOUR SWEETS
Avoiding the dessert table is never easy so we recommend prioritizing certain sweets over others. If you plan on indulging in some pastries, chocolates, and other delicacies, it might be a good idea to opt for fruit-based desserts. This way, you can satisfy your sweet tooth while simultaneously getting some nutritional value.
- SKIP THE SODA
When was the last time you read the nutrition label on the back of that soda can you drink with every meal? The average can of cola is packed with a whopping 140 calories and 39 grams of pure sugar. Not only does this worsen your existing arthritis symptoms, but it also significantly raises your likelihood of developing heart disease and other metabolic disorders like diabetes. Rather than putting yourself at risk, it’s a smart idea to start substituting that soda with some healthier alternatives.
- BE MINDFUL OF YOUR COFFEE ORDER
Starting your day with a “cup of joe,” be mindful of what you’re ordering! That caramel macchiato might sound delicious, but the flavored syrups and preservatives are jam-packed with fake, sugary ingredients that aren’t doing your health any favors. Instead, try opting for raw honey, stevia, or unsweetened milk options!
- PORTION CONTROL
As always, moderation is crucial. By controlling your food portions, you significantly reduce your potential for weight gain. This is critical since obesity leads to an increased level of stress on the knees and hips, vastly worsening arthritis pain. Consider downsizing your sugar intake by opting for one scoop of ice cream instead of two or having a small candy bar instead of the large!
These simple practices may seem small, but you’ll be amazed how they reduce your osteoarthritis pain. If your knee is hurting, give Arthritis Knee Pain Centers® a call at 1-833-300-5633 or visit arthritiskneepain.com to schedule your FREE, no-obligation pain assessment.