Snacks can provide a way to quench hunger or keep you going until you have your next meal. Snacks may also be a way to take in extra nutrients and ensure that the body is ready for activities. For instance, the right snack could create an opportunity to reduce stress, get energized, recover from boredom or possibly fight depression. Some people snacking at the right time enables them to maintain appropriate body weight. Just as there are good and healthy snacks, there are also bad and unhealthy snacks. Certain snacks could adversely affect the body, including exacerbating joint pain and inflammation. Thus, you must ensure you are not doing more harm than good when snacking. Especially for joint health, the right snack could keep you pain-free and agile.
So, could that snack you are biting into being the cause of pain in your joints? Have you noticed inflammation flaring up at a time that coincides with consuming a particular kind of snack? Indeed, there can be a link between the foods we eat, including snacks, to various ailments within the body, such as joint pain and inflammation. A multitude of snacks is available in grocery stores that use targeted marketing to exploit consumers’ soft spots, including taste, organic affiliations, and healthy living. You must do your best to avoid these snacks when trying to prevent or tackle joint pain and inflammation.
However, despite these advertisements, some snacks can still be bad for your body. This is especially true for those who have joint pain such as arthritis. Snacking on the wrong type of snack at work or possibly at home could make symptoms much worse. The ingredients in these “bad” snacks could also cause inflammation and possibly spread or worsen.
So, how do people cope, especially in the workplace, where snacking can be quite common to get people through the day? Also, how do you push past the powerful advertisement and media attention given to certain types of snacks that are truly not good for the body? One way to address these issues is to become informed regarding snacks, and with such knowledge, you will be more readily able to identify what type of snack is best for your joints! We have shared the seven worst snacks for joint pain and inflammation below to help you identify them.
1. Sugar Snacks
Snacks that contain processed or refined sugars can be incredibly bad for the body. These types of snacks include various kinds of candies, cookies, pastries, and biscuits. Sugar-filled, chocolate-covered doughnuts, for instance, can be attractive and may also send tempting messages to the brain. However, sugar can be bad for the body, especially refined sugars. Similarly, sodas can contain a high amount of these refined sugars. For joint pain, these sugars in the body can worsen the situation.
Avoiding refined sugars is advisable. There can be alternatives to processed sugars, and the best alternative is the raw form of sugar, including organic maple syrup and honey. Sugar-free versions of snacks can also be a good idea. However, sometimes food manufacturers may trade one ingredient for another that is no better for your joints or general health. Sugar has been known to contribute to many health ailments. Read food labels carefully. The first few ingredients listed on a food item can tell much about the product .
2. Chicken Nuggets
You should consume a certain amount of protein daily, and chicken provides you with a good amount. However, chicken nuggets can also contain unwanted ingredients such as saturated fats and high amounts of sodium.
Four or five pieces of chicken nuggets could easily get you consuming 200 to 250 calories and 2 g to 3.5 g of saturated fat, 400 mg to 700 mg of sodium, depending on the chicken nuggets being consumed. Improved dietary strategies include the reduction of saturated and trans fats. This could also help tackle inflammation that occurs as a result of unhealthy dietary patterns . High amounts of saturated fats can be detrimental to good joint health.
3. Canned Fruit
Yes, fruit is usually a healthy snack option. However, do beware of fruit that is bought in cans. The canned fruit option can be convenient, but the problem with some types of canned fruit is a large amount of sugar added.
You could also be taking in additional refined sugars when consuming canned fruit. In essence, you end up eating the not-so-healthy version of the fruit. In addition, when food product manufacturers know that sweeteners like processed sugars will be used to sweeten or add flavor to the canned product, these food producers may be less likely to use high-quality fruit in their canned products. Fresh fruit is always the better choice.
4. Potato Chips
We usually see these bags of chips sitting and waiting in grocery stores, packaged attractively and waiting to be eagerly picked up by consumers wanting to satisfy their cravings for tasty, salty snacks.
This popular snack combines high calories, high saturated fats, and high sodium content in just a few ounces of chips. Another major problem with choosing chips as snacks is that these snacks are not filling, so there is a high likelihood of consuming much higher quantities at any given time. .
5. Wheat-Based Snacks
Many people have a gluten intolerance. Gluten is found in wheat, and in some cases, consuming snacks containing gluten could cause allergic reactions. Such reactions could include inflamed joints and pain in various body parts.
If joint pain and inflammation occur after consuming snacks made from wheat, you may have a gluten allergy. Most wheat snacks will trigger your symptoms if you develop an allergy or intolerance to gluten.
6. Frozen Snacks
Snack and food manufacturers have also found ways to market frozen versions of foods, including frozen sandwiches, pizza, burgers, pastries, fries, and much more.
The appeal of frozen snacks is the convenience that these food products may provide. Frozen snacks may seem like a perfect option if you are tired from work and don’t feel like cooking. However, this may not be an option that is beneficial to your joints. Finding healthy frozen snacks that are good for joint pain can be difficult.
7. Cheese and Crackers
Indeed, this may seem like the ultimate healthy snack. However, do beware of the high content of saturated fats that these snack products could contain. In addition, some cheese and cracker products also contain a large amount of sugar.
Can cheese and crackers still be a great snack? Yes, if you choose options that contain healthy amounts of the right type of fat and minimal sodium.
The wrong kind of snack can increase your likelihood of joint pain and inflammation. Consequently, inflammation that occurs in the body can lead to various ailments, health hazards, and diseases, including arthritis, skin problems, allergies, cancer, heart problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, weight gain, the occurrence of tumors, asthma, cancer, and other diseases. These ailments affect millions of people worldwide . Eating the wrong fats can add unnecessary weight to the joints and stress the tendons and muscles . Foods in their natural, raw, and organic state are usually the best option.
Rick Kaselj, MS