How can diet affect arthritis?

Fortunately for people facing arthritis, choosing to follow an arthritis-friendly diet can help. If you have arthritis, avoiding processed foods and saturated fats can help the pain. Instead choose fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains, and beans. Having these foods in your diet can help your arthritis:

• Beans – These are full of fibre and phytonutrients, which help lower C-reactive protein (CRP) – an indicator of inflammation found in the blood

• Fish – This is a good source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids

• Fruits and vegetables – Both are loaded with antioxidants, which act as a natural defense system for the body

• Nuts – Nuts, along with seeds, have been shown to help improve inflammation

• Whole grains – These contain fibre, which can help maintain a healthy weight.

Are there common areas of weight gain in men’s and women’s bodies as they age?

As people age, it can be more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Men and women, however, tend to gain weight in different places. In general, it is more common for women to gain weight in the area of their hips, buttocks, and thighs, according to physicians. Men, however, tend to gain and carry their weight in their midsection as belly fat.

What are the symptoms or signs that a person is not getting enough vitamin D?

Some people who aren’t getting enough vitamin D have pain in their bones, trouble getting around, and are more prone to infections. But, it’s also possible you won’t have any noticeable symptoms. Ultimately, getting too little vitamin D can cause other, more significant problems. Though it’s rare, children with a vitamin D deficiency can get rickets, which is a condition that causes bones to become soft and bendable. Vitamin D deficiency in adults will lead to osteomalacia, which causes painful bones and weak muscles. Talk to your doctor for more information about signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

Recently I’ve come across a term ‘empty calories’. What are empty calories?

Empty calories are calories we get from solid fats or added sugars in food and drinks. These fats and sugars add few or no nutrients and are only added to foods to make them more appealing. Some foods and drinks that contain the most empty calories include:

• cakes

• cheese

• cookies

• donuts

• energy drinks

• fruit drinks

• ice cream

• pastries

• pizza

• ribs

• sausages

• soda

• sports drinks

While small amounts of empty calories are okay, eating too many can cause weight gain and is unhealthy.