You probably already know that nibbling on carrots is healthier than diving into a bag of 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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“There’s no specific diet that can treat or cure AS,” says registered dietitian Joyce Prescott, RD. “But an overall, healthy diet of simply prepared whole foods may positively impact inflammatory conditions like AS.” This same meal plan may also support weight loss, which can decrease stress and pain on joints affected by AS.
Prescott shares more information on anti-inflammatory diets and what people with ankylosing spondylitis should strike from their grocery lists.
How does diet affect ankylosing spondylitis?
AS is an inflammatory disease — it triggers an immune response that causes swelling and irritation in your body. So, a diet that calms inflammation is ideal.
Research on diets that feature whole foods, like the Mediterranean diet, consistently indicates that the foods you eat can affect inflammation. “When people eat less empty calories from added sugars and animal fats and eat more nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and beans it increases their overall wellness,” says Prescott. “And it can support a variety of efforts to keep AS inflammation in check.”
What’s the best diet for ankylosing spondylitis?
There isn’t a lot of research on the best diet for people with AS. But what studies do show, says Prescott, is that it’s not about eating one or two specific foods. Your overall eating pattern is what’s most important. It’s up to you to figure out what diet works best for AS and your lifestyle.
Prescott’s tip: “The diet that works to reduce AS symptoms is one that gives you the results you’re looking for and that you can easily…