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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tips and Information

To relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

With our Meal Plans for Rheumatoid Arthritis, you stack the odds in your favour. To take maximum advantage of our meal plans, take the time to read the information below.

Important Advice and Useful Tips

What you SHOULD do

  • Health Canada recommends that, in addition to following Canada’s Food Guide, everyone over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.
  • Choose canola oil or extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil, which contain many antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Drink enough fluids, i.e. 1 to 2 liters/quarts each day, including water, milk, soup, tea, coffee, juice, etc., distributed throughout the day.
  • Consult your Doctor if you have a medical condition. We also recommend that you consult a Registered Dietitian and tell her/him that you follow the SOSCuisine Meal Plans.

What you should watch out for

  • For most people, following a balanced diet is sufficient to provide all the recommended nutrients. But, depending on your nutritional status and the medication you are taking, dietary supplements and/or multivitamins may also be recommended. Consult your doctor for advice.
  • The relation between allergies, food intolerances and arthritis is very controversial. If you think you may have a food allergy, talk to your doctor and ask him to refer you to an allergist.
  • Be sure to reduce your intake of oils rich in omega-6, such as grapeseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and wheat germ oil.
  • Even though fish liver oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can cause an overdose of vitamin A if consumed regularly. It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or could become so, because it can be harmful to the foetus as well.

  • Avoid fad or “miracle” diets.
  • Fasting is not recommended for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Limit the “empty calories” from alcohol.
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FAQ: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Why should I TRUST the menus? Are they checked by a DIETITIAN?

All the nutrition content of the website, including the information on this page as well as all meal plans, are checked and approved by our nutrition team, led by Danielle Lamontagne, R.D.

What is the difference between CANOLA OIL and OLIVE OIL? Why do certain recipes use one rather than the other?

Differences between olive oil and canola oil lie in their composition, heat resistance levels, taste and cost. Even though both of these oils are rich in monounsaturated fats (excellent for cardiovascular health), canola oil contains about 10 times more omega-3 than olive oil. Also, both of these oils can be used in cooking but olive oil loses its aroma when heated. The neutral taste and lower cost of canola oil make it an excellent choice for everyday cooking as well as for baking. But cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil tastes simply divine!

I see ‘CRISPBREAD’ in my menu. What is it and where can I buy it ?

Crispbread is a type of crackerbread from rye, rich in fiber and low in fat, salt and sugar. The most common brands are: Ryvita, Ry-Krip and Wasabröd. You’ll find them in the crackers section at your grocery store.

I really like your weekly meal plans but I would like to know what to DRINK?

Water is by far the best choice. Add a slice of lime or a few drops of lemon juice in it to give a little punch. Herbal teas and coffee substitutes are excellent options as well. It is also possible to have fruit juice or wine, now and then, but remember, each glass represents an extra 100 kcal. Tea or coffee can be added to your menu without exceeding 2 to 3 cups of filtered coffee or quarter-cup servings of expresso per day.

See also:

There’s no microwave oven at my workplace. How can I find SUBSTITUTE meals that I won’t need to warm up ?

You can use the “Swap Meal” button (blue double arrow icon) in your menu, or use the Advanced Recipe Search to find exactly the Lunch Box recipes that you want.

I don’t like PEANUT BUTTER, but it is often a part of breakfast. What can I replace it with?

Peanut butter is a good source of protein that sustains one’s appetite in the morning. It can be replaced by cheese, almond or some other nut-based butter or even by hummus. Unfortunately, jams and sweet spreads are neither as nutritional nor as satiating.

While consulting the sample meal plan, I noticed that certain recipes RECUR more than once in the same week. Will the meal plan that I’m going to buy also be like this?

Yes! Some recipes (ex. soups, stews, etc) are repeated during the week in order to reduce the time spent in the kitchen. This way, you also get to prioritize certain fresh food items, with minimal waste. In other words, these repetitions are based on practical and economic reasons. They offer a good trade-off between variety and effort. And don’t forget: you can always swap meals to get more – or less – variety.

I don’t like eating my meal in the form of a SANDWICH or BURGER. Is it the same if I eat my meatball, slices of bread, lettuce and tomato separately?

It is OK to break down your burger into separate food items. The nutritional values remain the same and, once they have been consumed, the foods will interact in the same way as if they had been eaten in a same mouthful. Find your preferred technique and enjoy!

Why do we often have carrots and celery for SNACK?

Vegetables are very dense in nutrients while being low in calories and easy to carry. To bring carrots for snack is an easy way to get your daily serving of orange vegetable. Slices of red and green peppers, sugar snaps, French beans, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and slices of cucumber are all excellent alternatives. Remember, bright and varied colors is the key.

Why do we find WHITE BREAD in the meal plans? Brown bread is higher in fiber and I thought one had to avoid white bread.

It is true that whole grain brown bread is richer in fiber than white bread. However, as our meal plans are based on the Mediterranean diet, they include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, so that the daily fiber needs are fully met. Excessive intake of fiber can make bowel movements too fast and prevent adequate absorption of nutrients. In other words, with our meal plans, you are sure to get the right amount of all nutrients – never too little nor too much!

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Info Nutrition: Rheumatoid Arthritis

The most recent recommendations (references) to alleviate pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and to improve your immune system consist of 50 nutritional targets that must be attained day after day, so as to induce positive and lasting changes.

These 50 targets can be grouped as follows:

  • Calorie intake
  • Optimal intakes of good fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated) and optimal omega-6 / omega-3 ratio
  • Optimal intakes of carbohydrates (added sugars), dietary fibers and proteins
  • Optimal intakes of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, sodium and zinc
  • Optimal intakes of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and folic acid
  • Appropriate number of servings of the 4 food groups of Canada’s Food Guide:
    • Vegetables and fruit, including 1 serving of dark green vegetables and 1 serving of orange vegetables every day
    • Grain products, including a majority of whole grain products
    • Low-fat milk and alternatives
    • Meat and alternatives, including legumes, fish, nuts and soy products for omega-3 and other beneficial effects
  • Daily intake of foods that are specifically recommended (fatty fish, nuts, legumes, etc.)
  • Daily intake of foods that need to be limited (red and processed meat, added sugars, etc.)
  • No trans fat, and limited amounts of saturated fats, added/concentrated sugars and alcohol

The following table shows that our Rheumatoid Arthritis Meal Plans have consistently met the nutritional recommendations since their launch, on June 9th, 2011.

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IMPORTANT: The information provided on this website does not replace a medical consultation and is not intended for self diagnosis. We recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking a change to your diet or lifestyle. See Terms & Conditions.