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You Are What You Eat, So Eat Well!

It's no secret that our general health and wellbeing has quite a lot to do with the foods that we eat. It should also come as no surprise that this fact extends to managing and relieving chronic pain. The right diet can boost energy, fight inflammation and help with weight loss. On the other hand, there are plenty of foods that make chronic pain worse. Understanding what foods to avoid will help you manage your pain and make better decisions going forward. To get you started, here are four types of foods you should cut out of your daily diet.

Four Foods That Make Chronic Pain Worse

1. Saturated Fats

Fatty beef, fried chicken, dairy, butter, heavy cream and ice cream all contain saturated fats. Unlike healthy fats that can help with pain, these fats can lead to a great deal of health problems. Firstly, these fats can lead to inflammation, as they contain cells that trigger pro-inflammatory reactions in the body. Additionally, saturated fats are high in bad forms of cholesterol. This cholesterol collects in blood vessels, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure and poor circulation. Increased inflammation can occur when our bodies are under this kind of digestive stress. More inflammation means a greater risk of chronic pain.

foods that make chronic pain worse

2. Trans Fats

Trans fats are unnatural fats that do far more harm to the body than good. They are man-made fats designed to make food taste better and to prolong its shelf-life. They are found in fast food, potato chips, cookies, crackers, pastries and margarine. Aside from leading to high cholesterol and heart disease, trans fats also have a strong link to increased inflammation. They can also lead to weight gain, which can put more strain on painful joints and muscles. Instead of these unhealthy fats, try focusing on eating the healthier, natural variety found in seeds, olive oils, fatty fish and nuts.

3. Refined Sugars

Of all the foods that make chronic pain worse, sugar may be the most harmful. Refined sugar is what gives candy, desserts, chocolate, soda and fruit drinks all their sweetness. They may taste great, but these sugary foods have no nutritional value. This is because sugar is an empty carbohydrate. It may provide short bursts of energy, but this only leads to sugar crashes. So even though sugar is usually seen as an energy booster, it actually makes our bodies more tired over time. Additionally, sugar can cause weight gain, high blood pressure and inflammation. So not only does it put our bodies under stress, sugar also drains the energy needed to stay active, healthy and pain-free.

foods that make chronic pain worse

4. Refined Carbs

You may have heard that carbs are actually good for you. And this is partly true. Whole carbohydrates are absolutely good for you. Fruits, veggies and whole grains all contain whole carbohydrates. On the other hand, refined carbs are not good for you. They are essentially whole carbs with all the nutrients stripped away. Aside from sugar, other refined carbs include white flour, pastries, white rice, pasta and sugary breakfast cereals. They have been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, diabetes and poor circulation leading to pain. There is also research to suggest that these empty carbs encourage inflammation in the gut.

foods that make chronic pain worse

Moderation Matters Most

Even if you're undertaking the healthiest diet imaginable, you're still going to have moments of indulgence. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. We're all human! Eating the odd treat or snack every now and then is acceptable so long as it's done in very strict moderation. It is essential to not make these foods constants in your diet. Instead, focus on exercising daily, getting plenty of sleep and a diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein and healthy fats. That's the best strategy for naturally managing your chronic pain.

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