Living with arthritis and healthy eating – WebMD


If you’re living with arthritis, the simplest tasks can seem Herculean — especially when they involve preparing and eating meals. You’re not alone. Opening a carton of milk, slicing a tomato, or making a sandwich can be overwhelming to the millions of people with calcium from cottage cheese and yogurt — both of which are easy to chew and open, she suggests. “The less mobility you have, the heavier you [can] get, so calories can still be an issue, and many of these dairy foods come in low-fat varieties, which can be helpful unless you are already not getting enough calories because you are so frail,” Freiwald says.

Souping Up Your Diet

“Canned soups can be high in sodium, but dehydrated soups in a cup — where all you have to do is add water — are often very health-conscious,” says Freiwald.

Look for the words “reduced sodium” when choosing a vitamins including thiamin, folate, B-6, and B-12 can be hard to get,” Northwestern’s Jackson says.

“This can be a problem because foods that are rich in these vitamins include green leafy vegetables, fish, poultry, and lean meats that take too much time to prepare, or foods like nuts that are hard to eat if you have trouble chewing,” she explains.

For folate, drinking a glass of fortified orange juice “is a down and dirty way to make sure you’re getting enough,” she says. Tuna or salmon in pouches and/or pre-cooked poultry are also good, user-friendly sources of B vitamins, especially B-6 (not to mention protein!). B-12 comes from eggs and cheese and thiamin is typically found in meat, legumes, grain, yeast, and wheat germ.

“These days, you can buy pre-cooked chicken in a pouch and it’s very easy to throw on a bed of pre-cleaned salad greens,” she says. A daily multivitamin helps too!

Drinking Your Fill

As people age, fluid intake can become a big problem, largely because we’re at an increased risk of Dehydration causes low energy when you are already having energy problems,” she says. Aim for as close to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day as you can get.

Making Sure You Aren’t ‘D-ficient’

“Getting enough insurance, but you can usually pay privately.”

Underwood also recommends looking into local churches that might arrange to have meals delivered, or asking a family member to prepare a week’s worth of meals to be kept in the freezer and microwaved as needed. Most large communities have an office on aging or similar agency that can help you find out what’s available where you live.

Published Aug. 6, 2004.