Snacking isn’t bad for you. In fact, it’s an ideal way to keep your hunger in check between meals. Snacking also helps you avoid the spikes and dips in blood sugar to balance your energy levels. But that’s only if you make good snack choices. People with arthritis need to be especially careful to pick the right snacks–because the wrong snacks can make your arthritis pain and symptoms much worse.
As a rule of thumb, avoid virtually all vending machine options. The best arthritis snacks “keep it real”, meaning real food. Make it a habit to carry your snacks with you to work, on airplanes and to the gym. You don’t want hunger to force you to eat whatever is handy. The “handiest” snacks are usually the ones that make your arthritis pain worse because they are full of highly inflammatory refined carbs, sugar, trans fats and additives.
1. Smart substitutions. Instead of choosing snacks that will inflame your joints, select these substitutes that will help calm your symptoms and keep weight stable.
The Top 10 Best and Worse Arthritis Snacks
Instead of… Choose…
1. Chips … Air-popped popcorn (without butter)
2. Soda pop… One-third 100% juice and two-thirds club soda
3. Cookies… Apple slices and five walnut halves
4. Candy bar… Six prunes and six almonds
5. Ice cream… Yogurt with raisins, chopped nuts and cinnamon
6. Granola bar… Peanut butter and raisins on whole-grain bread
7. Cake… Handful of mixed nuts
8. Nachos… Potato skins with diced spinach or broccoli slices, cheese. Bake until crisp.
9. Milkshake… Fruit smoothie with plain yogurt, banana, berries and flaxseed
10. Popsicle… 10 tart fresh cherries
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