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The Eleven Nutritional Commandments for Joint Health
By Richard Diana, M.D,
Author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon's Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again

1. Thou shall respect insulin as the body's primary inflammatory hormone and recognize that it is secreted in direct response to eating carbohydrates.

2. Thou shall control blood sugar levels by understanding the glycemic index and load of specific carbohydrates and by eating slower-digesting complex carbohydrates.

3. Thou shall help control blood sugar levels with fiber.

4. Thou shall avoid high fructose corn syrup.

5. Thou shall avoid trans fats.

6. Thou shall eat "smart" saturated fats, minimize processed polyunsaturated fats, and beware of fried foods, especially those fried in polyunsaturated fats.

7. Thou shall maximize omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Thou shall remember that omega-6 fatty acids are unsaturated and essential but still need to be minimized, because they are so easily oxidized and are the basis for inflammatory pathway building block, arachidonic acid.

9. Thou shall eat as much fish as possible, keeping in mind that salmon is preferable to all others.

10. Thou shall choose healthier animal proteins, like buffalo, chicken, and turkey, and leaner cuts of those proteins, like the strip and breast.

The Bonus Commandment:

11. Thou shall combine healthy fats and proteins with healthy carbohydrates in order to effectively reduce the glycemic index (GI) of the carbohydrates.

The types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins we choose to eat can have a dramatic effect on how our joints feel. You can control inflammation and joint pain by eating joint-healthy foods. Sorting out which foods are beneficial to joint health is fairly easy as we eat only three categories of foods, namely, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. That's basically it.

You can get picky and debate where to put alcohol or sugar alcohols, but for our purposes it's worth reemphasizing that if you eat it, then it's a carbohydrate, fat, or protein. I often refer to those food groups as The Big Three. If you learn to balance The Big Three you will be one step closer to controlling joint pain.

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Harlequin Nonfiction from Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana M.D. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Diana

Author Bio
Richard Diana, M.D.,
author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon's Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again, retired from the Miami Dolphins after Super Bowl XVII to attend Yale School of Medicine. He has been an orthopedic consultant to several collegiate athletic programs as well as to the Boston Red Sox. Dr. Diana is a board-certified surgeon and has been named a Top 100 Doctor in America. He is a clinical instructor at Yale School of Medicine and attending surgeon at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

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