Food Theory

For years I have been reading books about alternative therapies, trying to figure out what I should do to help with my arthritis. Over the years, the only thing that I have done that seems to make a significant difference in the size of my joints has been changing my diet. I have tried  gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free and vegetable juice-only diets. My conclusion from all of my reading about food and experimenting with eating is that when I eat food that is closest to the form that it comes out of the ground in, is when I feel the best. That is when the inflammation in my joints and body goes down. Based on the many books that I have read on the connection between food and health, I am convinced that changing my diet is the key to stopping the damaging effects of arthritis on my joints and whole body.

Until recently, I haven’t been able to find one author who sums up all the things I have read about food better than Joel Fuhrman , M.D. in his book “Fasting and Eating for Health”. Below are some excerpts from his book:

“Many do not comprehend the relation between their food intake, their lifestyle habits, and their chronic illnesses, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, recurrent infections, allergies, acne, asthma, and sinusitis. Patients and their physicians generally rationalize that the problems they are facing are genetic, biochemical, structural, or otherwise beyond their control. Patients are frequently told the food they consume has nothing to do with the disease from which they suffer. This is simply untrue. Most chronic medical problems are not only caused by improper diet and lifestyle, but also can be reversed by adopting a more primitive and natural diet, one that our species was originally designed for.

Genetically, anatomically, and physiologically, our bodies are the same as those of humans who lived in the stone age. What we put into our bodies is quite different. Refined supermarket food is being fed to our Stone Age bodies.

Much of the food found in supermarkets derives its calories from extracted sweeteners, sugars, fats, and refined flour. Besides the empty-calorie drawbacks and fat-producing effects of these foods, they are deficient in vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients needed by the body to burn them for energy. Therefore, the body must continually draw on its reserves of stored nutrients, thus draining its nutritional reservoir.

Our rich, modern diet has been implicated as a causative factor in cancer, heart attack, stroke, hardening of the arteries, and diabetes; and the leading causes of death in this country can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier nutritional habits. The same foods that cause premature deaths also subject us to misery and chronic illness in life.

As a species, we are closely related to the great apes, who are primarily plant eaters. Clearly, the diet for which our species is best adapted is one consisting predominantly of natural, unrefined, plant based foods with little if any foods of animal origin.

Instead of feeding ourselves in such a manner as to cause our deterioration, I recommend eating primarily unrefined plant foods. This means elimination or de-emphasizing meat, chicken, fish, and dairy products; and avoiding processed foods, fried foods, fats, and sweets” -Joel Fuhrman


6 Responses to “Food Theory”

  1. Have you ever read the “Fit for Life” books. They now have one on Arthritis and Fibromyalgia that I want to read. I have found your website from the Arthritis Foundation(AF). I am just diag appx 3 months ago with RA. I am out searching for answers. Although the author from “Fit for Life” likes to hear himself rant and rave it has alot to do with the diet intake and inflammation. He is a chiropractor which is the first place I go as a patient because my grandfather was one. When I got a AF booklet and it stated “specific foods rarely cause or improve arthritis” I was shocked.
    You are a brave woman to have already dealt with this thru your childhood and now are making sacrafices because of JA. I really feel for ya. Thanks for all of the information out here.

    • Thank you for your comment! I haven’t seen the book in Barnes and Noble (my favorite place to hang out when I’m looking for inspiration and solace during hard times). I will look for it next time I’m there. I also see a chiropractor and feel like it is helping a lot with back pain..I haven’t noticed any bigger changes yet, but it is probably doing more good on the inside that I can’t see or feel.
      Being newly diagnosed with RA can be confusing and heartbreaking at times. I hope you surround yourself with friends, family, and doctors who know the value of nutritional therapies in treating arthritis and other auto-immune diseases. I am always here to talk if you need someone to listen!

  2. I tried your offline pad, see question. Additionally, DMSO roll-on products are available in veterinary stores. Try applying a thin layer of this over painful joints both for its own antiinflammatory function and because it increases skin permeability. making another topical analgesic rubbed on top of it more effective . . .maybe I’ll stop by here again to see how you’re doing . ..

  3. Hi I am 22yrs old and I was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of RA. I started the Vegan/veggie diet a while ago. It started to help with the swelling in my hands. My boyfriend and I went out to our favorite Chinese restaurant and I had all veggies, fruit and fish. I wanted to see what would happen if I ate noodles which was the only thing outside of what I had been eating. The next day I woke up in pain and my hands were swollen. I came to the conclusion that the noodles caused the problem. This new life changing event is really hard for me to get use to. What I need to know is, is it better to just eat raw foods or can cooking it cause swelling too? Also what about fish? I have been doing really good whit just eating fruits and veggies but I have been eating fish and shrimp as well. My swelling has not gotten any worse but it hasn’t gone down either. I NEED HELP! I need to know exactly what I can and cannot eat. Everything from fish to spices and from veggies to fruit. PLEASE HELP!!!!! The doctor down played the idea of food and a healthy diet as an alternative. She prescribed me with methotrexate at 2.5mg each tablet. I was researching the side effects of this medicine and it scares me. I don’t want to take it but it’s been difficult to watch everyone around me eating everything I love. Its torture! Have you taken any medicine like this or did you just do the veggie/natural diet????

    • hi there, I know how confusing it can be, especially combined with having to deal with the pain. I will email you with some advice as soon as I can!

  4. if you have a 9 mm in your holster, that’s your weapon. The doctor didn’t intend to lessen that which you are learning about diet and its effects on your own. However, knowledge of treating JRA via dietary intervention is not in his/her holster. You have probably come across some of the dietary generalizations in your reading. Unfortunately, you often have to just see how you respond to food items.

    ps – the noodles at the Chinese restaurant were probably spiced or prepared in a wok with tools that were not absolutely uncontaminated by other ingredients, so it may not have been the noodles.

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