These diet tweaks promote weight loss and help reduce inflammation.
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms, like joint pain, fatigue, and skin lesions, can progress to permanent joint damage if left untreated, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. In addition to finding the medications that work for you, treating psoriatic arthritis also involves some lifestyle tweaks—including your diet.
Eating a healthier diet doesn’t have a direct impact on psoriatic arthritis symptoms, but it helps in a few important ways. If there’s one major diet change to consider, make heart-healthy food choices. Heart disease is a comorbidity of psoriatic arthritis, which means that people with psoriatic arthritis are more likely to also develop heart disease.
And making choices that make your diet more anti-inflammatory (more fruits and veggies, less processed food and sugar) is just overall sensible health advice, says rheumatologist Leah Alon, MD, of the Harlem Health Center and Queens Health Center in New York City.
Here are some diet tweaks that may reduce your risk of psoriatic arthritis comorbidities and may help improve some psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Watch portions to lose weight. “If you’re overweight or obese,” says Dr. Alon, “losing weight is one of the healthiest things you can do for psoriatic arthritis.” A 2014 study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology found that a higher BMI, or body mass index, is linked to a greater severity of psoriatic arthritis symptoms. This is especially important considering that psoriatic arthritis increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Add more fish. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines may help lower inflammation and prevent heart disease, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Read food labels to cut your sodium intake. Aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Here are a cardiologist’s tips for following a low-salt diet.
Avoid trans fats. Look for the words “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients list. Even if the nutrition label says “0 g trans fat,” this ingredient means there is still technically some trans fat in the product.
Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter or other oils. It’s packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Follow the Mediterranean diet. That EVOO is a great start, but other tips include eating more fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts, and beans, and limiting sugar, salt, and red meat. A Mediterranean diet has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes in multiple studies.
Load up on veggies, especially non-starchy ones: broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. These veggies may also help lower levels of inflammation.
Get enough vitamin D. “Some studies suggest that people with psoriatic arthritis are deficient in vitamin D,” says Dr. Alon. Common sources of vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms, milk and soy milk, and fortified breads and cereals.
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Can the way you eat impact the severity
of your psoriatic arthritis?
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Patients ask me about this a lot.
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Here's what I tell them.
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While there's not great evidence
that your diet can have a big impact
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on your symptoms, making certain
changes may help you feel better.
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First, if you're overweight or obese,
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losing weight is one of the healthiest
things you can do for psoriatic arthritis.
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Having a higher body mass index, or
BMI, is linked to greater severity of
00:29.150 --> 00:33.270
psoriatic arthritis and we know that
psoriatic arthritis increases your risk of
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other conditions that can be affected by
weight such as heart disease and diabetes.
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Another smart thing you can do is
to add more fish to your diet.
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Salmon, trout, mackerel, and
00:44.386 --> 00:48.953
sardines contains omega-3 fatty acids
that can help lower inflammation,
00:48.953 --> 00:53.817
which plays a role in many conditions
that affect psoriatic arthritis patients.
00:53.817 --> 00:55.679
Make other heart-healthy choices,
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since psoriatic arthritis is
associated with heart disease.
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If you have high blood pressure, read
food labels to see how much sodium you're
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eating and aim for
less than 1,500 milligrams per day.
01:07.066 --> 01:10.182
Cut off trans-fats from
your diet by looking for
01:10.182 --> 01:14.310
words like partially hydrogenated
on ingredients lists.
01:14.310 --> 01:18.250
Swap out butter and other oils for
extra virgin olive oil.
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Some research suggest that it could
help psoriatic arthritis comorbidities.
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Olive oil is a big part of
the Mediterranean diet,
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which research has linked to a lower
risk of heart disease and diabetes.
01:30.660 --> 01:34.110
Eating more beans, nuts,
legumes, seeds, herbs, and
01:34.110 --> 01:37.380
spices can make your
diet more Mediterranean.
01:37.380 --> 01:42.470
Load up on veggies, especially broccoli,
kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
01:42.470 --> 01:46.510
A recent study found that women who ate
more of these vegetables had lower levels
01:46.510 --> 01:47.200
01:48.280 --> 01:52.695
Talk to your doctor about vitamin D,
which is found in eggs,
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mushrooms, milk and fortified foods.
01:55.651 --> 01:59.043
Some studies suggest that people with
psoriatic arthritis are deficient in
01:59.043 --> 02:00.350
02:00.350 --> 02:03.120
But more research is needed to
see if increasing vitamin D
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level can actually impact symptoms.
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These changes can help make your
diet more anti-inflammatory.
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Which is just over all good for
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But remember that these are just one part
of your treatment for psoriatic arthritis,
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they're by no means a substitute for
medication or other treatment.
02:19.622 --> 02:23.499
- How Fat Affects Psoriatic Arthritis. Atlanta, GA. Arthritis Foundation. (Accessed on January 1, 2021 at https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/about-arthritis/related-conditions/other-diseases/how-fat-affects-psa)
- Healthy Habits When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis. Atlanta, GA. Arthritis Foundation. (Accessed on January 1, 2021 at https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/treatment-plan/tracking-your-health/healthy-lifestyle-habits-when-you-have-psa)
- How Much Sodium Should I Eat Each Day. Dallas, Tx. American Heart Association. (Accessed on January 1, 2021 at https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/how-much-sodium-should-i-eat-per-day)
About psoriatic arthritis. Portland, OR: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed on December 30, 2020 at https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis.)
Debbaneh M, Millsop JW, Bhatia BK, Koo J, Liao W. Diet and psoriasis: Part I. Impact of weight loss interventions. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul;71(1):133-40.
Eating well with psoriatic arthritis. Montclair, NJ: Practical Pain Management. (Accessed on September 15, 2017 at https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/patient/conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/eating-well-psoriatic-arthritis.)
Healthy lifestyle habits when you have PsA. Portland, OR: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed on December 30, 2020 at http://www.arthritis.org/toolkits/better-living/about/psoriatic-arthritis/healthy-habits.php.)
Six diet tips to help with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis. Portland, OR: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed on January 1, 2021 at https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/features/6-diet-tips-to-help-with-psoriasis-psoriatic-arthritis.)
Urruticoechea-Arana A, Martin-Martinez M, Castaneda S, Sanchez Piedra CA, Gonzalez-Juanatey C, Llorca J, Diaz-Gonzalez F, and Gonzalez-Gay MA. Vitamin D deficiency in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases: Results of the cardiovascular in rheumatology [CARMA] study. Arthritis Res & Study. 2015 Aug;17:211.