Anti-Inflammatory Fats and Oils to Soothe Arthritis

Nutrition Can be Confusing

This is especially true when it comes to which are the healthiest fats to cook with.  The GREAT news is that learning which fats and oils to use every day can have a major impact on how your joints feel.  Some oils, such as omega 3s from salmon, sardines, flax oil or supplements, work right away.  Others will gradually decrease joint inflammation with consistent use over time.

The other good news is that this information is actually going to give you encouragement to use fats more generously, especially if you have gotten stuck in the (false) fat is harmful trap.  Your cell membranes are made up of fats and oils (technically called fatty acids), and they need a daily mixture of fatty acids in order to support healing, decrease inflammation, and help your body to function at its best. 

Healthiest Fats and Oils

Here’s a list of healthy fats and oils for you to choose from.  Select three different options to keep in your pantry.  This will provide your cells with a healthy dose of fatty acids.  For starters, you may want to stock up on the first three items on the list.  For an extra flavor boost, try one of my favorite products, a butter-flavored coconut oil

Choose from:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (from grass-fed cows)
  • Ghee
  • Avocado oil
  • Flax oil (do not use with heat)

Everyone has different needs for calories, so I’m going to make a general recommendation which can be tweaked to fit your personal needs.  Start with having approximately one tablespoon of oil with each meal.

One of my favorite ways to use coconut oil is for sauteing onions, garlic, and ginger – and then using that as a topping for a vegetable, such as broccoli.  Yum!

Food Sources of Healthy Fats and Oils

Alternatively you can also get healthy healthy fats and oils from foods that contain large amounts of fatty acids.

Choose from:

  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Nut and seed butters
  • Coconut products
  • Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines

Sardines are a favorite of mine.  They are an inexpensive source of protein and healthy fats.  Initially I really did not love them but trained myself to like them by combining the sardines with bold flavors.  An easy way to do this is to purchase “Spanish style” canned sardines with chili peppers.  They are not hot, but the spicy flavors balance out the fishy taste.  Give it a try and let me know what worked for you.

In conclusion, remember, fat is your friend.  In addition to providing a cushion for your joints, it calms inflammation.  Calming inflammation, decreases your pain.

Marie Ruggles, RD, CN, CDE

Marie Ruggles, MS, RD, CN, CDE, is a nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, and is certified in essential oil safety. She has a master's degree from Columbia University in Nutrition and Public Health where she started her career in research forty years ago. She then began working in public health, translating the wisdom of science into simple action steps for managing chronic disease and maximizing wellness. Over time, Marie became concerned about people's lack of reliable information regarding options for being proactive in their own self-care. She decided to write a book that could serve as a home reference guide for her students who were eager to learn about natural options for preventive health and everyday wellness challenges. Marie is the recipient of national awards for her nutrition education publications and lectures internationally on the safe use of essential oils for everyday wellness challenges. She is on a mission to inspire others to take responsibility for their personal wellness through nutrition and lifestyle, applying the findings of cutting-edge nutrition research to develop a home inventory of natural wellness options. When Marie isn't teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, working in healing prayer ministry, and gardening. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

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