Some “food for thought” as many of us are baking and enjoying all of those holiday goodies…

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year. It is common knowledge that sugar can lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes but did you know that it could be contributing to your joint pain? Consuming large amounts of processed sugars can lead the body to release a pro-inflammatory protein called cytokine. High levels of this protein can lead to swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints.

Do you know that ingesting a high sugar diet can lead to chronic inflammation where the body’s own immune system becomes active and causes damage to healthy cells? EEK! Chronic inflammation can lead to other issues as well including depression, anxiety, mood disorders, body pain, constant fatigue, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, weight gain and frequent infections.

I know there is at least one person reading this that is thinking … “but don’t fruit and vegetables have sugar in it?” Yes, but they contain natural sugar which offers a steady source of energy to your cells. Like everything else in life, moderation is key. Get familiar with reading food labels and looking for added sugars. If sugar is one of the first three ingredients listed, it likely contains a high amount of sugar. Look for names like; sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup, etc.

Here are a few quick tips for how to reduce inflammation:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Take natural supplements.

You can enjoy those holiday treats, but please do so in moderation…for the sake of your joints!