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    Do restaurant meals and snack attacks leave you with rheumatoid arthritis aches and pains? Certain foods – some of your favorites, like steak and cookies – may be causing flare-ups. Find out what you should stay away from and how to pick tasty substitutes. Plus, what’s your inflammation IQ? Take our quiz to find out…

    When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a restaurant menu or open refrigerator can seem like a test: Can you find foods that satisfy your cravings without making joints swell, ache and stiffen?

    Definitely. It’s easier than you think.

    You can still eat meat – as long as you choose leaner cuts. Crave salty snacks? Eat nuts instead of chips.

    The key is following an anti-inflammatory diet, which helps you avoid RA flares. And these smarter food choices aren’t necessarily boring ones. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, high-fiber grains and healthy fats can all help you reduce RA aches – in a matter of days.

    “I start my RA patients on a general anti-inflammatory diet, and they feel better within a week,” says internist Leo Galland, M.D., whose book The Fat Resistance Diet (Three Rivers Press) is based on anti-inflammatory foods.

    “Their pain and stiffness is greatly reduced.”
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