How To Maintain Healthy Joints [REPLAY]

February 18, 2023

Do you have joint pain or stiffness? Have you been diagnosed with arthritis? Some people have mild joint pain, but for many, it can make every day activities seem very challenging. Things like cleaning the house or going grocery shopping become a burden when you are dealing with achy or stiff knees, wrists, shoulders, or back pain. Our show today is going to give natural solutions you can implement to help you with your joints, no matter what stage of joint pain or joint breakdown you are experiencing. We will discuss foods that cause inflammation and speed up the process of joint break down, as well as foods that support our joints. We’ll also mention a few key supplements for added joint support.

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KARA: Good morning and welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We're a company specializing in life changing nutrition education and counseling. I believe that today's topic will resonate with many of you. Do you have joint pain or stiffness? Have you been diagnosed with arthritis? Some people have mild joint pain, but for many it can make everyday activities just seem very challenging. Things like cleaning the house, even going grocery shopping. Those can become a burden if you're dealing with achy or stiff knees.

Perhaps it's your shoulder, wrist. For a lot of people, it's chronic back pain, which can be very debilitating. So our show today, it's, we're going to give you natural solutions that you can implement to help you with your joints, no matter what stage of joint pain or joint breakdown you're experiencing. We're going to discuss foods that cause inflammation and speed up the process of joint breakdown, as well as foods that support our joints.

And you know, as we get toward the end of the show, we're also going to mention a few key supplements just for added joint support. My name is Kara Carper. I'm a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist. I have a master's in holistic health. And cohosting with me today is Melanie Beasley. Melanie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian. She sees clients virtually and in person at our Eagan office. And Mel teaches a lot of our classes. You may have been fortunate enough to see Mel teaching some of our pre-recorded online classes, and she's just a wonderful counselor and educator, so it's really great to be here with you today, Mel.

Some research and statistics on joint pain


MELANIE: Wow. Thanks, Kara. You know, when I'm meeting with clients, I would say nearly half of them are suffering from arthritis, joint pain or stiffness. Like you said, there is a big range in how bad pain can be. For some, they're stiff just getting out of bed in the morning. That's no fun. But then others experience things like chronic pain and that consumes their day. The CDC, which is the Center for Disease Control, states that one in four people have some form of arthritis. Now, think about that. That's pain for one in four people. And that seems like it's on the rise from what I saw in clinic just even 10 years ago.

KARA: Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure it is on the rise. 70% of older adults say they experience joint pain and women are a bit more likely than men to report having joint pain. I learned a lot when preparing for today's show. And one really interesting thing that I read is joint pain is the leading cause of disability in the workplace.

MELANIE: Joint pain.

KARA: So just kind of think about that. Out of all the different reasons that people take short or long term disability and they're unable to work, it's because of issues with their joints.

MELANIE: And trying to work with pain is no fun. I mean, there's a lot of people that are white knuckling it through their work day because they're in pain. When my clients come to see me, and they have been dealing with hip pain or knee pain for years, they think it's just a part of getting older and aging. Like my mom had it. My grandma had it. And they both have the, all the same issues that I have.

Well, they're often surprised when I tell them that joint breakdown is not a normal part of aging. Even if there is that genetic piece that runs in the family, that's usually not the risk factor. That's only 10% of your risk factor. So it's, there's a lot more that goes into play with the breakdown of joints. And that's what we're going to talk about today, right Kara?

KARA: We are, and we're going to give steps to, that you can take to help with your joints. Again, no matter what your age is. Ideally, people would be starting to think about their future joint health years before they ever first experienced stiffness or pain. Arthritis and joint pain and joint breakdown, they don't happen overnight. So by the time someone is actually experiencing pain, it's likely the joints have started breaking down years prior, maybe even decades.

MELANIE: Yes. I always think of it as when your body has inflammation and by the time you get a symptom, your body cannot handle that inflammation anymore. And it's its flare gun. And once that flare gun goes off and you're having that pain, boy, something's been going on for quite a while like you said. Well, Kara, wouldn't it be great if teenagers and folks in their twenties and thirties had a proactive plan to prevent joint issues down the road? Although joint issues are most common for people age 50 and older, it's starting to happen more and more to those in their thirties and forties. I have a lot of friends and family members who have gone in for major surgeries like knee replacements, hip replacements, and even shoulder replacements.

And like you mentioned earlier, this is the most common reason people are out of work or on disability is due to these darn joint issues. And then all the recovery time you need to take after a big surgery. 1 million hip and knee replacement surgeries are done in the U.S. every year. Gosh, it's a lot. I read a study showing that the rate of hip and knee replacement surgeries is due to increase to 3.5 million by the year 2025. So what's happening that we're breaking down our joints? That's, and what can we do?

KARA: That’s significant.


KARA: I mean that's three times, I guess 300% in three years is the future estimation.

MELANIE: And when we say it, it sounds so benign to say hip replacement. Right? But the journey to get to the place where you need that replacement is a painful one.

KARA: It really is. Yeah. I see that firsthand. In fact, I have my best friend's husband who is early fifties, he just last year had a hip replacement; major surgery out of work, obviously disability. And I just found out, you know, this time of year we're, you know, we're doing our show towards the end of the year here, November, December timeframe. So a lot of people are, have met their deductibles. They're having surgeries. I just found out he is about to have a total knee replacement.


KARA: And had that hip replacement a year ago. So young, you know, it's happening to younger and younger folks.

MELANIE: It is. I had a client and her son has had degenerative discs in his back and he's 22 years old, and they were looking to do spinal fusion. They're looking to do… And so he's in chronic back pain. And that's related. Our joints, our discs, it's all related.

KARA: But that's unfortunate, especially at that age. Well, there's a lot that be, that can be done to prevent all of this that we're talking about. And in fact, I read a recent study that said more than half of people diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and that's the most common form of arthritis, is osteoarthritis. Think of it as joint breakdown. Half the people do not think there are any solutions, and they just kind of, like you said, white knuckle it.


Sugar and high carbohydrate foods increase joint inflammation


KARA: They feel like they need to just deal with it, deal with the pain, manage the pain as best they can, manage the dysfunction that's occurring in their lives. Well, we know that joint pain is coming from inflammation, but what we want to talk about today is what's causing all of this inflammation. We're going to share the top foods that are the culprits. Basically sugar, foods that are high in carbohydrates that turn into a lot of sugar in the body and create inflammation. So it's that inflammation over time that eventually leads to joint breakdown and more pain. It's kind of a vicious cycle.

MELANIE: Really important to know. And for those of you that are listening and you're already slotted to get a joint or hip replacement, this can also help you be comfortable and reduce your pain what we're going to share. So I remember a client who complained about not being able to do his Saturday morning workout. He couldn't figure out why he woke up on the weekends and his knees would be stiff and achy. So he kept skipping his workout and was super frustrated. I started asking him about his food choices, and we finally made the connection that every Friday night, it was Friday pizza night, and the family would order in pizzas. Pizza, I mean, pizza, everybody loves a pizza. And Friday night seems to be it. But we're going to talk more about that when we get back. I think it's time for break, Kara.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory


KARA: All right. Well, let's take our first break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Our topic today is how to maintain healthy joints. If you've been listening to us for a while, you understand that our message is to eat real food, real food that you're cooking in your own kitchen to improve your health. There are some chronic health situations when adding in certain supplements in addition to food can just kind of speed along the healing process, especially when it's a nutrient that's more difficult to obtain from food sources.

And omega-3 fatty acids, that's the first thing that comes to mind when I hear or see that someone is dealing with joint pain, joint breakdown, stiffness, or arthritis. A study in 2021 published in the British Medical Journal found that over 68% of adults, 95% of children in the U.S. are not getting enough omega-3 essential fatty acids to meet the nutritional needs based on, this is based on U.S. dietary guidelines.

So the age groups that were found to be most efficient were children ages two through five and adult males. This is obviously concerning, considering the fact that being deficient in omega threes can impact so many conditions: heart health, vision, mental health, and brain health; really any kind of inflammatory condition, of course, including joint health. So we'll be right back to finish talking about pizza and more information on this topic.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Listeners, I want to share more information with you about an important essential fatty acid that most people are lacking. Before break, Kara said that the majority of adults and especially children, are not getting adequate omega threes in their daily diets. You've probably heard about omega three fatty acids or fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids can be difficult to obtain from food sources. And that is one reason so many are deficient, and they're critical for reducing inflammation. I recommend 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams of a good quality omega-3 fish supplement. 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams per day and taken with food is best for absorption.

KARA: Oh, and I was just going to add to that because I'm not sure how long we've carried this product. You may know more than me, but I noticed that we started carrying an extra strength omega-3 fatty acid. I personally just bought that because I like to take higher doses. I'm dealing with a little inflammation in my knee.


KARA: Very timely. And so I wanted to increase my omega-3s. So instead of taking six softgels per day, I take three of the extra strength. And I really just like that dosing.

MELANIE: It's nice to have less pills.

KARA: Yeah.

MELANIE: I remember a client who complained about not being able to work on his Saturday morning workout, and that's what we were talking about when we went to break. Let me just recap. We couldn't figure out his, he was stiff. He was achy. His knees hurt. He was skipping his workouts, which was frustrating him because he couldn't figure out why he was so miserable on the weekends. And we started talking and I made the connection with him that every Friday night was their family pizza night.

Well, pizza has some inflammatory ingredients and one piece of pizza turns into listen up, 10 teaspoons of sugar in your bloodstream. So four pieces of pizza, which I know I could certainly consume, have 40 teaspoons of sugar dumped in your bloodstream. And that's very inflammatory. What that means is the processed carbs convert rapidly to the glucose, and that's what Kara’s connection was. So this is super inflammatory to our entire body, but especially our joints. We removed the pizza and he started the workouts again. We found better alternatives. So he would still get that pizza flavor profile.

KARA: Sure. Well that's a great story. And it's, what a great connection to make. And like you said, it's, and it's not just the amount of sugar that one or four pieces of pizza turn into. There are other inflammatory ingredients. We know that the oils and fats in pizza are also inflammatory. And processed foods that are high in sugar often have these refined oils: soybean, corn, canola. Those processed oils also create inflammation. And some people, like your client can feel that almost instantaneously. I mean within a day.

MELANIE: Within a day. And yeah, the new ones that they're putting in there to, I think that fools everyone is safflower and sunflower oil and they're using the highly processed. They're not using cold pressed.

KARA: Sure.

MELANIE: So those are inflammatory as well. So you really have to read your labels. You have to be a food detective.

KARA: That's right.

MELANIE: So he had no idea that there was certain foods connected to his joint pain. So listeners, are you making a connection as I'm talking? We talked about switching up his Friday night meal and by eating an anti-inflammatory dinner like steak, baby red potatoes, salad with olive oil dressing: yummy. He was shocked that his Saturday morning aches and pains went away and he was back to the gym, which also overall helping with his overall health.

KARA: Yeah, exactly.

MELANIE: That's the goal. We just want to live long, strong and not in pain.

KARA: And we hear this all the time. In fact, our owner, Darlene, she started referring to this years ago as “sugar aches”.

MELANIE: Oh, I love that. I hadn't heard that.

The high blood sugar connection to aches and pains


KARA: Yeah. When someone indulges in ice cream, for example, at night, and they wake up and they're stiff and they have a hard time getting out of bed, and they're like, what changed? Sugar equals pain for most people. So we're going to talk a little bit more about that connection between high blood sugars and even prediabetes or type two diabetes and the inflammation that can occur in the joints. So I don't really think that a lot of people would connect, oh, I have high glucose levels. That might be wearing down my joints.

MELANIE: Exactly. You know, and I'm, we are not perfect. And so whenever I have a source of sugar, the next day when I get out of bed, I can feel pain in the bottoms of my feet. And I know it's that darn sugar. So sometimes it'll get achy in my hip. So, you know, I think sugar in my lips, pain in my hips. It just works out like that.

KARA: That's a one to remember.

MELANIE: So Kara, you cohosted a show not too long ago, and the topic was prediabetes and diabetes, which we know are prevalent in our country right now.

KARA: They really are. I learned a lot researching for that show as well. And the title of that show, if you're interested in checking out the podcast, it was The Carb Connection to Prediabetes and Diabetes. I think it was August of this year, 2022. But I remember a statistic from that show. According to JAMA, which is the Journal of American Medical Association, more than half of American adults have prediabetes or type two diabetes. And you had mentioned earlier in this show that the rates continue to go up.

MELANIE: They continue to go up. I remember, gosh, when I was in my twenties as a young dietitian, you didn't see type two diabetes unless people were over the age of 55. You just didn’t see it. We never counseled people in clinic. And now I'm seeing kids, teenagers. So in that show, I loved how you and Kristi explained that years of eating high sugary foods, high carb foods, and I'm talking those processed flour foods like bread and pasta, muffins, cookies, pastries, things like that, can create those high glucose levels.

And you talked about high glucose or blood sugar levels can lead to health complications. It's higher risk of heart disease and cancer, Alzheimer's, all of these scary diseases. And that's the connection. That's because chronic high blood sugar levels cause a lot of inflammation everywhere. Even in your brain. Both in blood vessels and throughout the body in your joints. So listeners, I hope you're making that connection and you're connecting the dots between processed carbs and sugar and health risks for you and pain.

KARA: Well, it makes sense. I mean, we talk a lot about the damage that having chronic high blood sugars, the damage that can have on the body and the brain, the heart. But it's also creating issues for the joints, more inflammation in the joints.

MELANIE: Exactly.

KARA: And when we say high blood sugar levels, I really want to remind you the importance of getting that lab, knowing your fasting glucose the next time you go in for a doctor visit. Everybody should know what their fasting glucose level is. As nutritionists and dietitians, I mean, we talk about how damaging chronic high blood sugar levels can be to every tissue in the body.

MELANIE: Yes. And you know, when you say that, let's tell our listeners what those levels should look like. I like to see my clients’ fasting glucose levels down in the seventies and eighties. And you might hear that normal is under 100, but even fasting glucose that stays in the upper eighties and nineties can cause some damage to blood vessels in your joints. And even more technically, prediabetes is diagnosed when fasting glucose is between 100 and 125. So be your own detective. What is your body doing? Be aware of this. Many times your physician may not say something until you're already in the danger zone.

KARA: Correct.

MELANIE: And so we want to get on top of it because you're still creating joint damage and pain and it can make a big difference.

KARA: And that was an, a really important part of that prediabetes and diabetes show was just emphasizing that, you know, if people, if their blood sugars or their fasting glucose is creeping up and it's getting, it's in the nineties, don't wait. Don't wait until you're diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes to address it because it's doing damage even prior to a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes.

MELANIE: It's really great to go into your MyChart or your medical records and see the trend. What are your blood sugars doing? What were they last year when you had a physical and the year before? If you see a trend of them creeping up, that's the time to get on top of it.

KARA: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Well, it's time for our second break already. We'll talk more about glucose when we come back. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's topic is joint health. And we want to emphasize that you need to start thinking about joint health regardless of your age. So if you're listening and you're in your twenties or thirties or forties, that is perfect. That's the perfect age to learn how to proactively preserve your joints so that you can be active in your 50 plus years. As we've been sharing, joint breakdown takes years to manifest. And pain typically happens when the joints have already been breaking down for a long time. We'll be right back.


Healthy fats are supportive for our joints


MELANIE: Welcome back. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Okay, listeners, picture your joints. Think about your knee, hip, elbow, wrist, head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Can you visualize what would help them to have more mobility? If you're picturing healthy fats, you're correct. So good for you. Our joints need lubrication for optimal function. Your car needs oil to lubricate the moving parts of your engine. If you've got a squeaky door, you put some oil in the hinge. Your joints need that same lubrication to be healthy. And so I'm talking healthy fats and oils. They act as a protective barrier for your bones.

KARA: And so Mel, maybe we could just give a few examples of what we mean by healthy dietary fats.

MELANIE: I would love to talk about food.

KARA: I love talking about healthy fats. First of all, that's where we get our flavor.

MELANIE: That's where we get our flavor. So I, like, everybody loves to cook with olive oil. And I prefer olive oil as a wonderful healthy fat, but a cold application. So I'm thinking salad dressings or a drizzle.

KARA: Okay.

MELANIE: But to cook with a good, healthy fat is going to be a healthy animal, grass grass-fed animal fat: bacon fat, coconut oil, a good cold pressed avocado oil, ghee. These are all wonderful lubricating fats. And they just make our foods taste delicious. And then there's always, you know, nuts, nut butter.

KARA: Yeah.

MELANIE: Avocados.

KARA: Avocado. Guacamole.

MELANIE: Guacamole.

KARA: Don’t forget about those olives in addition to the olive oil.

MELANIE: Yeah. We don't love food at all, Kara. We'll just talk about guacamole in the morning.

KARA: I mean I, you know, I can't imagine a life without healthy fats because low fat and fat free diets essentially have no flavor. Not only are they not good for our blood sugars and our overall health, and they certainly are not good for joints. But they taste like cardboard.

MELANIE: Exactly. We, we went through that era. We know.

KARA: And so, okay, before break, I'm just kind of summarizing, we were talking how important it is to get those labs. Know what your fasting glucose is. Don't wait to address it until you're prediabetic or have type two diabetes. Type two diabetes is when those, the fasting glucose gets up over 125. Now if you do want to learn a little bit more about that, you can check out the podcast that I mentioned. High blood sugars, they're on the rise. In fact, one in three American adults have prediabetes. And that comes from the fairly recent information from the Center for Disease Control, the CDC.

MELANIE: That's really good information because we know that prediabetes and type two diabetes are on the rise, as we mentioned. And if the number of knee and hip replacement surgeries are due to increase from the current 1 million to 3.5 million by the year 2025, there's a connection. Right? We could have that high blood sugar that is just chipping away at our joints. And you know, I had a client in a Nutrition for Weight Loss class and she joined because she had to lose weight for her knee replacements she needed too.

KARA: Okay.

MELANIE: So she started following the protocol that she was placed on. She followed the plan. She got that support in class. And within two weeks she said to the group, I don't have knee pain.

KARA: Wow.

MELANIE: So she still needed the replacement, but she got to be comfortable in her journey. And being pain free is a big deal.

KARA: It really is. For anyone, I know you've experienced pain. I've experienced pain. It's so freeing to have pain go away or even be lessened.

MELANIE: Yes. I always, I feel like a hundred percent me when I don't have pain.

MELANIE: Yeah. Yeah. Quality of life just really improves dramatically. And we're just nicer people.

The mechanism behind high blood sugar and joint breakdown


KARA: That's so true. Yeah. We're more productive, more focused. We're nicer. So let's get back to the high blood sugars and how that correlates with joint breakdown. Cause listeners might be wondering, what's that mechanism? How does that work? Well over time, eating sugary foods and processed oils cause the higher blood sugar levels.

MELANIE: So when you're eating those sugary foods and processed oils, what is actually happening? Well, where you might be asking, where's this connection when blood sugar levels are too high? Well, our body over produces insulin, which is your master hormone. And that insulin's job is to bring those blood sugars back down. Well chronic high blood sugars and which results in chronic high insulin levels leads to more inflammation in the joints.

KARA: Yes. And the inflammation can cause cartilage breakdown. So you've heard the term cartilage before. It's the smooth kind of a rubber like padding or cushion. It's what we have between our bones. It's protective. And it can take years of joint inflammation to cause the wear and tear and breakdown of cartilage. Usually it happens in larger joints like the back or hips or knees. But you know, you also see it happening in the smaller joints, the hands, feet, ankles, wrists.

Start making proactive changes at younger ages when possible


MELANIE: Yes. And I can speak to that. I used to love, I grew up in the low fat era and it was low fat. It didn't matter anything other than calories. So I was eating a lot of sugary processed low fat foods and lo and behold, I ended up having to need two thumb joint replacements. So I have had two thumb joint replacements, paying for my poor habits, which I thought were healthy in my earlier years. And if you're a teen or a parent of a teen, also we want to be listening today because if you're in your twenties or your thirties, we really want to emphasize that now is the time to be proactive if you want strong cartilage and pain-free joints as you age. Maybe you have several family members in their ages forties to eighties who suffer from arthritis or joint pain and you see how it negatively affects their lives. Well this is not your destiny. If you take some precautions now, that's not your future.

KARA: Mm-Hmm. And I like what you said at the beginning of the show. Even if there is that genetic component, you know, I think it's so easy for people to just kind of throw in the towel and say, well you know, my grandma, my mom had this back issue or neck issue.

MELANIE: I'm doomed.

KARA: So did my grandma. And so I just, I'll probably get that. But like you said, it's really only about 10% is attributed to genetics. The rest is what we do with our food and our lifestyle.

MELANIE: We have some control here.

KARA: We want people to make these connections when they're young. The daily high sugar Frappuccino at the coffee shop. Maybe it's that type of habit causing inflammation and joint breakdown over time. Especially if it's paired with one of those coffee shop muffins.

MELANIE: Yes. So like my husband had today a crispy treat, Rice Krispie Treat when he stopped at the, to put gas in the car. So here's the thing is, when we used to be young children back in the day when dinosaurs were on the earth. I can speak to this; is you ran around, you played outside and you know, you ran around with your friends, you hung out, you got thirsty, you drank out of the hose so you didn't have to come back inside. We weren't always drinking a sugary drink in our hands. So if you have children or grandchildren, one of the easiest thing that you can start switching them from is the habit of consuming sugar in a liquid candy form because it's damaging their bodies already. And save that stuff for the sometimes treat. Right? Good luck with that listeners. But that's important. If you start them small, then you have some say in there.

But maybe it's the soda habit for a lot of people or the chip habit. Getting rid of these problem foods and beverages will preserve your joints so you can be active and pain free into your sixties, seventies, and eighties. So I just told a client yesterday, I said, I don't even want you walking down the aisle of these foods. And if you do, because you're accompanying someone else, in your head, I want you to say pain, pain, pain, pain, pain as you're walking. So that she wouldn't be tempted. You know the old saying, don't go shopping when you're hungry because everything looks great.

KARA: So true.

MELANIE: So if don't even walk down the aisle of dry processed foods, you're ahead of the game.

KARA: Yep. Produce.

MELANIE: Meat, meat, meat.

KARA: Have a nice snack or a meal before you shop and have a list and have a plan and stick to it.

MELANIE: You'll get done faster and your grocery bill will be lower.

KARA: Exactly. Exactly. And so I like what you said about soda. It just, it reminded me that way back in the day of the dinosaurs. I mean, soda was in a tiny little can. I think it was, it was eight ounce, six or eight ounces And it was an, it was a sometimes treat.


KARA: It was maybe like on a weekend.


KARA: You know, so it's gotten, you know, way too commonplace. So we're going to take a quick break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Kara Carper, Licensed Nutritionist. I'm here today with Melanie Beasley, Licensed and Registered Dietitian. And if you have not been listening to the whole show, our topic today is how to maintain healthy joints. Now if you did tune in for the earlier part of the show, you probably heard us say that the top three dietary culprits for cartilage breakdown, inflammation and arthritis are number one, sugar.

Number two, high carbohydrate foods that turn into a lot of sugar; bread, muffins, chips, bagels, pastries, and those sorts of items. And number three, those manmade, refined oils. And we gave examples of what the processed oils are: soybean, corn, canola, vegetable, and you had mentioned safflower and sunflower. We need to add those on.


KARA: It makes sense to most of us that cooking and eating meals at home is the best line of defense for preserving our joints. So we can be active and pain free as we get older. That might be a daunting process or it might sound daunting for many of you. We get it. People have gotten away from spending time in the kitchen cooking and preparing meals. Seems like everybody is on the run. It's easy to grab fast food or convenience food. So Nutritional Weight and Wellness came to the rescue. We started offering virtual cooking classes and they're a big hit. So when we come back, Mel will share more about an upcoming class.


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Our culinary expert, Marianne, is teaching a virtual cooking class Wednesday, December 7th at 6:00 PM. The class is Sheet Pan and One Pot Meals, which is a perfect class as we head into December and January, that holiday season when we're busy. We can all use some of those tips and tricks to have real food meals accessible. And you can check out this class and sign up on our website, And if you have questions, feel free to call our main office at (651) 699-3438. This class is a steal; only $25 for 75 minutes of instruction. And you also receive a link to the recording so you can watch it for three more days. And in case the exact date or time are not convenient for you in your schedule, you've got it.

Sign Up for a Cooking Class

KARA: Mm-Hmm.

MELANIE: So these are great fun classes. Cooking at home, like you mentioned, Kara, doesn't have to be a complicated strenuous activity. It can be simple. And Marianne helps people make that connection.

KARA: She certainly does it. You know, she's wonderful and she makes it look and feel doable. That's what I really like about her classes. And so before break we were talking, well specifically about the younger generation and sometimes I just, when I'm, you know, I'll go to a coffee shop and I'll get my coffee and I'll have them pour heavy cream in it. They take it out of the fridge and pour it in. So it's not like I never go to the coffee shop, but I do look around. I see a lot of teens and 20 somethings with the high sugar drinks and maybe like the treat or the snack with it: high carb, high sugar. And I just wonder, you know, they're probably not having pain. They likely they have energy. They're kind of burning it off, especially if they're active. So they may not be thinking about the future because they're not currently noticing any negative symptoms.

MELANIE: Sure. Yeah.

KARA: But we just really want, we keep saying this over and over, but it's all about prevention when it comes to joint health.

MELANIE: It's not like you can go back and relive your body's development.

KARA: Yeah.

MELANIE: It is developing and it is growing and there's cell turnover. And so we have to really take care of ourselves starting at a younger age.

KARA: Mm-Hmm. Also, it's never too late though. So I mean, if you already have been diagnosed with a joint condition, maybe arthritis and you're in your sixties, seventies, even eighties, it's not too late to switch to a real food eating plan and reduce those high sugar, high flour foods. It is possible to slow and even stop the progression of joint breakdown.

MELANIE: Because we have a lot of joints in our body.

KARA: We sure do.

MELANIE: There's more than hips and knee.

Key nutrients that can support joint health


KARA: There's a lot that can be done. And with some additional key nutrients, which we are going to talk about, we have had several clients and class members, dozens, I'm sure not just several, who report that they've been able to turn around very painful and debilitating joint issues.

MELANIE: You know, Kara, I really like the product called Key Collagen. It's on our website. I like it especially for clients who've been diagnosed with some level of cartilage breakdown and they have joint pain. There are a lot of collagen products out there. I mean they're everywhere you turn. But this one is a medical food and it's very different because it has four collagen peptides. Key Collagen is the only product on the market with all four of these bioactive collagen peptides.

Well, let me break that down a little bit. One of them is a collagen peptide called Tendoforte, and it's a specific peptide in the Key Collagen that strengthens tendons and ligaments, and collagen makes up 65% to 80% in tendons and 70% in our ligaments. So that's a lot of science. But there's another one I want to talk about called Fortigel. And this is a specific peptide in Key Collagen. And this one works for cartilage regrowth and joint health. Yes. I said regrowth.

So collagen makes up 70% of cartilage and that's that rubbery tissue which connects our bones. And so the pain is when we're bone on bone. I love this. And I've had many clients rave about it. I use it for multiple conditions, but overall, we're made up of collagen; our bones, our joints, our cartilage. So adding this in is a boost for comfort and possibly even some regrowth in some studies that we've seen. But it's more comprehensive. It's more effective than other collagen powders because it is a medical food. It's not just a high heat cow hide collagen.

KARA: Mm-Hmm.

MELANIE: And it also supports healthy skin, nails. You look good along the way.

KARA: My mom started taking that. She had a knee surgery for a meniscus tear, I believe it was two years ago.


KARA: And so just to kind of have extra support for her joints. She's in her seventies. She did start taking the Key Collagen. It reduces inflammation. It, it helps with everything that you just said. She's noticing that she's got kind of thicker, more hair growth coming.

MELANIE: Oh lovely.

KARA: Yeah. In a couple places that we're maybe getting a little bit thinner.

MELANIE: I bet she loves you. You're her favorite daughter. Right, Kara?

KARA: Well, and it's interesting because I was re-gifted a different collagen powder from a family member who wasn't using it. And I started really diving into the specific ingredients of our Key Collagen and I started looking online and I can't find anything to match it; anything that's as effective with those peptides.

MELANIE: I agree.

KARA: …that you mentioned.

MELANIE: I agree. And there's another one in there, which is my favorite for… this is off topic, but osteoporosis and it’s called Fortibone.

KARA: Yes. Yes.

MELANIE: So it's a total body collagen and it's a medical food. It's not just a random processed collagen out there.

KARA: Well worth, well worth adding that in if there are joint issues.

MELANIE: We're passionate. You can tell. Well, Kara, of course we have to talk about without changing eating habits and getting rid of desserts, bagels, crackers, soda; that really is where people have to start. Because you know, the saying we cannot out supplement a poor diet holds so much truth. And we have to give our body the building blocks to build healthy joints. You just can't build a body if you don't give it the supplies it needs. And that comes from real food eating that we talk about so passionately.

KARA: Exactly. But if listeners would like that added support for cartilage, I just want to talk about one more supplement that's been found to be very effective. And it's a combination formula. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. MSM is an acronym. I will…

MELANIE: Can you write that down for us?

KARA: I'm going to spare you for pronouncing the whole thing. Similar to the Key Collagen, quality is everything when it comes to this product because there are cheap versions of glucosamine/chondroitin on the market. And the cheaper, less pure forms won't be as effective. And studies show that. One that has been tested by third party labs for its efficacy, it's called Chondro Relief Plus. And so the glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, they're all in their most absorbable forms. And some of the cheaper products might even be a little hard on the stomach.

MELANIE: I've heard that.

KARA: And this version is not because I actually have taken it before. Still I recommend taking it with food. But there are over 14,000 double blind studies on glucosamine. There's about the same number of studies on chondroitin and over 800 double blind studies on MSM. The literature is very clear that this combination works to calm inflammation, reduce pain, and it provides the basic ingredients for connective tissues so that they can actually be rebuilt. So very, it's a similar process to Key Collagen, but it is a different mechanism.

MELANIE: All of it is, it works together. Well the big thing to remember with this formula is that it's not an overnight solution. You know, we have to remember that we didn't get this way overnight and you need to take like three to six capsules a day and give it some time. My clients often don't notice much of an improvement for one to two months. But consistency is the key. And so I just say stay the course, you know, trust the process and we're going to get you there.

KARA: Right. And it's the same with the Key Collagen. I don't know if we mentioned that or not, but you know, don't take the Key Collagen one scoop and expect to wake up and feel different. It may take a few weeks or even longer to really notice that reduction in inflammation and pain. And you just said this, Mel, but it's, it bears repeating that this cartilage and joint breakdown did not happen overnight. So we need to give it time. We need time to heal and repair the joints.

MELANIE: Yes. If you think about building a brick wall by hand, it takes time and you have to let things settle in and then you build some more. It's a building the body is a process. Breaking it down seems so much faster. Why is that? We can break our bodies down and gain weight super fast. But rebuilding and changing our health takes time and commitment.

KARA: Take some patience. Well, thank you so much for listening today. We hope that you gained some valuable information on how to protect your joints at any age. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Again, thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.

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