Knee Replacement Prevention for Pain Free Knees

April 22, 2023

It may surprise you to learn that dieticians and nutritionists can help clients prevent knee breakdown that requires knee replacement surgery, but your nutrition has a big impact on the health of your joints. If you want to prevent or postpone a knee replacement, this information is for you and you can start now! In this episode, we’ll cover what causes the cartilage in the knees to deteriorate, briefly explain different types of arthritis, and discuss how food plus some key supplements can help support cartilage health and reduce pain.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. As you are listening to the show this morning, do you have some pain in your left knee or maybe your right knee, or maybe both? You may be surprised to learn that 800,000 adults have knee replacement surgery every year. The average age of a patient who gets knee replacement is about 65 years old. I think it's getting even younger. Surgeons consider anyone younger than 50 to be too young for knee replacements. By 2030, knee replacement surgery is projected to reach 3.5 million, which is an increase of 673%, listeners.




MELANIE: A 673% increase in knee replacements. That's kind of scary. Well, the question is, what is happening to our knees and what can we do to support our knees and prevent surgery? I'm Melanie Beasley, a Licensed and Registered Dietitian. I've worked with several clients to help them change their eating habits so that they could avoid or postpone knee replacement surgery.

And I've worked with soldiers and veterans, volleyball players, hockey players, dancers, and many other older adults that have knee problems. And they are all surprised to learn that what they eat makes a difference in the health and comfort of their knees. Joining me today is Britni Vincent, who's also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Good morning, Britni.

BRITNI: Good morning. You know, I think a lot of people are surprised to learn that dietitians and nutritionists can help clients prevent the knee degeneration that requires knee replacement surgery.

MELANIE: It's just not something you think about when you think of food and nutritionists and dietitians.

BRITNI: Exactly.


BRITNI: I think a lot of people associate dietitians with, you know, trying to lose weight or reducing your cholesterol, controlling your diabetes, but what you put in your mouth, your nutrition, it really has a huge impact on the health of your joints and especially your knee joints. And while I was doing some research for this, I found that 40% of people that have knee replacement surgery still have pain and loss of motion after the surgery.

MELANIE: What was that statistic?

BRITNI: 40% of people.

MELANIE: Well that's kind of sad.

BRITNI: I know.

MELANIE: You go through all of that and you still have pain. I have a client and she had knee replacement surgery and she's in agony all the time. And it's really sad because of what she's gone through.

BRITNI: t's not always a perfect fix.

MELANIE: It's not always a perfect fix. So you know what we're saying is if we can postpone or offset the need for replacement and the earlier you get started, the more you preserve the bone and the joint.


MELANIE: So that's what we're talking about today.

BRITNI: Absolutely.

MELANIE: Yeah. So listeners, are you starting to experience some discomfort when you go shopping or you take your dog for a walk? That may be a warning sign that your knees need better nutrition to repair damage done from eating unhealthy foods. We suggest not waiting to change your eating habits and do it while nutrition can really make a difference. Wouldn't you say?

Research shows following an anti-inflammatory diet reduced symptoms in osteoarthritis

BRITNI: Yeah. You know, start as soon as possible. And as you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, you know, sometimes I think it might be hard to believe that you can prevent or postpone knee replacement surgery just by changing the food that you eat. But let's look at some research and there's a study from the National Institute of Health, the NIH, and this study found that following an anti-inflammatory diet for 12 weeks was effective in reducing symptoms of discomfort in osteoarthritis.

The study also found that nutrition education sessions were focused on following an anti-inflammatory diet were absolutely necessary to help clients change their eating habits. And this research found that frequent appointments were needed to help clients to stop eating those processed foods and start eating whole foods and following an anti-inflammatory diet. And we're going to tell you what does an anti-inflammatory diet mean?

MELANIE: What does that mean? And you know, circling back to what you said about needing that support, it is hard. By the time you're having some knee pain, you're at an age where it is hard to start changing those habits.


MELANIE: And so I've read that it takes 12 weeks of really practicing a new habit for it to become ingrained. And so in there, if you have a holiday, which I had a client and she just, you know, went off program of what we had her set up on, and she said, oh my gosh, she felt so sick, digestively. But then she also was having plantar fasciitis pain came back.


MELANIE: So it that inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet is really key in your body being comfortable. But let's be real, it didn't take overnight for you to become inflamed.

BRITNI: Exactly.

MELANIE: So you have to trust the process that it's a, it's a slow burn to get there and it's a slow process to feel better. We have those clients that feel better within 48 hours of the diet.

BRITNI: Yes. Yeah. Be patient with yourself.

MELANIE: Be patient. But it can happen. If you have achy knees what is that anti-Inflammatory diet? It also may surprise you that 60% of knee replacement surgeries are done on women. In the past, nutrition education for knee health focused on a diet for weight loss. You know, because the pounds, that more weight you have on your knees, it does affect the impact on those knees and reducing the pounds on the body helps reduce the pressure on those knees.

Give up sugar for pain and inflammation reduction

But through research, a diet that just focused on weight loss was not very effective. A much better approach is to follow an anti-inflammatory eating plan. Ask yourself listeners, what foods am I eating or what did I eat yesterday maybe that may be damaging my knee joints? If you said sugar, you are correct. Would you be willing to give up sugar for three weeks to see how much better your knees feel? We can do hard things. We've done a lot of hard things in our lives and giving up that sugar for just three weeks might surprise you.

So I have another client's story. She was a nurse at the VA and when she ate sugar, her knees felt as though she had shards of glass in them and they were so painful to walk and she's walking around in her job all the time. Well, when she gave up sugar, specifically pop; she was always drinking sugar pop; she no longer had knee pain.


MELANIE: So listeners, what foods do you need? As I'm talking, what comes to mind that you need to let go of to test these results out? Do you need to give up the chocolate chip cookies, which taste great, but they're very inflammatory. Or maybe it is slices of pizza.

BRITNI: Yeah. And you're might be thinking pizza? What? We're talking about sugar. But the carbohydrates from that pizza break down to sugar in the body.

MELANIE: Good point. Really good point. And this could be very inflammatory. Or is it a sweet tea or a pop? Maybe a fancy coffee drink. You just had a coffee. Right? But you know those mochas or caramel lattes, those have a lot of sugar in them. Another client was surprised to find out that her nightly popcorn was causing pain and inflammation. Cause again, things like popcorn convert rapidly to sugar in the bloodstream. And we don't think popcorn: sugar.

BRITNI: No we don't.

MELANIE: But these are all inflammatory foods. So I ask my clients to be nutrition detectives and write down what they're eating and eliminate the ones containing sugar and even processed flours, like we mentioned the pizza crust.


MELANIE: And just see how much less pain that they have. And they're always surprised that not only do they feel better, but the cravings for those foods go away.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I mean, write down your food, write down your symptoms. Maybe you notice your pain on a scale level, one to 10, whatever resonates with you. And then you can start to see patterns and you can see if things are improving. Because sometimes it's a gradual improvement. It takes time. And then yeah, like you said, you can be your own detective. And I, I do want to mention too, where you're talking about weight loss, you know, following an anti-inflammatory diet also can lead to weight loss.

MELANIE: Of course.


MELANIE: And you're going to lose inflammation.


MELANIE: And a lot of times the foods, the very foods that are causing that inflammation are causing us to hang on to weight.

BRITNI: Exactly. Exactly.

MELANIE: It’s a win-win.

BRITNI: Well it is time for our first break.

MELANIE: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we're talking about possible ways to avoid knee replacement surgery. Usually there is some form of arthritis involved. The word “arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. Most arthritis causes pain and inflammation in your joints. And if you reduce the inflammation, you also reduce the pain and damage occurring in these delicate knee joints. We'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before break. Melanie said that the word “arthritis” literally means inflammation of a joint or joints. So if you have arthritis or inflammation of a joint, is it the same as a parent or a grandparent had? What caused their inflammation and what is causing your inflammation? Could it be those little treats or desserts your grandmother taught your mother to make and your mother taught you to make? You know, sugar really is the number one culprit of causing inflammation.

MELANIE: It's in everything.

BRITNI: It is, it's yes.

MELANIE: They're sneaking it in.

Gluten can be inflammatory

BRITNI: It’s literally everywhere. And before break we were talking a lot about sugar and then we are talking about those processed carbohydrates because those break down to sugar. So those also create a lot of inflammation. But another food group that can be very inflammatory are foods that contain gluten. So that is, you know, wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and basically anything that contains, you know, regular wheat flour. So breads, bagels, pastas, muffins, cakes. And gluten can be extremely inflammatory.

MELANIE: I feel like you need to throw crackers in there.

BRITNI: Yes. Crackers too. Yep.

MELANIE: There's a lot of crackers eating happening.

BRITNI: There are a lot of cracker eating. Yeah, good point. You know, and I have a lot of clients that tell me that after eating a meal of pasta, they feel inflamed. I just had a client yesterday. Every time she eats a piece of bread, even like the best quality bread, she still feels inflamed afterwards.

MELANIE: Yep. Yeah.

BRITNI: Versus if you eat a big plate of vegetables, you are not going to feel that inflammation happening. So if you're curious if gluten creates inflammation for you, you know the best way to figure it out is commit. Do a little experiment. Eliminate gluten I would say a hundred percent for at least three weeks.

MELANIE: And you're not saying run out and buy a bunch of gluten-free products.

BRITNI: Exactly. Because then those gluten-free products are going to have more carbs and sugar.


BRITNI: And you know, it's really difficult sometimes to tell what foods are creating inflammation in your body because sometimes it's not an immediate reaction. So the best way to figure it out is just eliminate it and see how you feel. And I would say the majority of people feel so much better. They don't even want to try to reintroduce it.

MELANIE: They don't want to go back. I had a client and she was telling me how every time she ate red sauce, she thought she had a nightshade issue because it would have peppers, onions and tomatoes. And I said, what are we putting the red sauce on?


MELANIE: And it was pasta. And so her red, her beloved red sauce was fine. It was the pasta she was putting it on top of. So she puts it on zucchini noodles now.

BRITNI: Perfect.

MELANIE: And she gets to have all the delicious sensation of pasta and she gets that extra boost from the vegetables and…

BRITNI: Yeah. Wonderful.


BRITNI: So the reality of knee osteoarthritis always involves inflammation that is linked to pain and the recommendation often is to exercise more and go on a restrictive weight loss diet. But that does not necessarily target the inflammation and sometimes could make things worse. So it is important to work with a nutritionist or dietitian who understands what foods make up an inflammatory and anti-inflammatory diet. And you know, exercise, we're not saying not to exercise, but over exercising could definitely make things make things worse.


BRITNI: And I, I really like to help people understand what they are personally eating that is causing inflammation. So if you eat fast food for lunch, or even if you pack your own lunch of a sandwich and chips.

MELANIE: There is a lunch beyond sandwiches.

BRITNI: Yes, there is.

MELANIE: We can give you ideas. But yeah, a lot of people are lost. They're like, what do I eat if I can't bring a sandwich?


MELANIE: Which I grew up in that era.

BRITNI: I, me too. That's what I grew up eating.

MELANIE: Sandwich was lunch. But you can do it.

BRITNI: Absolutely. And you know, having those foods for lunch, by the time you come home for dinner, your knee might hurt. Or maybe the next morning when you wake up you feel that inflammation or pain. But if you're always eating those foods and you always have pain and inflammation, you're not probably going to make that connection.

MELANIE: It's amazing how much your body can feel when you start removing some of these things.


MELANIE: I mean just maybe you have inflammation somewhere beside your knees.

BRITNI: Yeah. Good point.

MELANIE: You know, like my client with the planter fasciitis. Relief is relief.


More high sugar foods to avoid to help reduce inflammation

MELANIE: And if, if you're having pizza or a coke or a beer and your, your knee is no doubt going to hurt. Your body will hurt from the inflammation. Alcohol's also very inflammatory. And so if you're doing that every night and you're having wine every night or beers at night, that's something to think about. Jelly beans at Easter: really inflammatory. So it's one thing when you have a holiday; have a little dessert. It's another thing if you buy the jelly beans two weeks prior to the holiday and it's in a, it's in a candy dish; really inflammatory.

Those bagels that we were told to eat because they were low fat. They're very inflammatory. And again that's that wheat flour, gluten connection that Britni, you were talking about. Or Jell-O salad. If you had a holiday and you had Jell-O salads, those Jell-O salads are really packed with sugar. They're tasty. But they're inflammatory. And by the way, they're not salad. I don't care if you put a splash of carrots in there.

BRITNI: Great point.

MELANIE: But the mini marshmallows, I think designate: not salad.

BRITNI: Agreed. What about chips, French fries? I mean although potato chips or French fries don't contain gluten, they are still high carb foods that are going to create inflammation. So think over what you are eating that might be inflammatory and consider eliminating it.

MELANIE: You deserve it.


MELANIE: I mean, listeners, you deserve to feel comfortable in this life. And then you probably are going to feel like moving your body more once you're comfortable. But when you're in pain, pain will grind you down.


MELANIE: And you don't want to do anything. And it can affect your mood. And if you're eating a sandwich for lunch, switch it up and have meat on salad because I just grilled for lunch, I grilled yesterday zucchini and onions and sweet red peppers and then I threw some chicken on it.


MELANIE: And that was, that was lunch. It did the job. I was happy; seasoned the chicken really well. But you know, it was nice. And then a little blueberries with it.

BRITNI: Sounds delicious.

Avoid inflammatory fats

MELANIE: I wasn't suffering. But switch it up. And this is always good, it's a really good time to look at the, the fats and the oils that you're using when you're cooking. So I used avocado oil. Some fats, other fats can be really inflammatory. You mentioned those fast foods.


MELANIE: Well those are cooked in oil that is heated and reheated and hot all day and becomes really inflammatory to the body. So how do you tell? Here's an example. If you like peanut butter and get fresh roasted ground peanut butter, for most people it's anti-inflammatory. But if you buy peanut butter in a jar with soybean oil in it, it's going to be inflammatory.

So go to your cupboard, pull out your peanut butter. The front's designed to sell you. Roll it over and read those ingredients and look for soybean oil or corn oil because these are inflammatory oils. Whereas coconut oil and olive oil are anti-inflammatory. Margarine: inflammatory; butter: anti-inflammatory; just like the bacon grease I love to cook with. It's anti-inflammatory.


MELANIE: Surprising to a lot of people. Don't be afraid of it. It's delicious.

Step #1 to reduce inflammation: eliminate inflammatory foods

BRITNI: You know, many people, especially women, have osteoarthritis of the knee, which is a condition when that cartilage in your knee joint begins to break down, which enables the bones to start to rub together; doesn't sound pretty. And I know from hearing from clients it can be extremely painful. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that should cushion the in-between of the bones gradually deteriorates. And then again that bone rubs on bone creating pain and inflammation breaks down the cartilage. So the first step is to reduce and eventually eliminate those inflammatory foods: sugar, bread, pasta, alcohol, fast food, chips. A lot of the foods that we find nowadays are inflammatory.

MELANIE: And most of those foods you're finding them not in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. You're finding them in the aisles where food can last forever.

BRITNI: Yeah. It's kind of scary.

MELANIE: And if food can't last forever, it's inflammatory. If food spoils quickly, it's anti-inflammatory.

BRITNI: Great point. I mean, really for the most part, you only need to shop the perimeter.


BRITNI: And don't even tempt yourself going down the aisles that you don't need to go down.

MELANIE: But they're sneaking.

BRITNI: They are.

MELANIE: Now they're starting to sneak in inflammatory foods in the refrigerator section. So tortillas: they're inflammatory, even though they're refrigerated.


MELANIE: So it's time for our second break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and we are talking about the ways to prevent needing knee surgery. Let's talk about another type of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis or RA, which is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. And this means your immune system is attacking healthy cells in your body by mistake. And it causes inflammation and results in pain and swelling. So following the autoimmune eating plan can be really helpful in controlling those RA symptoms and inflammation.

So if you need some help following an autoimmune or anti-inflammatory plan, we suggest setting up an appointment with one of us at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. You can call us at (651) 699-3438 or go to and you can set up your own appointment. We'll be right back.

Schedule Nutrition Counseling


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, long-lasting autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation in the joints. And strictly following an autoimmune diet can help the immune function to not be confused or overreact and stop your body from attacking itself. So as dietitians and nutritionists, we work individually with many clients who have RA or rheumatoid arthritis. You know, I have a client I've been seeing for years and when I first met her she, she has rheumatoid arthritis and she was on two medications to reduce her pain. And her rheumatologist said, “You're never going to get off these medications”.

MELANIE: Oh, sad.

BRITNI: So she went gluten free, dairy free, and then she's just eating a real food diet, and she's been able to get off one of the medications and then she is continuing to reduce the dose of her other medication.

MELANIE: So may not be the case for everyone. But wouldn't it be great to even reduce because the medications have a big impact.


MELANIE: And they can cause some nutritional deficiencies.

BRITNI: Yes. And she's not, she's not living in pain on a daily basis and she's lost weight. I mean, she's feeling great.

MELANIE: She must love you.


MELANIE: Man. Being pain free is everything. When you've been in pain, joy is great, peace is wonderful, but relief is everything.


MELANIE: So getting that relief is a big deal.

BRITNI: It is a big deal.

Foods to incorporate to reduce inflammation

MELANIE: So Britni, we were talking about all the foods that cause inflammation. I think we need to talk a little bit about what you can eat.

BRITNI: Absolutely.

MELANIE: …to reduce inflammation.


MELANIE: So switching to an anti-inflammatory diet takes the stress off the knee; all your joints really. You may wonder what foods make up an anti-inflammatory diet. And we are here to tell you. I like to make this question personal for each of my clients to find out what foods they're currently eating so that they truly can understand and make that connection for themselves that perhaps what they're eating is causing inflammation in their body.

So a little example is if you eat fast food for lunch, by the time you're ready for dinner, your your knees may start to become inflamed and painful. And a lot of times we think, oh, I'm just tired by the end of the day. But it could be what you're eating. And a lot of our listeners, they don't eat fast food anymore, but they're still maybe eating frozen meals. Especially like a low-fat frozen meal. I just had a client and she's, she doesn't have a great cooking skillset. So she's eating a lot of frozen meals. So we just came up with some really simple ways to cook real food and avoid the pasta and the refined oils that are in these dinners, which are again, inflammatory to the body.


MELANIE: And they're expensive.

BRITNI: That's a wonderful point. You know, to support cartilage health, starting with eating good quality meat, fish, eggs with a variety of vegetables and at least a tablespoon of beneficial fat with each meal. So that could include butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil. Those are all healthy fats. And eliminating that alcohol or significantly reducing that is going to be beneficial. Drinking half your body weight in ounces of filtered water.

MELANIE: Half your body weight.


MELANIE: Do a little calculation this morning.

BRITNI: I, whenever I tell people that and we're in person or Zoom, you know, you can see the shock factor on their face. Start slow. Just work your way up.

MELANIE: It's great to have a water bottle with a straw.


MELANIE: And then measure how many times you need to fill that water bottle in a day, and drink all day. Don't try to get it all in after work at five o'clock because you'll be up all night.


MELANIE: But a straw really helps.

BRITNI: It does help a lot of people. Yep. And to regenerate and heal that cartilage, including a variety of real foods. You know, oranges, fish, meat, brussels sprouts, bone broth, blueberries; all of those have a variety of different nutrients that help to support healing in your body. You know, instead of chips to get that crunch factor, you could snack on raw nuts.

MELANIE: Oh, I love pistachios too.

BRITNI: Mm-Hmm. Yes. There's something about taking them out of the shell is is a little bit addicting.

Key supplements for repairing cartilage

MELANIE: It is. It is. And I can pop those things so fast. Yeah. I use a butter knife with the stubborn ones. But yeah; love a pistachio. So for further nutrition boost, some key supplements can help repair cartilage. My first recommendation would be a good omega-3 fatty acid. And you can take, you know, if it's a thousand milligrams, take four of those daily and that's going to reduce inflammation. It's also going to really lubricate those joints and your skin and your eyes.

My second recommendation is to get a good quality glucosamine chondroitin product. I like the ones that have MSM in them. And there are many available, but I often recommend Chondro-FLX from Ortho Molecular. They're a good company. It's a little expensive, but it's effective. It's important to take three per day to get 1500 milligrams of that glucosamine daily. And if you, if you try glucosamine for a good month and then stop and see if it made a difference for you. You know, it's a good way to see if something is working.

BRITNI: Yes. You know, the next recommendation is to use one to two scoops of collagen daily to heal and regenerate the cartilage. I like the Key Collagen and daily use of collagen is a great preventative supplement for cartilage and knee health. And we have had a lot of clients tell us that they have noticed a reduction in their joint pain while using that collagen.

And so Key Collagen specifically supports knee joints because of a peptide in it called Fortigel. And Fortigel is the specific peptide in there for cartilage regrowth and joint health. So collagen makes up 70% of cartilage, which is that rubbery tissue which connects our bones like we talked about earlier. And a lot of people suffer from joint problems due to, you know, aging, overuse, stressed joints in combination with the inflammatory diet that we've been talking about. So the collagen peptides in Fortigel help to regenerate that joint cartilage making joints smoother and more mobile and easing the discomfort.

MELANIE: That's really helpful to sort of increase the quality of life is just to ease, ease the pain. And so we're talking more of like a medical food collagen that has that specific peptide. Would you say?

BRITNI: Yeah. That Fortigel. Yeah. And I have a study for you to share. A Penn State University study in 2008 recruited 147 athletes with an average age of 20 who were experiencing joint pain. So one group took Fortigel and the other group took a placebo and in conjunction with alternative therapies for 24 weeks, the group that received Fortigel indicated they had less pain.

MELANIE: Amazing.

BRITNI: Yeah. It is amazing.

MELANIE: Another study from the Institute of Sports and Sports Science in Germany studied the effect of collagen peptides on young adults with activity related knee pain. The study participants took five grams of Fortigel daily or a placebo for 12 weeks. Significant improvements in stiffness, in pain and mobility were seen after only three weeks with increasing improvement at reevaluations at six and 12 weeks. In conjunction with secondary treatments like massage and physical therapy, more than 40% of participants experienced complete pain relief indicating that that Fortigel is an effective therapeutic tool for people who have that knee and hip pain. So it's something to consider. I like to see statistics and what's happening and, and who had success. We all love it before and after.

BRITNI: Yeah. For sure. And you know, I mentioned collagen makes up 70% of our cartilage. Well we are also going to be getting collagen when we eat meat.


BRITNI: And drinking bone broth.

MELANIE: Real food. And so if you make some bone broth or get a quality grass-fed bone broth, that's a good way to get that peptide in.

BRITNI: Yeah. And we understand these, some of these supplement recommendations may sound like a lot, but if you can avoid or postpone that knee surgery replacement, you know it's well worth your efforts and you can never out supplement a bad diet. So we're talking about this in combination with following an anti-inflammatory diet.

MELANIE: I like that. You cannot out supplement a bad diet. So we're going to talk more about what to eat when we come back. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Another type of arthritis is psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is linked to psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease. Psoriasis can cause red scaly rashes and thick pitted fingernails. Psoriatic arthritis is similar to RA, rheumatoid arthritis. Again, diet can influence the frequency of symptoms and the pain that accompanies this condition. We'll be back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Again, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease and clients who follow a strict autoimmune eating plan generally have fewer symptoms. An eating plan that avoids sugar, gluten, refined oils, alcohol, sometimes nuts, sometimes dairy, sometimes grains, and just processed foods in general, generally reduces the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. It's not an easy diet to follow, but is very supportive to the immune system and getting you relief from pain.


BRITNI: And clearing up if you have a psoriasis flare on your skin.

MELANIE: You know listeners, you may be thinking I don't have arthritis in my joints, but if you're experiencing joint pain, you're setting yourself up for arthritis from that inflammation.


MELANIE: So it's good to get ahead of it. And that's what we're talking about. You get ahead of it, you can prevent your joint deteriorating into a place where you need a knee replacement.



BRITNI: Great point: prevention. So, you know, these serious health concerns that we're talking about, like knee replacement surgery, we do recommend making an appointment with one of the nutritionists to get an individualized plan designed for you. We also give you the support that most people need to make the necessary changes. And we give you lots of ideas and, and we make it so you can incorporate it into your lifestyle.

Schedule Nutrition Counseling

MELANIE: Yes. I had a lovely client that I saw for years and we finally found what really worked for her. And she was having a lot of knee pain to the place where she really wasn't even able to leave her town home.


MELANIE: And one of her favorite things to have every night was popcorn. And so we, I picked on a lot of areas with her and she just hung onto that popcorn cause it's popcorn. Who doesn't love some buttery popcorn? Well, one day she gave it up and suddenly her pain went away and she was able to leave her town home. She was shopping in the mall with her husband. She said, “I really, really miss my popcorn”. And I said, well how about if you have it once a month? But then email me and let me know how it went.


MELANIE: So she had her popcorn and we were checking her blood sugar and her blood sugar went, you know, predictably up. And she said the worst part was, she said, I really couldn't walk comfortably for three days. My popcorn betrayed me. So it, her piece was corn.


More food to avoid and foods to incorporate to reduce inflammation

MELANIE: So that was, that was huge. So to wrap up on, on how to take measures to protect your knee joints, there are some foods to avoid and these are going to include those fried processed foods when we eat out, processed foods that are high in sugar, such as snacks, cookies, crackers, you know, the white processed foods that are like bread and pasta that contain gluten, like Britni said; sodas and sugary drinks that are high in sugar. Alcohol should be really consumed in moderation. So, you know, keep it down to a minimum. Save it for special occasions or you know, one on the weekend. Except for some people it may be none. And then for instance, lobster and shrimp not deep fried are on the list that you could have. I mean, I just got back from Florida with a lovely vacation with my husband and I had crab legs three times because…

BRITNI: Sounds amazing.

MELANIE: They’re so much less expensive than Minnesota. So I took advantage of that. And then a vitamin E supplement is a good antioxidant for your joints as well. Some other key things that you can add to your diet are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids because those are anti-inflammatory like salmon and trout, tuna, halibut; all good sources; sardines.

And then for antioxidants we want to reduce pain and inflammation. And those are the colorful vegetables and fruits: apples, onions, blueberries, strawberries; full of antioxidants. And then vitamin C to keep your connective tissue and cartilage healthy along with that collagen sources. But the vitamin C sources are going to be like oranges and broccoli, red peppers, pineapples. B3 can help improve flexibility and inflammation. An easy source of B3 is a really good peanut butter that is organic or doesn't have any of those inflammatory oils we were talking about.

BRITNI: And it tastes great.

MELANIE: And it tastes… who doesn't love some peanut butter? Anti-inflammatories to help reduce pain and swelling: if you've already got some pain and swelling, you can put some fresh ginger in tea. You can put it in salad dressings, on some vegetables or your fish. And again, you want it to be the fresh because it's very anti-inflammatory. Olive oil: fantastic anti-inflammatory. You know, you can do like three tablespoons, one per each meal and get that antioxidant, anti-inflammatory. And it's been shown to be, three and a half tablespoons has been to show as much impact on inflammation as 200 milligram dose of ibuprofen.

BRITNI: That is so cool.

MELANIE: Olive oil. And it makes your food taste delicious. And then green tea. That has an ingredient in it that slows cartilage damage. So, and of course we got to talk about protein.


MELANIE: So protein, chicken, seafood, fish, grass-fed beef, bison, really good sausage, nitrate free bacon. These all support the joint health. They have the collagen that you were mentioning. And then just include about four ounces at a meal. And that's going to, that's going to keep inflammation down because if we keep your blood sugar anchored with the protein and the fat, then you're not going to have those blood sugar spikes.

BRITNI: And you're going to have less cravings.

MELANIE: Less cravings for the sugar.


MELANIE: It's magic.

Sample day of following an anti-inflammatory diet

BRITNI: So what, what does a day look like of following an anti-inflammatory diet.

MELANIE: Okay, I, I'll talk about breakfast.


MELANIE: I buy an organic chicken sausage that I love. And then I, I cook that up. I always buy the free range eggs because they're higher in omega-threes.


MELANIE: And then blueberries because they're dark purple. I love blueberries and blackberries for the antioxidant power. So that's kind of typical. And I hard boil my eggs. And when we were on vacation I noticed the eggs were just this pale yellow compared to the eggs, the hard boiled eggs that I typically get. So yeah, that's my breakfast.

BRITNI: Sounds delicious.



MELANIE: How about you? What do you have for lunch?

BRITNI: Well, my go-to lunch lately, again, something really easy is I always have like a bag of coleslaw or broccoli slaw or some sort of cruciferous mix on hand. And then I make my own dressing, mayonnaise, some vinegar, salt, pepper. And then I'll add like sunflower sheets or pepitas or nuts, whatever I have on hand. Sometimes I'll chop up an apple or peel a clementine. And then my protein, if I didn't have eggs for breakfast, I'll do hard boiled eggs on there. Or just leftover meat. We generally have some sort of leftover meat on hand. It takes me all of, you know, three, five minutes to throw together. And it tastes really good.

MEALNIE: I get tired of field greens. So I love the coleslaw mix.



BRITNI: Me too.

MELANIE: I, I, I love that. And sometimes I'll do an Asian I'm, I do that, but I add a little toasted sesame oil and garlic and ginger and make it Asian.


MELANIE: That's really good.

BRITNI: Yummy.

MELANIE: And then I put slivered almonds for my crunch.

BRITNI: Tasty.

MELANIE: And then dinner again, it's grilling season.


MELANIE: So we are throwing out, you know, steaks on the grill, but if I've got the grill hot, I'm going to do steaks, chicken thighs, and mahi mahi. I'll do all at one time. Then I have leftovers for lunch.


MELANIE: Love that. And then I love to mix like a half a cup of brown rice and a cup of cauli rice together. So you feel like you're getting more.


MELANIE: And then we do roasted vegetables. So we did peppers and zucchini and onions and put that on top of the rice with the steak bites.

BRITNI: Sounds delicious.

MELANIE: Anti-inflammatory. Nothing bad in there. And then in the rice I do drizzle a tablespoon olive oil, you know to give it some, to give it that anti-inflammatory. I try to do 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil a day especially since I read that study.


MELANIE: So super delicious, super easy. It doesn't have to be crazy. I love, love, love to do flavored stevia in iced coffee. So I make a decaf iced coffee and I'll do a vanilla cream stevia in there with ice. And that's sometimes my dessert.

BRITNI: You know, I just had a client and she's been hooked on, you know, the flavored coffee creamers and she made that switch: heavy cream with some stevia drops. And she's like, you know what? I like it better.

MELANIE: Oh that's so great. And I can't do dairy, but I do like the Nutpods.


MELANIE: For my iced coffee.

BRITNI: Yummy.

MELANIE: It's delicious. 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. Thank you for joining Britni and I today.

BRITNI: Thank you.

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