The diet that can fight pain

You know the risks.

If you've let yourself go and gotten a little too big, you know you're facing diabetes and heart disease.

But there's another risk -- one that doesn't get nearly as much attention, because you may not even realize it's being caused by your waistline.

It's PAIN, and lots of it.

Maybe it's in your knees or ankles. Maybe it's in your back, upper or lower. It might be a literal pain in the neck.

Maybe it's a little of everything!

All of these pains can be caused or worsened by obesity -- but the latest research shows a quick and easy way to fight back.

And it can work even if you DON'T lose weight!

Don't get me wrong; you CAN and SHOULD drop those extra pounds, since weight loss will cut your long-term risks of chronic disease and an early death.

But those are "someday" risks for many people.

Pain is a much more immediate problem, and the new study shows how you can chase it away -- or avoid getting it in the first place -- with a few tweaks to your dinner plate.

The key is to focus on foods that fight inflammation, which can trigger pain in two ways.

First, the struggle to carry around the extra pounds can take a toll on your body, especially the joints. The damage causes pain and leads to inflammation, which in turn leads to still more pain.

And second, obesity itself boosts the body's overall inflammation levels, transforming minor aches into howling pains.

Fight that inflammation, and you'll ease the pain.

As a result, the new study finds that overweight and obese folks who eat inflammation-fighting foods have a lower risk of developing pain. When pain strikes, those same foods can help dial it down so it's not quite as bad.

The study even names some of the best foods for fighting inflammation and pain: fatty fish, nuts, legumes, and peas.

Sound familiar?

If you're a regular House Calls reader, I'll bet it does... because those are the same foods at the heart of the inflammation-fighting Mediterranean diet.

There's no downside to making the switch, especially when you consider that it's possible to enjoy many of the foods you already love on this healthy lifestyle, including a few that wouldn't be allowed on any other diet.

Chocolate? That's a no-no on most diets, but a little dark chocolate is almost a requirement on a Mediterranean lifestyle.

You can even sip the occasional glass of wine.

Along with cutting inflammation and pain, this healthy and delicious lifestyle is proven to slash your risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia and cancer -- and it can even add years to your life.