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Janet (Missouri) on 07/27/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Update to my post re ALA: While ALA works I did further research regarding swelling in ankles and feet. I scoured this website and took the advice of one of the contributors here and stopped eating anything with Nitrates. I don't take any pills to reduce the swelling because there is none. That means no processed meats, i.e. deli meats, cold cuts, ham, bacon, hotdogs, read the labels folks, if there are any Potassium Nitrates or Sodium Nitrates, DON'T EAT IT. Google Nitrates for further information. And thank you again for this site Earthclinic, it is awesome.
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Replied By Paul (Minnesota) on 09/19/2014

Thanks for the follow up!! Good job!!
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Replied By Sheri (Memphis) on 05/11/2016

You are SO right!! I just wish everyone would take your advise!

Replied By Gord235 (Vancouver, British Columbia) on 09/07/2017

Thanks so much for your post Janet! OMG, what was I thinking? Bacon and pepperoni sticks have now been banished. It will give me a good excuse to order waffles with strawberries and whipped cream next time I'm out for breakfast. he, he.
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Replied By Dale (Nc) on 07/13/2020

For what it's worth, nitrates also occur 'naturally' in many foods. I put 'naturally' in quotes because the source is often chemical fertilizer which causes the nitrate levels to be unnaturally high. Celery is a prime example. You'll notice that instead of sodium nitrite they are now often putting celery juice in processed 'uncured' meats. That is because celery juice is high in nitrates, and then bacteria in the mix converts the nitrate to nitrite, and there you have the preservative created naturally - but it is nitrate and nitrite nonetheless.

So, if you are avoiding nitrates (as my wife tries to do) you might want to research which foods are likely to contain high nitrate levels (celery, watermelon, and others). The difficult part is that it often depends on how they were fertilized, so the numbers usually cover a wide range.

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Replied By Kelly (Seattle) on 06/15/2021

With all due respect to Janet, nitrates don't cause edema or swelling. In fact, they're used to TREAT those conditions.

I suspect that the reason her swelling diminished was because the foods she mentions --deli meats, cold cuts, ham, bacon, hotdogs -- are all EXTREMELY high in sodium. Cutting out those salty foods, if you could call them 'foods', will definitely help reduce edema and swelling.