What Foods Should I Avoid with Arthritis?

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POSTED ON: July 9, 2023

WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID WITH ARTHRITIS? Some foods and drinks may increase the risk of arthritis or make symptoms worse. If you have arthritis, making the right dietary choices can help you manage your symptoms, decrease the risk of complications, help boost your overall well-being and improve your quality of life, says Healthline’s recent article entitled, “Foods and Beverages to Avoid with Arthritis.”

  1. Added sugars. Limit your sugar intake, and especially if you have arthritis. Added sugars are found in barbecue sauce, salad dressings and ketchup. In a study involving 217 people with RA, participants noted that among 20 foods, sugar-sweetened soda and desserts seemed most likely to worsen their symptoms.
  2. Processed and red meats. Research has linked red meat and processed meat to inflammation, which may increase arthritis symptoms. Research shows that red meat commonly worsens RA symptoms.
  3. Gluten-containing foods. Gluten is a group of proteins in wheat, barley, rye, and other cereals. Some research has linked it to increased inflammation and suggests that going gluten-free may ease arthritis symptoms. People with celiac disease also have a higher risk of RA than those without celiac disease. Some research suggests that a gluten-free, vegan diet might reduce disease activity and improve inflammation.
  4. Highly processed foods. Fast food, breakfast cereal and baked goods tend to be high in refined grains, added sugar, preservatives, fructose, and other potentially inflammatory ingredients, all of which may worsen arthritis symptoms. Research suggests that highly processed foods may increase your risk of RA by contributing to inflammation and obesity, which is also a risk factor for RA. In addition, processed foods may worsen your overall health and increase your risk of other diseases.
  5. Foods high in salt. Cutting back on salt may be wise for those with arthritis. Foods high in salt include shrimp, canned soup, pizza, some cheeses, processed meats, and other processed foods. Research has suggested that a high sodium intake may be a risk factor for autoimmune diseases, like inflammatory arthritis. One factor may be that salt stimulates immunological processes that lead to inflammation.
  6. Foods high in AGEs. Dietary advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are molecules created through reactions between sugars and proteins or fats. They exist naturally in uncooked animal foods and are formed through certain cooking methods. Foods that are high in AGEs include high protein, high-fat animal foods that are fried, roasted, grilled, seared, or broiled. This includes bacon, pan-fried or grilled steak, roasted or fried chicken, American cheese, margarine, and mayonnaise. When AGEs accumulate in high amounts in your body, oxidative stress and inflammation may happen.



Reference: Healthline (May 22, 2023) “Foods and Beverages to Avoid with Arthritis”

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