5 inflammatory foods to avoid if you have arthritis or are at risk of arthritis (2024)

5 inflammatory foods to avoid if you have arthritis or are at risk of arthritis (1)

Let’s take a look at 5 inflammatory foods that may trigger arthritis symptoms.

5 inflammatory foods to avoid if you have arthritis or are at risk of arthritis (2)

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults suffer from the painful symptoms that come with arthritis, per the CDC. While there is no known cure for arthritis, simple changes in diet can improve symptoms such as joint pain or swelling and lower risk of developing forms of arthritis.

Let’s take a look at 5 inflammatory foods that may trigger arthritis symptoms.


1. Red meat

Research suggests red meats such as beef, pork, lamb and veal may increase inflammation, resulting in worse arthritis symptoms. A large review of studies found that plant-based diets could reduce pain in people with arthritis.

“Red meats are higher in fat — particularly saturated fat — than white meats and plant-based protein. Studies have associated red meat intake with increased levels of inflammation, which may worsen swelling in the joints and arthritis symptoms,” reports Verywell Health.

Processed meats like hot dogs, pepperoni and bacon may also be troublesome for those at risk of arthritis. A 2021 study published in the Nutrition Journal found an associated between high consumption of processed meats and risk of developing Rheumatoid arthritis, when compared to fish and poultry diets.

2. Gluten

Gluten may be the culprit behind your inflamed and painful joints — even if you do not have Celiac disease. Although recent studies suggest individuals with celiac disease are more prone to Rheumatoid arthritis.

Still, cutting back on gluten could be advantageous in reducing joint inflammation, research shows a gluten-free diet can significantly ease arthritis symptoms and reduce inflammation.

“A lot of people do an elimination diet with gluten and think their joints feel better ... It doesn’t necessarily mean they have celiac disease, but they could have a gluten sensitivity,” Dr. Sonali Khandelwal, MD, a rheumatologist at Rush University Medical Center told Women’s Health.

3. High-salt foods

Consuming high amounts of salty foods, or sodium, may put people at higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory arthritis, according to a 2017 study.

On average, Americans eat almost twice the recommended daily sodium intake — which is about 1 teaspoon of salt per day, per the FDA.

Some high-sodium foods include:

  • Fast foods such as hamburgers and fries.
  • Pizza.
  • Deli meats.
  • Condiments and salad dressings.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Frozen dinners.

“Your body needs the sodium in salt for many functions, but consuming too much (which is common) can be problematic. Research has associated high salt intake with greater inflammation and an increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis,” according to Verywell Health.

In a 2015 study, researched evaluated 18,555 individuals — nearly 400 of which self-reported having rheumatoid arthritis. The results linked high sodium intake with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.


4. Added sugars

Consuming added sugars — found in soda, candy, pastries, and dairy desserts — can worsen symptoms of arthritis, research shows.

In a 2017 survey of individuals with arthritis, sugar was named as a top trigger for symptoms — 12.7% said sugar trigger symptoms and 12.4% claimed desserts were a trigger.

“Eating excess sugar causes the body to produce more cytokines, which are inflammatory proteins,” reports Medical News Today. “People with arthritis already have high levels of cytokines, so increasing inflammation can make them feel worse.”

Those who frequently drink sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda or energy drinks may be more likely to have arthritis. A 2016 study involving more than 1,200 adults found that those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages at least five times per week were three times more likely to have arthritis than those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages infrequently.

5. Highly-processed foods

“Ultra-processed items — such as 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,” reports Healthline.

Many highly processed foods contain large amounts of Dietary advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These AGEs can cause oxidative stress in the body, resulting in higher inflammation, per Healthline. Some of these foods include: hot dogs, American cheese, mayonnaise, salty snacks and fried bacon.

Frequently consuming highly processed foods is often associated with obesity and increased insulin resistance, both of which can trigger arthritis, according to a 2018 study.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/nutrition/5-inflammatory-foods-to-avoid-if-you-have-arthritis-or-are-at-risk-of-arthritis/ar-AA1kK4my?ocid=00000000

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5 inflammatory foods to avoid if you have arthritis or are at risk of arthritis (2024)
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