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Never eat these 11 foods if you have arthritis

Never eat these 11 foods if you have arthritis

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12 Foods to Avoid If You Have Arthritis

Man eating cheeseburger, personal perspective view with other fast food on the table


There are many things, like what you eat, that can change how much inflammation you have when you have arthritis. Inflammation can be caused by foods that are high in sugar, fat, salt, or simple carbs. This can make your arthritis symptoms worse.


If you have arthritis, you should stay away from the following drinks and foods:


Red meat
High-fat dairy
Sugary foods and drinks
Fried foods
Canned foods
Refined carbs
Processed foods
Gluten-containing foods


This article discusses these 12 foods and drinks you may want to avoid when you have arthritis.


Red Meat

There is more fat in red meat, especially saturated fat, than in white meat and plant-based nutrition. Studies have found a link between eating red meat and higher amounts of inflammation. This may make arthritis symptoms and joint swelling worse.1



Inflammatory indicators were lower in people who ate less red meat and more chicken, fish, beans, or nuts, according to one study.


High-Fat Dairy

It depends on how much fat and sugar a dairy product has, but milk, yogurt, and other dairy products can be bad for arthritis.


In general, if you have arthritis, stay away from full-fat dairy and foods that have added sugar. It has been found that a diet high in fat can cause inflammatory responses.



If you think you might be sensitive to or intolerant of dairy, don’t eat any for a short time. This step could help you find out if cutting out dairy makes you feel better.


Keep in mind that probiotics, or good bacteria, are found in some dairy products, like yogurt and kefir. (Kefir is a milk product that tastes like yogurt.) Probiotics and a healthy mix of gut bacteria may help lower inflammation and ease the pain of arthritis, according to research. Pick foods that are low in fat.




Salt gives your body sodium, which it needs for many things, but eating too much of it can be bad. Researchers have found that eating a lot of salt makes inflammation worse and raises the risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.



Try to find things that don’t have any extra salt and are low in sodium. Do not use salt or pepper to season your food. Instead, use ground pepper, oregano, cumin, chopped garlic or garlic powder, or onion powder. They will make your food taste better in ways that salt can’t.




Or, try a spice mix that doesn’t have any extra salt in it. There are a lot of options because many grocery shops have shelves full of these seasoning mixes.



Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

There is a lot of sugar in soda, fruit juice, sweet tea, and other drinks that are meant to be sweet. Try to eat no more than 9 teaspoons of extra sugar every day. To give you an idea, a 12-ounce soda has around 36 grams of sugar, which is more than 8 teaspoons.



You can try your favorite sweet drinks without added sugar, or you can add natural tastes to plain drinks by slicing fresh lemon or lime.



Fried Foods

Oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids and excess fat are often used to cook fried foods. Both of these things have been linked to more inflammation and more arthritis symptoms.



There are other things in fried foods, like breading, salt, and extra sugar, that can also cause inflammation.



You can be more in charge of what goes into your food if you make it at home more often. Do not fry, but air fry or bake instead.


Canned Foods

You don’t have to stay away from all canned foods; just the ones that are high in salt or sugar.



For instance, fruit that has been canned in syrup generally has a lot of extra sugar, which can make inflammation worse. Fruit that has been canned in water or 100% fruit juice with no extra sugar should be your first choice.



A lot of canned foods, like meats, veggies, and soups, use salt to keep them fresh. Try to find foods that are either low in sodium or don’t have any extra salt. Try not to eat more than 2 grams of salt every day.






For some kinds of arthritis, like gout, drinking can make the pain worse. Studies have linked all types of alcohol to a higher chance of getting gout and having flare-ups more often.



Refined Carbohydrates

Most of the fiber and nutrients are taken out of grains when they are turned into white flour or rice. Grains are now just simple carbs, which are more likely to make your blood sugar rise and make inflammation worse.




A lot of complex carbs, like brown rice, quinoa, and whole grains, are good for you.



Candy and Dessert

Added sugars are not good for you in any way. This is why people often call them “empty calories.” Even worse, they can make inflammation worse.




Do not eat more than 9 teaspoons of extra sugar every day. Foods like candy, desserts, baked goods, ice cream, processed snacks, and sauces like ketchup and bbq sauce often have added sugar.




To find out how much extra sugar is in a food, read the label and look for words that end in “ose,” like fructose and sucrose.



Processed Foods

Foods that are highly processed, like frozen meals, lunch meat, baked goods, fast food, and snack packs, often have refined grains, sugar, salt, and fat added to them to help them stay fresh and last longer in stores. All of these can make inflammation worse.




Eating a lot of prepared foods can make you fat and less sensitive to insulin, which could make your arthritis symptoms worse in a roundabout way.




Grains like wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten, a protein. Some studies have shown that a gluten-free diet can help people with rheumatoid arthritis by lowering inflammation.




Studies have also found a link between rheumatoid arthritis and people who have celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which gluten makes the gut and other parts of the body swell up.



Gluten does not bother all people, though. You could try staying away from it to see if your arthritis gets better.



What Should You Eat If You Have Arthritis?

If you have arthritis, these foods are good for you because they can help lower swelling. Some of these are:

Omega-3 fish, like salmon and tuna
Nuts like peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistacios
Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale

With onions and garlic





What you eat can affect how much inflammation you have every day. If you have arthritis, making some easy changes to your diet might help you deal with your symptoms.




Studies have shown that foods that are high in sugar, salt, saturated fat,  may make arthritis symptoms worse. Instead, eat lots of fruits, veggies, omega-3s, and whole grains to keep your joints from swelling up.


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