Food Habits To Avoid If You Have Arthritis, According To Science – Eat This, Not That


The joint pain, swelling, and stiffness that are hallmarks of arthritis can really slow you down. Sadly, more than 58 million American adults have a form of arthritis diagnosed by a doctor who limits their activities.

When you experience a reduced range of motion from arthritis – you know, sore knees that make it impossible to run or stiff shoulders that cause you to sink and not swim – it’s easy to become inactive and gain weight, which can even make symptoms worse.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed for arthritis patients to provide instant relief, but there is something else you can try that will likely benefit your joints and overall health: changing your diet to eliminate eating habits associated with inflammation throughout your body that exacerbates symptoms of arthritis.

While there aren’t many large-scale studies specifically on diet and arthritis, research has shown that certain types of foods can trigger chronic inflammation in the body over time. This low-grade inflammation, a constantly engaged immune response, can damage healthy cells and organs, leading to diseases like arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

However, don’t look for a specific food that will decrease your arthritis pain. Watch your eating pattern, suggest Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

“We want to encourage well-balanced, nutrient-dense food groups,” says Dr. Husni, who is also a member of the Arthritis Foundation’s medical board. In other words, eat a variety of plant-based foods and strive to eliminate those inflammatory and arthritis-promoting eating habits below. Read on and to learn more about how to eat healthy, check out 20 Foods That Can Make Arthritis Worse.


Ultra-processed foods that last for weeks are usually loaded with inflammatory preservatives. Think chips, cookies, baked goods, and other highly processed packaged foods. Avoid them. Instead, eat rotting foods. “I tell people that if you have food on your counter that rots in a few days, that’s probably what you want to eat,” says Dr. Husni. Of course, eat it before it rots.

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fast food burgers

To drastically reduce your intake of inflammatory foods, consider fresh, not fried. “Limit the amount of fast food. Limit the amount of concentrated sweets, but especially eat natural, plant-based foods, ”says Dr Husni.

cakes with chocolate chips

You now know that fat isn’t the dietary demon we thought was back during the low fat diet craze of the late ’80s. But that doesn’t mean all fats are open for consumption. unbridled. trans fat; saturated fat, which comes from red meat and whole dairy products; and the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats from corn oils found in many packaged foods all contribute to chronic intestinal inflammation, according to a recent review of studies in Frontiers of immunology.

Another study looked specifically at the potential effect of saturated fat in the diet on osteoarthritis. In this experience reported in Scientific reports, the researchers studied two groups of rats for 16 weeks. One group was fed a diet of corn starch, the other a diet of simple carbohydrates and saturated fat from butter, palm oil or animal fat. The researcher found that the diet containing 20% ​​saturated fat produced deposits of saturated fat in the knee joints of rats that weakened cartilage and increased inflammation, two markers of osteoarthritis.

Woman drinking soda

While you know that sugary drinks (SSBs) can lead to weight gain and put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, you may not be aware of another potential danger of drinking too many sugary drinks. : an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Two large, long-term observational studies that followed 186,900 women have linked the drink to arthritis. Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who drank one or more servings of sugary soda (but not diet soda) each day had a 63% increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared to those who drank no soda or less than one serving per day.


In other words, avoid a habit of drinking. Research suggests that alcohol upsets the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut and causes inflammation in the gut. Heavy alcohol consumption can also damage intestinal tissue, making it permeable or “leaky”, allowing inflammation-producing toxins to escape. Excessive alcohol consumption also reduces the intestine’s ability to extract nutrients from food, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

And there is another form of inflammatory arthritis linked to heavy alcohol consumption: gout. The painful flare that usually targets the big toe joint is the result of too much uric acid in the body as the body breaks down alcohol. Strong alcohols are a trigger, as is beer which is high in purines which can dramatically increase uric acid levels. For more incentives to reduce your alcohol consumption, read Secret Side Effects of Alcohol Consumption.

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