8 Surprising Foods to Avoid with Arthritis

by Audra

An Introduction to Arthritis

Have you been diagnosed with one form of arthritis, and you can’t seem to deal with the pain that comes with it? Does the food you eat actually affect your health? If so, what are the foods to avoid with arthritis?

So many questions on your mind as you read this and we understand why, but the good news is that we have answers. Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints of the body, causing swelling, soreness, stiffness, or pain in the joints of the body.

According to a study published by the CDC, over 54 million people in the United States—23% of all adults—have arthritis. Yes, it’s that common. That’s why managing the symptoms that come with the health condition is of the utmost importance.

When dealing with the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) and alleviating some of the pains that come with the condition, the foods you eat play a significant role.

In this article, I’ll be sharing with you 8 common foods to avoid with arthritis that can potentially aggravate your symptoms and cause you more pain.

How Foods Affect Osteoporosis and Arthritis

There’s one fact that remains unchanged —I love food, a lot of people do. And when you think about it for a second, you realize that you literally are what you eat.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since our bodies absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat to create the basic building blocks of our cells, tissues, and organs, the digestive and even immune systems that keep us alive and healthy.

While qualitative analysis of many different foods has proven that certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe arthritis symptoms, other foods tend to worsen the situation.

These foods contain substances that have been proven to trigger arthritis symptoms and promote inflammation. The big question here is, what are these foods to avoid with arthritis?

Foods to Avoid with Arthritis
Making the Right Decisions for your Health

8 Foods to Avoid With Arthritis

Without further ado, here are the eight foods you should avoid if you have arthritis and are looking to soothe your symptoms and improve your situation.


The dangerous effects of consuming too much sugar have always been widely discussed, but you need to keep your sweet tooth in check if you have arthritis.

Sugary foods like ice cream, candy, soda, and other sugar-sweetened desserts should be restricted or taken off your diet completely.

A study involving 217 people was published in PubMed Central, and it shows that sugar-sweetened soda and desserts were reported to worsen symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis the most.

This is because processed sugars can trigger the release of cytokines, which are special signaling molecules that act as inflammatory messengers.

Fried Foods and Saturated Fats

Fried foods may be tasty, but they contain a lot of saturated fats, which have been proven to be bad for your health. This is because certain vegetable oils they use to fry these foods are high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fatty acids.

Too much omega-6 fatty acid in the body is dangerous to your health, and this imbalanced ratio may cause osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms to worsen over time.

Refined Carbohydrates

What do white bread, crackers, potato chips, and white rice all have in common? They all contain refined carbohydrates. These foods have been proven to drastically increase Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) production and can cause inflammation in the body.

The body quickly breaks down refined carbohydrates or white flour-based products into sugar, and because we already know that sugar is highly inflammatory, this is bad news.

Processed and Red Meats

This is bad news for anyone who loves meat and meat products because processed meat, including hot dogs, sausages, beef jerky, ham, corned beef, etc., and all kinds of red meat have been shown to cause inflammation in the body.

They will likely aggravate arthritis symptoms and should therefore be restricted in the diet or completely avoided. These diets have been discovered to lead to high levels of inflammatory markers in the body, such as c-reactive protein, homocysteine, and interleukin-6.

In another study involving the same 217 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (who took sugar-sweetened soda and desserts), red meat was discovered to worsen the symptoms associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Gluten-rich Foods

Another group of foods to avoid with arthritis are gluten-containing foods. Gluten refers to a family of proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, and they have been proven to cause inflammation in some people.

This is why many brands and food manufacturers keep slapping the “Gluten-free” sticker on their products to show that they’re safe, especially for people with celiac disease.

People with this health condition develop an immune reaction from eating gluten-rich foods, thereby causing inflammation.

A study published on PubMed Central showed that people with this celiac disease are at even greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Highly Processed Foods

While foods like sugary drinks, chocolate and candies, ice cream, french fries, burgers, pizzas, and bakery products may look and taste like foods of the gods, these highly processed foods have the potential to ruin your health in so many ways.

These foods have remarkable quantities of added sugar, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, refined grains, and many other potentially inflammatory ingredients.

These ingredients are most likely going to worsen arthritis symptoms and should be avoided at all costs.


According to a 2018 study published in Clinical Rheumatology, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may worsen in response to the proteins found in dairy and full-fat dairy products.

While some people are unable to tolerate the proteins found in milk and may develop worse symptoms, this isn’t true for all types of arthritis, and not everyone with the health condition reacts the same way to dairy.


You guessed it, no list of foods to avoid is complete without this guy showing up. Research shows that consuming too much alcohol increases health risks and increases the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body.

Alcohol intake has also been linked to inflammatory arthritis that affects the sacroiliac joints and the spinal cord. It also increases the severity and frequency of gout attacks (a disease that comes with arthritis symptoms).

Foods to Avoid with Arthritis
Cooking for Arthritis

Can You Relieve Pain That Comes With Arthritis?

Now that you know some of the foods to avoid with arthritis, how can you relieve some of the soreness or pain that comes with the health condition?

  1. One way is to adopt a restricted healthy eating plan. Cutting down on your consumption of processed sugar, saturated fats, highly processed foods, and red meat is a good step to take.
  2. You can also reduce your consumption of foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids and eat more omega-3 rich foods like fish oil.
  3. Prioritizing a plant-based diet that does not contain red meat helps to improve arthritis symptoms.
  4. Reducing your alcohol consumption will help improve your overall health and well-being while keeping your arthritis symptoms at bay.
  5. Take specially formulated supplements that help to preserve cartilage and protect the joints and bones. A very effective supplement is the revolutionary JointFuel360, which ranks high up there on the list of the best joint health supplements on the market.

Final Thoughts

A wise man once said, “No medicine can compensate for unhealthy eating.” I don’t know who they were, but steering clear of these 8 foods to avoid with arthritis will undoubtedly improve the overall quality of your life living with this health condition.

If you have any questions or need any help with finding relief for your situation, don’t hesitate to send me an email. We would be happy to help.

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