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Did you know that certain foods might help support healthy joints?? There are also certain foods that may be irritating to your joints. The important thing is to learn which key foods to avoid with arthritis.

Read on to learn more, and make sure to talk to your doctor before making a big change to your diet or health routine.

7 Foods and Additives To Avoid With Arthritis

If you suffer from one of the many forms of arthritis, your joints may be swollen, tender, and irritated –not to mention stiff and sore. So you don’t want to eat foods that might irritate these symptoms even more.

These seven food categories have been shown to potentially worsen discomfort in those with arthritis. If you’re suffering from joint issues, your doctor will be able to give you more comprehensive advice regarding a diet for joint health.

1. Sugar

Sugary foods like cookies, pastries, desserts, and sodas might trigger excessive production of cytokines – proteins secreted by the immune system. While some cytokines actually soothe the immune system, others are highly irritating.1

Keep in mind that sugar wears many disguises. Read ingredient labels carefully. Look for sugar hiding behind words ending in “-ose” – such as fructose or sucrose.

And don’t forget that fruit juices contain high levels of sugar, even if it’s “natural” sugars.

foods to avoid with arthritis | LCR HealthThat said, you’ll also want to be careful with “fake” sugars and low-calorie sweeteners. For example, aspartame is found in an incredible amount of products.

But sensitive people may find that their immune system reacts unfavorably to aspartame, triggering irritation in their body.2

Try to stick to sweeteners like Stevia, maple syrup, agave, and honey.

2. Saturated Fats

Research studies suggest that saturated fat – commonly found in meat, cheese, and butter – can raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol. But saturated fats may also cause irritation in the fatty tissues of your body.3,4

Now saturated fats aren’t all bad. If they make up a small amount (around 10%) of your daily caloric intake, that’s fine. But you’re far better off using that 10% on fresh meats or full-cream dairy products than on processed foods.5

3. Trans Fats

Saturated fats aren’t always the best, but trans fats are the real bad guys that everyone should avoid, whether they have arthritis or not.

Trans fats are mostly a man-made fat – but they can be found in small amounts in beef and dairy. They’re born from a chemical marriage of hydrogen-bonded with vegetable oil. This keeps the fats solid at room temperature, making them a useful tool in food manufacturing.

Trans fats are found in many processed foods – fried foods, donuts, cakes, pie crusts, frozen pizzas, cookies, crackers, and famously, margarine.6

4. Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 6 fatty acids are not a bad thing. In fact, they’re essential nutrients for human growth. But they must be kept in balance with omega 3 fatty acids. Otherwise, they may overproduce irritating chemicals – which can provoke joint discomfort.

foods to avoid with arthritis | LCR HealthOmega 6 fatty acids are found many salad dressings, mayonnaise, and in certain oils like:

  • Corn
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Grapeseed
  • Soy
  • Peanut
  • Vegetable

Now, you can balance things out with a good intake of omega 3s from oily fish and flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds.You can also try taking a supplement specially-formulated with Omega 3s.

5. Refined Carbs

White flours and bread are considered to be refined carbohydrates. These refined carbs are high-glycemic – which means they can cause blood sugar to spike.8

This spike in blood sugar can stimulate irritation in the body (including joints) due to an overproduction of compounds known as advanced glycation end (AGE) products.9

6. Alcohol

Too much alcohol puts immense pressure on liver function. This can lead to irritation throughout the body. Also, many of the drugs that your doctor might prescribe for arthritis discomfort shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol.10

Always talk to your doctor before drinking while taking medication.

foods to avoid with arthritis | LCR Health


7. Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshade vegetables – like eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes – all contain a chemical known as solanine. Some people feel that these veggies actually drive up their joint discomfort.

Nightshades are still highly nutritious vegetables, and there’s no scientific research to prove they make arthritis symptoms worse. Still, if your symptoms seem to be made worse by nightshade veggies, try cutting them from your diet.11

So, Which Foods Should You Focus On In Your Diet?

There are still plenty of delicious and nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals that you can eat without worsening your symptoms of arthritis. Plant-based diets are healthy, and you can couple yours with these foods:

  • Fatty fish (like salmon)
  • Omega-3 oils like walnut, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil
  • Green tea
  • Berries
  • Nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Whole grains
  • foods to avoid with arthritis | LCR HealthGreen leafy vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Dairy12,13

Some people with arthritis also find that certain supplements formulated to support healthy joints have positive effects on their discomfort. As with all foods, if it works for you, embrace it. If it doesn’t, move on.

A diet high in antioxidants is also a great choice. This is because antioxidants help fight free radicals which are also known to worsen arthritis.15 So, stock up antioxidant-rich berries, green tea, and dark chocolate.

A Note on Gout and Uric Acid

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in the bloodstream, causing crystals to form in the joints. People often mistake gout for arthritis. One of the best ways to lower uric acid has been shown to be through diet. Try to limit or avoid these foods and drinks for gout specifically:

  • Alcohol
  • Organ meats like liver and kidney
  • Soda
  • Some seafood – prawns, scallops, sardines, herrings, mackerel, and anchovies
  • Foods that contain yeast16,17

Stick to lower-fructose fruits like grapefruit, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries.18

Foods For Rheumatoid Arthritis and Beyond

There are many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Osteoarthritis involves the wearing away of cartilage in your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involves the protective membrane in joints becoming inflamed and swollen. Gout, as you now know, involves the buildup of painful crystals in joints.

But whatever your type of arthritis, irritation is at the root of the problem. So, minimizing irritation is essential.

There is no specific diet plan of foods for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or foods for osteoarthritis. But as you can see, when living with arthritis in general, a balanced diet – one full of fresh unprocessed foods may help.

Consult with your doctor about your joint discomfort. They may be able to help you come up with a plan for your diet or suggest taking a carefully formulated joint relief supplement.

Learn More:
Possible Causes Of Your Joint Discomfort
Study Shows That Joint Health Can Affect Your Heart
Why You Should Drink Turmeric Tea (and a simple recipe)