World Arthritis Day: Ten Foods to Avoid in Arthritis

World Arthritis Day: Ten Foods to Avoid in Arthritis

Arthritis News

October 12 every year is observed as World Arthritis Day to raise awareness about Arthritis and its impact on overall health.

Arthritis is a common disorder that affects our joints and related areas. It causes pain accompanied by inflammation, making it hard to move a particular joint or to stay active. 

There are many sub-categories of arthritis. Each form may cause different symptoms, and treatment may differ. While arthritis usually affects older adults, it can happen to anyone at any age.

It is essential to manage the pain of arthritis as, at an advanced stage, it may cause immense pain in joints. Inflammation is affected by many factors, including our diet. Therefore, one must be aware of food types that can worsen the arthritis symptoms. Here is a list of ten food types to avoid in arthritis.

  1. Red Meat: These are high in fats, especially saturated fat, compared to white meats and plant-based protein. A higher red meat intake may cause increased levels of inflammation, which may worsen arthritis symptoms and swelling in the joints. Therefore, red meat should be substituted for fish, chicken, legumes, or nuts.

  2. High-Fat Dairy: Dairy products such as milk or yogurt are bad for arthritis. However, it largely depends on a particular product’s fat and sugar. One must avoid full-fat dairy products with added sugar in arthritis as this may cause inflammation in the affected area.

  3. Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Foods rich in Omega-6 Fatty acid may worsen inflammation. One must avoid common sources of omega-6 fats, which may include corn, sunflower oil, canola oil, meat, nuts, and soybeans. One must prefer olive oil for cooking as it has monounsaturated fat. 

  4. Salt: Our body requires salt for many functions, but consuming too much can be problematic. High salt intake may increase inflammation and an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. One must avoid food with added salt. One must use natural flavoring in food, like herbs and spices, as they enrich the taste of our food in ways that salt does not.

  5. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Fruit juices, sweet tea, soda, and other sweetened drinks often contain much added sugar. One must limit added sugar intake as it can aggravate arthritis symptoms. One must try unsweetened versions of beverages and avoid added sugar-based products.

  6. Fried Foods: Due to being cooked in oil that is high in saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids, fried foods are generally dangerous for our overall health. These food types may, therefore, increase inflammation and arthritis symptoms. One may try baking or boiling food instead of frying.

  7. Canned Foods: Canned foods high in sugar or salt can also worsen arthritis symptoms. Canned fruit in syrup usually is high in added sugar and can increase inflammation. One must look for fruits that are canned in water or fruit juice without added sugar. Further, salt is used as a preservative in canned foods like vegetables, meats, and soups. Consuming such products may increase your salt intake.

  8. Alcohol: Some types of alcohol, like red wine, can have anti-inflammatory properties because they contain antioxidants but should be consumed in moderation. For certain types of arthritis, like gout, alcohol can trigger a flare. All types of alcohol have an increased risk of developing gout.

  9. Candy and Dessert: These food types are low in nutritional value and can worsen the inflammation in case of arthritis. It is advisable to limit added sugar intake. Food sources high in added sugar include candy, baked goods, desserts, processed snacks, ice cream, and condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce.

  10. Processed Foods: Highly processed foods such as fast food, lunch and meat, frozen meals, baked goods, and packaged snacks usually have refined grains and added sugars, salt, and fat to help them last on store shelves and maintain flavor. These can increase inflammation and obesity and promote insulin resistance, indirectly worsening arthritis symptoms.

Foods that are good to eat for arthritis

Certain food types can help reduce inflammation and are good choices in arthritis. These include:

  • Olive oil

  • Garlic and onions

  • Nuts, including almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts

  • Fatty fish like salmon and tuna

  • Berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries

  • Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach

In a nutshell

Food can play a vital role in the amount of inflammation an individual may have. In the case of arthritis, simple diet changes can help manage symptoms. One must be careful about what they are eating to control symptoms of arthritis. One must consult a nutritionist for professional help on dietary requirements.