12 Foods To Avoid With Arthritis

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12 Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
KayaWell Expert

If you suffer from arthritis, making certain dietary alterations and avoiding some food options minimizes the risk of developing symptoms and complications. Moreover, it boosts your overall well-being and enhances your quality. According to healthcare experts, there are more than 100 types of arthritis, including some level of inflammation that can flare up by consuming the following foods. Hence, you must choose wisely before picking your food and drinks. 

If you notice the signs and symptoms of arthritis or are already diagnosed with it and are looking for foods to avoid rheumatoid arthritis, we have you covered. This article features the top 12 foods to avoid with arthritis. Let’s dive in! 

12 Foods To Avoid With Arthritis 

Here are the top 12 foods you should avoid if you have arthritis: 

1. Sugar Drinks and Beverages 

Avoiding soda, sugary drinks, processed fruit juices, cold drinks, and sweet teas is recommended for arthritis, as these contain high amounts of sugar that can affect your joints greatly. According to a survey conducted on people with arthritis, most agreed that sugary drinks and beverages trigger their symptoms, cause inflammation and pain, and worsen the case. You can try unsweetened versions of these drinks or add natural flavors like lime slices and fresh lemon to plain drinks. 

2. Red Meat 

Red meats contain a high percentage of saturated fat compared to plant-based protein or white meat; thus it is one of the major foods to avoid with arthritis. According to several studies, continuous intake of red meat increases the chances of inflammation, swelling, and joint pain and triggers related symptoms. Another study reveals that replacing red meat with fish, legumes, chicken, or nuts does the same thing but does not affect your inflammation. Switching to a plant-based diet and eliminating red meat from your diet is recommended for relief. 

3. Gluten-containing Food 

Gluten is a group of various proteins, including rye, barley, wheat, and others, which can affect people who have arthritis. Therefore, doctors recommend avoiding gluten or shifting to a gluten-free diet to reduce inflammation and pain. According to certain sources, people with conditions like celiac disease have higher chances of developing arthritis, which can be caused by regular gluten consumption. Since everyone cannot avoid gluten, you can limit your intake to lower the symptoms. 

4. Foods High in Salt 

Salt is one of the human body's common requirements required to perform everyday functions. However, high amounts of salt can cause many health problems; thus, it is one of the foods to avoid with arthritis. Researchers state that consuming food rich in salt increases the chances of inflammation and develops arthritis. Thus, you should look for food with low sodium concentrations or no added salt. Instead, try out food mixed with other herbs like ground pepper, cumin, oregano, powder, minced garlic, and others. This will enrich the flavors of your food. 

5. Red Wine and Alcohol 

Although red wine contains ingredients that lower your inflammation levels and give a soothing effect in every sip, it is alcohol with certain negative effects; therefore, it is listed in the list of foods to avoid with arthritis. According to research, drinking alcohol once or more than once a week triggers arthritis symptoms. Additionally, it increases uric acid levels in the body, contributing to one of the common types of arthritis, gout. Research also states that alcohol consumption directly affects arthritis development in females. 

6. Coffee 

As per the Arthritis Foundation (AF), coffee is not declared bad or good for people with arthritis. On one hand, it is rich in antioxidants, which are great for lowering inflammation. On the contrary, it is recommended to be mindful during caffeine intake. If you are a coffee lover, drinking only 1-2 cups a day is best. Do not drink coffee just before going to bed. Moreover, avoid adding syrup, sugar, or cream to your coffee so that it is light.  

7. Omega-6 Fatty Acids 

When taken in high amounts, omega-6 fatty acids can trigger inflammation and result in a lot of pain, swelling, and discomfort. Common sources of omega-6 are corn, soybean, sunflower, nuts, meat, canola oil, and others. Ensure you switch your regular oil to olive oil and include fatty fish like cod, tuna, and salmon. 

8. Fried Foods 

Fried foods are rich in oil and contain a high percentage of saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids, associated with increased arthritis symptoms and inflammation. Thus, it is a major arthritis issue to avoid food. These foods also have ingredients like added sugar, salt, and breading, which results in inflammation. Instead of fried foods, consider baking or air frying. 

9. Candy and Desserts 

Eating candies and desserts on a regular basis is one of the worst arthritis foods as they can flare up your arthritis symptoms and also contribute to fat. Common food items like cakes, desserts, baked goods, processed snacks, ice creams, and ketchup should be avoided. 

10. Refined Carbohydrate 

When grains are processed into white rice and flour, most nutrients and fiber die. This turns the grain into carbohydrates, which increases inflammation and blood sugar levels. Rather than refined carbohydrates, substitute them with complex carbs such as quinoa, whole grains, and rice.  

11. Processed Food 

Processed foods like breakfast cereal, fast food, and baked goods contain a high percentage of refined grains, preservatives, added sugar, and fructose which is a big no in an arthritis diet. According to research, processed food elevates your risk of arthritis by contributing to obesity and inflammation, which also causes RA. Processed food not only increases the chances of arthritis but also results in various health diseases. 

12. Dairy Products 

Certain people agree that milk and dairy products like ghee, butter, curd, and others contribute largely to inflammation and cause joint pain. However, not everyone experiences this, especially those who can consume milk well. Dairy products are a great

source of calcium and vitamin D. 

Wrapping Up

Arthritis is a common health condition that causes tenderness or swelling in one or more joints, typically due to age or several other reasons like sitting in one place for longer hours, injuries, and more. If you have arthritis, this article features 12 foods to avoid with arthritis. 


Q1. List what food is good for arthritis 

Here is the complete list of what is good for arthritis

  • Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna

  • Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale 

  • Berries, including blueberries, strawberries and raspberries

  • Olive oil

  • Nuts, including pistachios, almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts

  • Garlic and onions

Q2. What are the symptoms of arthritis? 

Here is the list of signs and arthritis symptoms:

  • Pain areas in the joints, fingers, ankle, back, hands, wrist, muscles, or neck

  • Pain types can be sharp or intermittent

  • Pain circumstances mostly occur while sitting consistently 

  • Reduced range of motion, muscle weakness, or difficulty walking

  • Tenderness, stiffness, or swelling in joints

  • Malaise or fatigue 

  • Bump on any part of the body like fingers, toes, or bony outgrowth in fingers or toes

  • Redness, flare, physical deformity, or stiff neck

Q3. What are some of the self-care tips that prevent arthritis permanently? 

Some of the self-care tips that prevent arthritis permanently include Staying active, not staying in the same position, Managing stress, losing weight, sleeping well, eating a balanced diet, using hot or cold packs, maintaining good posture, quitting smoking, and taking vitamins A, E, C, D, and K.