Arthritis affects our joints and causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Managing inflammation is an essential part of managing arthritis symptoms. Hence, avoiding certain food that can cause inflammation is important.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 6 foods that arthritis patients should avoid eating and why:
1. Processed and fried foods:
Processed foods and fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and contain high amounts of salt and sugar. When consumed in excess, the unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar found in these foods can lead to the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body, which can trigger joint pain and stiffness in people with arthritis. It is a better option for you to choose whole food instead. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources provide the body with essential nutrients and are much less likely to contribute to inflammation.
2. Red meat:
Red meat, such as beef, pork, and lamb, is a common source of protein in many diets. However, consuming too much of red meat, particularly for arthritis patients can have negative effects. Red meat contains a high level of purines that can increase the production of uric acid. Particularly in people with gout, a type of arthritis, the body is unable to properly excrete uric acid, which then causes severe joint pain and inflammation, especially in the big toe. To manage the symptom, you can try limiting intake of red meat and opt for lean protein sources like chicken or fish instead.
3. Dairy products:
Some arthritis patients may be sensitive to dairy products, which can cause inflammation in their joints. This is because dairy products contain proteins that can trigger an immune response in some individuals, leading to inflammation in the body. The suggestion we have for you is to replace dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese, and butter) with plant-based alternatives like oat or soy milk.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and is commonly found in many foods such as bread, pasta, and cereal. Some arthritis patients may have gluten sensitivity which can cause joint pain and inflammation. Eliminating gluten from your diet may help improve arthritis symptoms in some patients. Choose gluten-free alternatives such as rice, quinoa, and corn as substitutes for wheat-based products. It’s also important to read food labels carefully and check for hidden sources of gluten, such as in sauces, condiments, and processed foods.
Alcohol can increase inflammation in the body and worsen arthritis symptoms. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver and can increase the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can lead to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. In addition, alcohol can also interfere with some arthritis medications and their effectiveness. Limiting your alcohol intake or eliminate it altogether may help manage your arthritis symptoms.
6. Refined sugar and carbohydrates:
Foods that contain refined sugar and carbohydrates, such as cakes, cookies, and white bread, can be harmful to people with arthritis. Refined sugar and carbohydrates cause the body’s blood sugar levels to spike rapidly, which can trigger an inflammatory response in the body. This inflammation can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, making arthritis symptom worse. Alternatively, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain bread would be a healthier option for you. These foods contain complex carbohydrates that are digested more slowly by the body, causing a slower and more stable rise in blood sugar levels. The slower digestion can help to reduce inflammation in the body and may help to alleviate arthritis symptoms.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all diet for arthritis, but what we can do is avoiding the above triggers foods to help managing arthritis symptoms. Consult with your healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to find out which foods are best to avoid in your specific case. We hope that by making small changes to your diet, you can manage your symptoms effectively and get to enjoy an improved quality of life.