10 Foods To Avoid If You Have Arthritis
Arthritis, also known as joint inflammation, is inflammation of one or more joints in your body.
The term “arthritis” itself isn’t actually a single disease, but refers to 100+ types of arthritis and related conditions.
Symptoms throughout the body include pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion that makes performing certain tasks difficult, and these symptoms can intensify with age.
If you suspect you suffer from arthritis, it’s always good to meet with a healthcare professional to determine the best path of action for you.
But in addition to medications, physical therapy, and potentially joint surgery, lifestyle changes can make a big impact on how severely you experience arthritis symptoms.
“With arthritis, we want to keep inflammation at bay. The less inflamed the joints, the less pain you will be in.”
So how should you go about reducing inflammation?
As a first step, avoid the foods that science links to chronic inflammation from your diet ASAP.
An excellent starting point: Is “[Limiting] fried foods and refined sugar while increasing less-processed whole foods can alleviate some symptoms of arthritis, like pain and swelling,
Read on for 10 of the worst foods that can make arthritis worse so you know what to skip
Cutting back on fried, processed food may reduce inflammation in the body.
Fried foods contain lots of saturated fats, which can worsen inflammation.
Switching to unsaturated fats, like olive oil, rather than butter, can increase improvements in symptoms.
Processed sugars found in many prepackaged snack foods release an inflammatory trigger called cytokines into the body that can worsen arthritis symptoms, making it another one of the foods to avoid with arthritis.
White flour-based products
White foods are bad news for arthritis.
We’re talking white rice, potatoes, breads, and crackers—all of which contain refined carbohydrates.
These foods also hike production of AGEs and cause inflammation, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
The molecular structure of refined (aka white) grains is fairly simple: “The body turns them into sugar more quickly, and sugar is highly inflammatory,”
Choose whole or multi-grain carbohydrate options whenever possible.
If you don’t want to give up all your favorites food, learn how to cook white rice and potatoes in a way that increases resistant starch.
Alcohol doesn’t just impact liver function, it also disrupts interactions between other organs, potentially causing inflammation.
Although some research suggests that red wine can help to keep the heart, muscles, and joints healthy, a 2006 study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that excessive use of alcohol increases the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body.
Stick with a maximum of one glass a day for women, two for men.
A tall, refreshing glass of soda? You best not, folks.
For example, a 12-ounce can of Sunkist Orange soda packs in 44 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons worth) and far exceeds the maximum daily allotment of added sugar that men (nine teaspoons) and women (six teaspoons) should get daily,
“Although sugar can be harmful for many reasons, it creates inflammation in the body, and sugar-sweetened soda, in particular, has been found to increase arthritis symptoms in women.”
And, “a large study found that just one sugary soda a day increased the risk for rheumatoid arthritis by 63 percent.
This was compared to people who never drank soda and those who had it less than once a month,”.
In case you didn’t get the memo that this once-omnipresent butter substitute is a no-go, consider this:
“Most margarines are made from trans fats.
Trans fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, and cancer.
“Vegetable oils such as corn oil are put through a process called hydrogenation, changing the chemical formation from a Cis to a Trans.
Trans fats are found in many [sweets such as cakes, cookies, and pie crust] and increase biomarkers of inflammation.”
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but saturated fat + added sugars = inflammation’s match made in paradises.
Saturated fat is one of the most inflammation-inducing nutrients, and a study of more than 100 arthritis patients who eliminated dairy reported self-perceived benefits.”
“Keep in mind that they also eliminated a slew of other foods and added dietary, so it’s hard to know how much of an impact removing dairy had.
As your own experiment, try cutting dairy from your diet and see what happens to your body when you give it up.
Excess sodium in your diet can wreak havoc on your body in many ways, from increased blood pressure to thyroid malfunctioning.
It also may play a role in arthritis: “Salt may result in inflammation of joints.”
Less salt may help manage arthritis, so avoid prepared meals and limit your sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day.
High-Sugar Fruit Juices
“One of the key drivers for inflammation [is] fruit juice that’s high in sugar.
This is especially important with the current epidemic of fibromyalgia and chronic pain, both of which are dramatically amplified by a process called microglial activation and central sensitization,
All of these markedly amplify arthritis pain.”
Polyunsaturated Cooking Oils
Do you cook with corn, soybean, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils?
“These oils are commonly used in restaurants and at home and are high in omega-6 fatty acids, but very low in omega 3s.”
“This imbalance can lead to inflammation, and since most individuals do not get enough omega-3s (from sources such as salmon, flax, walnuts, and chia) to balance out these oils, arthritic symptoms can worsen.”
Just like high-sugar fruit juices, soda, and baked Foods, you should avoid candy at all costs if you have arthritis.
Simple sugars, like those found in candy, can spike your blood sugar, leading to inflammation, which can worsen your arthritis symptoms.
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