7 Arthritis Causing Foods to Avoid

Tired of aching, grinding joints? Worried that your hands are going to be gnarled and painful? Arthritis affects more than 50 million American adults and 300,000 children have one of the 100 different types of arthritis.

Doctors prescribe drugs and sometime there is a surgical “fix.”

Did you know that there are foods that make arthritis far worse? You may be making your joints hurt just from the foods you are choosing.

Pain is a result of inflammation and many foods cause inflammation. You’ll be surprised to learn which foods may be making your joints ache. You’ll be really shocked about number 3.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are found in red meat, butter and cheese. Saturated fats trigger inflammation in fat tissue. This type of inflammation is particularly dangerous for your heart and is known to make arthritis pain worse.

The other issue with red meat is that it contains advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs stimulate inflammation. When food is cooked at high temperatures – grilling, frying, toasting, roasting or broiling – AGEs form. High levels are associated with inflammation-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and Alzheimer’s.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

You may have heard of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are super important to control inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids can trigger your body to produce chemicals that cause inflammation. You’ll find Omega-6 fatty acids in corn, safflower, sunflower, soy and vegetable oils, and products that contain these oils. Replace your Omega-6 rich oils with canola, flaxseed, walnut, and olive oils.

Remember that these omaga-6 fatty acids are found in trans-fats and commercial frying oil. Eliminate these for extra protection.


Alcohol has in interesting track record when it comes to inflammation. A few studies show that 5 to 10 grams of alcohol a day may help protect you from developing rheumatoid arthritis. That’s about half a beer a day.

If you already have arthritis, alcohol interacts badly with most anti-inflammatory medication. Certain form of arthritis are worsened by drinking alcohol. Moderating your alcohol intake may important to control arthritis pain.

Processed Foods

Processed foods contain a lot of ingredients that cause inflammation. One of the worst are trans-fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils are known to cause systemic inflammation and contribute to dozens of diseases from heart disease to cancers.

Read labels carefully as even a tiny bit is bad for you. Trans-fats are used to make food shelf stable, so you’ll find them in breads, baked goods, snacks like potato chips or microwave popcorn, fried food, refrigerator dough, nondairy creamer and margarine.


Your body needs salt to operate, but too much salt causes high blood pressure, which contributes to strokes, kidney disease and heart attacks. Too much salt also causes calcium loss, leading to osteoporosis. Salt causes cellular inflammation and that makes joints hurt.

The simplest way to cut salt is to stop eating processed food and fried food, both highly salted. Then stop adding extra salt to your food. It will take time to get used to less salty food, but your entire body will be healthier!


Sugar causes your body to release cytokines and these cause inflammation. Sugar is implicated in a lot of diseases because of the cytokines. And sugar may cause increased arthritis pain. Sugar is known by at least 56 different names. Look for -ose endings (maltose), syrup, and malt when reading the labels for sugar. That’s not all of them, but those cover a lot.

Artificial sweeteners should be used with caution. They are associated with various diseases, cancers and inflammation.

Refined Grains

Refined grains include white flour and white rice. These make blood glucose spike increasing levels of inflammation markers. In addition, if you are gluten-sensitive, wheat products may cause joint pain. If you get rashes, migraines, fatigue or joint pain after eating wheat, you may be sensitive to gluten.

Refined grains are easily digested, and your body reacts to them like it does sugar. Avoid anything made from white flour. Eating whole grains decreases inflammation, so removing and replacing refined grains is doubly important.


So, the conclusion is that everything you like is making your arthritis worse. The medications your doctor prescribes can be very hard on the liver, so you are just hurting yourself by taking more to deal with pain. Eliminating foods that cause inflammation in your body can help decrease arthritis pain.

It’s a matter of replacing the bad food with good food. You’ll find tasty choices out there that fight inflammation. You’ll be healthier and experience less pain as you eliminate inflammation from your body. Arthritis is a degenerative disease, so you probably can’t reverse it, but you can slow it down by eliminating unhealthy food.