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Foods To Avoid With Arthritis 


Are you struggling with the discomfort of arthritis? Are everyday activities getting difficult to undertake? If so, you are no doubt looking for ways to find relief. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take that may help. 

Eating is an enjoyable and social activity, but at its core, it is a way to help your body do what it needs to do. Putting the most nutritious and suitable options available into your body can significantly impact the way you feel and function. When it comes to arthritis, food can negatively and positively influence the symptoms of the condition, largely due to the inflammation in the joints. Subsequently, it is worth being aware of the worst foods for arthritis. 

Because of the way arthritis develops and presents, avoiding the foods that make arthritis worse and selecting the right foods can be beneficial. Find out what types of food shouldn’t be on your menu.


What Is Arthritis? 

Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints. It can be difficult to live with and affects both young and older people. It often starts out with mild symptoms, such as stiffness and aching, and can develop into significant pain and decreased functionality. There are many types of arthritis that present in different ways. Some of the common forms include: 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis. 
  • Psoriatic arthritis.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
  • Lupus. 
  • Gout.


Foods That Can Make Arthritis Worse  

The inflammatory response that occurs in our bodies is generally beneficial as it helps to protect us in harmful situations, such as during infections, and can assist in healing, such as with wounds. Problems can arise, however, when the inflammation remains for a prolonged period of time.

Dietary changes cannot cure arthritis, but they can help. One significant factor of arthritis is chronic inflammation. Many foods are considered inflammatory foods and so to prevent the added effects these foods may have on the already inflamed areas, avoiding or minimising these foods may be useful.   

Eating a healthy diet can also help you to reach or maintain a suitable weight, which can assist in improving your symptoms by reducing the load placed on the arthritic joints. Fat cells also produce a protein called cytokine, which can increase inflammation. 

Foods that can be good to avoid when living with arthritis can include the following:


Sugar, Refined Carbohydrates, And Additives 

These ingredients should generally be kept to a minimum for everyone. Many meals and products have ingredients such as added sugar and monosodium glutamate (MSG), so it is important to check. There may be some that surprise you, such as yogurt, bread, and salad dressing. 



Salt, or sodium, has the potential of impacting many health conditions including autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. One reason to avoid salt is the effect it can have on water retention, which can cause swelling of the joints.



Dairy is often linked to bone health, so you may be surprised that it is an ingredient worth avoiding for joint health. However, dairy products contain casein, which can promote the inflammatory response. 


High Fat 

You may have heard the terms, ‘good fat’ and ‘bad fat’. Our body requires certain fats, such as that which is found in nuts and avocados. However, bad fats, such as omega 6, trans, and saturated fats, can hinder the body’s ability to heal and function well. These fats are found in foods such as fried chicken, cream, sunflower oil, and cheese. 

When avoiding certain fats, be careful not to fall into the ‘low fat’ trap. Many products that are marketed as low fat are high in sugar to compensate for flavour.


Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)

These inflammatory compounds have the potential to accumulate in certain tissues and can be higher in people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Products such as processed meat can contain AGEs. Food that has been cooked at high temperatures can also encourage the production of this toxin in your body.



Gluten is another factor that may cause joint inflammation. Even if you do not have an intolerance or a condition such as celiac disease, it may be worth testing out whether avoiding gluten helps your arthritis symptoms.


Compliment Physical Therapy With A Healthy Diet For Arthritis

Our experienced and friendly team can help you in many ways to find some relief from arthritis. This may include options such as manual therapy, massage, or physio-prescribed exercises. Doing this alongside being mindful of what you put into your body can have great results.

If you are looking for advice and treatment when it comes to improving your arthritis symptoms, make an appointment today with one of our great therapists!



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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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