Avoiding unhealthy food is something everybody should strive for. But did you know that doing so can actually help ease the symptoms of arthritis? Just like there are beneficial foods to eat when you suffer from this condition, there are also the worst foods for arthritis — and you’ll want to avoid those. Before I tell you what you should definitely remove from your menu, let’s just see what arthritis is all about.
What Causes Arthritis?
Inflammation is the biggest cause of arthritis and it can occur in one or more joints in the body. Most common symptoms include pain, swelling and redness in or around the joints. Although they don’t sound too bad at first, those symptoms can get so severe that they entirely prevent you from going about your day.
However, having arthritis doesn’t mean your life is over — certain daily habits can either improve the condition or aggravate its symptoms. One of them is your diet.
The food you consume has the power to either aggravate or alleviate the inflammatory processes in your body. While citrus fruit, green tea, and nuts have a favorable effect on arthritis, certain foods can only exacerbate the symptoms.
What Are the Worst Foods for Arthritis?
#1. Fast Food
Everybody loves having a burger or a slice of pizza now and then. And who can blame us? They are awesomely delicious and super-easy to prepare. However, what most people don’t know is that fast food is full of trans fats and saturated fats. Research has shown that both of these types of fats trigger inflammation, thus making arthritis symptoms worse. Trans fats and saturated fats raise the bad cholesterol in the blood, which makes you prone to cardiovascular diseases too.
#2. Red Meat
Along with saturated fats, red meats contain additional proteins and lipids which are known for stimulating inflammation. They are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). When red meat is grilled, roasted, fried or broiled, it releases AGEs. Therefore, processed red meat is also one of the worst foods for arthritis sufferers.
#3. Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugary foods and drinks are an extremely bad choice for someone dealing with arthritis. The sugar from ice cream, soda or candy can aggravate the symptoms. Several studies have shown that people who consumed more added sugar experienced worse arthritis symptoms. Additionally, people who consumed added sugars were at a higher risk of getting arthritis in the first place.
#4. Oils & Salad Dressings
The main ingredient in oils, salad dressings, and mayonnaise are omega-6 fatty acids. While they are essential for people’s health, the excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acids leads to the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body. Worst foods for arthritis that have these fatty acids include oils, such as sunflower, vegetable, corn, and grapeseed oil.
Foods high in gluten, such as bread, cereal, cookies, crackers, and cakes, can trigger an inflammatory response in our bodies. This fact was first noticed in people suffering from celiac disease. But, as it turns out, gluten causes problems beyond the gut. It could be the cause of your arthritis as well. Therefore, considering a gluten-free diet might be the best option.
#6. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates, also known as refined grains, cause sudden spikes in the glucose levels in the blood. Those, in turn, increase the inflammation in the body. Foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as white pasta, white bread, refined baked goods, white rice, and potatoes, are a bad choice if you’re struggling with arthritis.
A Few Parting Suggestions
Struggling with arthritis is both difficult and exhausting. At first, it might seem difficult to avoid all the unhealthy foods. But you shouldn’t give up! Instead, look for an anti-inflammatory diet plan and learn how to cook without the worst foods for arthritis. Trust me, your quality of life will improve significantly.