8 Worst Foods To Avoid For Arthritis

Pain, stiffness, and characteristic swelling (inflammation) of the body joints are the novel symptoms you encounter in patients with most kinds of arthritis. It might also show other signs such as rashes, redness, fever, and in extreme cases, limit morbidity. 

Inflammation is a response-mechanism meant to benefit the body by warding off foreign agents that harm your body, but it can turn out to be the opposite. In chronic inflammation cases, fever, fatigue, knee, chest, and abdominal pain are the symptoms you will experience.

You can take several measures to contain the inflammatory response from turning severe. One of them involves the choice of food to eat.

8 Worst Types of Food to Avoid If You Have Arthritis

1- Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates Worst Foods To Avoid For Arthritis

First, the term ‘refined’ attached to the substrate –carbohydrate, should not be mistaken for improved quality or a ‘best for consumption.’ On the contrary, it is far from being a quality, healthy foodstuff its definitive article claims.

Most of the quality ingredients that constitute carbohydrates in nature are either interfered with or subtracted. Most processed carbs originate with farm crops such as potatoes, white rice, wheat, etc.

Essential nutrients that are necessary for anti-inflammation are deficient in refined carbohydrates, for instance, Magnesium ions. Additionally, large intakes of refined carbs post problems to the insulin resistance ability in the body.

You would better opt for whole grain, unrefined carbohydrates for its nutritional value is fully intact instead of the factory one.

2- Processed foods

Processed Worst Foods To Avoid For Arthritis

I am yet to come by a factory product going for food minus sugar and its counterpart- salt- as additives. Even several medicinal syrups and tablets have sugar spiked to them; will it be food that should be sweet to our taste.

Most labels on factory foods have a certain percentage of sugar in them. Those in the processing industry are fully aware of the sugar crave-market society they have and are bend a hundred and one percent to extort that appetite fully to their gain.

Processed cereals and drinks have a high sugar content detrimental to your health. Instead of lowering your blood sugar level, they elevate it tampering with your insulin’s proper functioning.

As a result, the body’s immune system recruits cells and components, e.g., cytokine proteins responsible for inflammation, releasing them to target cites in the body system. 

3- Red meat

You have probably heard of famous omega-3 and that eating certain types of fish sources the revered fatty acid. Contrasting it is the feared omega-6 fatty acid (arachidonic acid, a poly-unsaturated fat also present in nuts and vegetable oil.

This fatty acid is mostly present in red meat, especially beef; you would better not dare this meat when ailing from arthritis. Omega-6 undergoes conversion in the membrane of cells that contribute to inflammation to form pro-inflammatory elements.

These substances catalyze the process of inflammation, which leads to pain in joints and sometimes fever.

4- Dairy products

Dairy Worst Foods To Avoid For Arthritis

If you are a dairy lover, you should know the benefits we accrue from products such as milk and cheese. In nature, our bodies can easily digest and assimilate dairy products without much ado.

A 2017 research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition indicates that dairy is harmful only in people with allergies to cattle milk. Additionally, the publication making an overall conclusion states that cow’s milk posts anti-inflammatory impacts on users.

Though, the authors agree that milk has a lot of mineral compounds and nutrients, which may make it hard to discriminate between harmful and non-harmful components.

On the same line of thought, research contacted in 2015 on 40,000 people ailing from osteoarthritis shows that consuming many dairy products puts one at risk of hip replacement surgery.

In the same study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, a sample of German adults who regularly used dairy goods had an increased chance of developing low-grade inflammation symptoms.

Cheese, margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and cream cheese contain pro-inflammatory triggers that increase arthritis symptoms.

5- High-Sodium Frozen Meals

If you are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, you should limit your daily amount of sodium consumption. Reducing sodium usage requires that you discipline yourself by avoiding foods preserved with vast amounts of sodium, mostly if you are used to high salt levels. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a particular case where sodium limits are a topic of discussion. The reason is that the medicinal prescription for treating RA- corticosteroid, has a high affinity for sodium. It retains salt in your system, raising levels to unnecessary heights that prompt inflammatory reactions.

6- Fruit juices and beverages containing a lot of sugars

Fruit juices Worst Foods To Avoid For Arthritis

Apart from the many additives and preservatives added to these beverages, sugar outstandingly features as a risk factor in handling arthritis.

Processed sugar in these drinks even poses more severe concerns due to its fast assimilation into the body, triggering inflammation.

7- Alcohol

I suppose you know people who treat alcohol as food, despite the direct warning signs regarding its consumption prevailing the news media, labels on beverage packages,… The beverage is not arthritis-friendly.

Studies show that it is responsible for increasing the severity and frequency of pain and other gout disease symptoms.

The spinal cord arthritis’ (axial spondyloarthritis)symptoms are made worse in people who drink alcohol; they mostly show signs of amplified damage to the spine than non-alcohol users.

8- Vegetable oils with omega-6

Vegetable oils Worst Foods To Avoid For Arthritis

Just as in red meat, some vegetable oils have omega-6 fatty acids.

They include corn, sunflower, cottonseed, and soybean oil, which produce linoleic acid that triggers inflammation.


So far, you have discovered one common factor with all the foodstuffs on our list; all of them have a component that triggers cellular-based inflammation.

Besides, arthritis might not be what it is were it not for this immune response mechanism that has the sole aim of defending your valuable body.

Also, as a result of our brief discussion, you should choose arthritis-healthy food by discriminating it from arthritis unhealthy foodstuffs.

By avoiding refined carbohydrates, high-sugar foods, omega-6 oils, and most processed and fried foods, you are sure to tackle arthritis successfully.


  1. 12 Best Foods For Arthritis
  2. Foods to Avoid With Arthritis
  3. The Best and Worst Foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  4. Living with arthritis