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Ouch! These 5 foods can make your arthritis pain worse

Making simple changes in your diet can make a big difference when it comes to arthritis. So, to ease your arthritis pain, avoid these foods.
Don't make the pain worse by eating the wrong foods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 13:13 pm IST
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Some foods that you eat on a regular basis might actually be contributing to your arthritis pain. Believe it or not, dietary choices matter when it comes to joint health. A balanced diet can promote overall health, a healthy weight and even reduces the risk of inflammation in your joints. On the other hand, a diet full of unhealthy foods may worsen your arthritis symptoms. So, if you are suffering from arthritis pain, make sure foods that are high in fat, sugar, refined grains and salt, are avoided. They can increase inflammation.

HealthShots got in touch with dietitian Hari Lakshmi, Motherhood Hospital, Alwarpet, Chennai, to find out what to eat and what to avoid if someone is suffering arthritis.

Before we dive into that, check out the symptoms of arthritis:

Lakshmi said, “Arthritis is the medical condition of swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The most prominent symptoms of the disease include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and reduced range of motion.” That’s why it is vital to seek immediate medical attention when one experiences these symptoms, as they usually worsen over time.

Arthritis can make your joints weak. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Some common causes of the condition are:

* Genetics
* Age
* Gender
* Joint injury
* Obesity
* Muscle weakness
* Autoimmune disorder

There are two types of arthritis; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and the treatments vary based on the type of arthritis. The main aim of arthritis treatments is to give relief from the symptoms. “Changing your diet and avoiding certain foods and beverages may help reduce the pain and inflammation, maintain moderate weight, and improve the quality of life of the patients,” said Lakshmi.

Here are five foods and beverages to avoid if you have arthritis:

1. Foods high in salt

Excess salt consumption on a regular basis has been linked to several health issues including joint inflammation in a number of patients, especially those who are suffering from arthritis. That’s why “It is recommended to avoid food with high amounts of salt for people with arthritis. Some foods that are high in salt include pizza, red meat, seafood, cheese, canned food, salted nuts, dry fish, etc which shouldn’t be a part of your diet or should be consumed in moderation,” said Lakshmi.

Control salt intake for a healthy bones and joints. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Alcohol

Alcohol should be restricted, so call it quits. Alcohol could have harmful effects in general as well, but people with arthritis should completely avoid consuming alcohol as it causes inflammation. “Chronic alcohol consumption also increases the risk of osteoarthritis,” said Lakshmi. If you still want to drink, drink occasionally and in moderation only.

Along with alcohol, avoid tobacco because these products are really harmful to your overall health and cause serious ailments including joint issues.

3. Added sugar

It is due to sugar-laden diets and a sedentary lifestyle that a lot of arthritis patients are also affected by obesity. “It is essential to reduce your sugar intake if you have arthritis. Candy, sodas, ice creams, chocolates, and various other foods contain high amounts of sugar, significantly increasing your risk of arthritis,” said Lakshmi.

So no matter what, limit your sugar intake if you want to avoid arthritis, joint pain, and obesity.

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4. Inflammatory fats

Several types of fats such as omega 6 fatty acids, saturated fat, and trans fats should be avoided by arthritis patients. Lakshmi said, “Omega 6 fatty acids include oils such as safflower, sunflower, and vegetable oil which may cause harm when consumed in excess. Saturated fats, including meat, butter, and cheese should be consumed moderately.” Trans fats are known to increase bad cholesterol and raise inflammation levels therefore they should also be consumed in moderation.

Omega-3 rich foods are healthy but not omega-6 fatty acid-rich foods if you’ve arthritis! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Gluten

Gluten refers to proteins in wheat, barley, and rye. It is recommended to consume gluten-free food as they reduce the risk of inflammation and ease arthritis symptoms.

Also, read: Struggling with joint pain during menopause? Try cinnamon!

Instead of all these foods and beverages, promote a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a regular sleep schedule. Doing so can not only help maintain your bones and joints health but will also be grateful for overall health.

You can enjoy these foods to avoid joint inflammation and arthritis:

* Broccoli, carrot, and onions are good for reducing inflammation.
* You can enjoy spices like turmeric and garlic.
* Include nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachio, and hazelnut rich in calcium, fibre, magnesium, zinc, Omega 3 fats, and vitamin E.
* Drink matcha tea.
* Cherries are rich in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and joint pain.
* Omega-3 fatty acids rich foods such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are good for you.
* Consuming beans regularly can help manage information and swelling in your joints.
* Skip vegetable oil and corn oil instead use olive oil.
* Most importantly, include vitamin D rich sources in your diet.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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