8 Inflammation-Causing Foods to Avoid When You Have Arthritis

8 Inflammation-Causing Foods to Avoid When You Have Arthritis

Changing your lifestyle can help lessen the severity of your arthritis pain. Regular, low-impact movement and eating right can ease arthritis pain and help you do more of the activities you love. 

Did you know that certain foods can aggravate inflammation in your body? Changing your diet generally doesn’t cost much, if anything, and doesn’t involve drugs that could have undesirable side effects. 

Internal medicine specialist, Rajesh B. Dave, MD, of Gulf West Medical Associates explains that  avoiding these eight foods can help you experience less inflammation — and less arthritis pain.

1. Foods with trans fats

Trans fats are man-made fats found in fast foods, fried foods, processed foods, donuts, and many other convenience foods, and they have inflammatory properties. Reduce or eliminate these fatty foods to lower your level of inflammation. 

2. Refined carbs

Also referred to as “white carbohydrates,” refined carbs are high on the glycemic scale and cause inflammation. Refined carbohydrates include white bread and crackers, instant mashed potatoes, and processed cereals. 

Avoiding refined carbohydrates in favor of more whole types, like brown rice and quinoa, can also help you control your weight.

3. Sugary foods

Despite being considered a refined carbohydrate, sugar deserves its own mention. Sugar is an ingredient in so many foods. While you can enjoy an occasional sweet and not worry too much about increasing inflammation, it’s a good idea to cut back on daily soda, candy, cake, and other sweet indulgences. 

4. Foods exposed to high temperatures

When you consume foods that were cooked at high temperatures, such as grilled or pasteurized foods, you expose yourself to advanced glycation end (AGE). This toxin damages some proteins in your body. Your immune system responds by trying to destroy the AGEs with cytokines, which cause inflammation.

5. Dairy products

Dairy is often considered healthy, but its primary protein is casein, which may contribute to inflammation. Avoiding dairy could reduce the amount of inflammation in the tissues surrounding your joints, which can lead to less pain. 

6. Food additives 

Many processed foods contain preservatives, colorings, and other additives to enhance their appeal. Additives are less obvious than ingredients such as sugar and flour, but they can contribute to the pain you feel from inflammation. 

Additives to avoid include monosodium glutamate, aspartame, and sodium, which have been linked to increased inflammation. 

7. Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol has been linked to gout, another form of inflammatory arthritis. Limiting alcohol intake, or not drinking altogether, can help your arthritis and protect your health in other ways, too.

8. Foods with gluten 

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. People who have the autoimmune condition called celiac disease or who are sensitive to gluten experience inflammation and pain when they consume gluten. Try cutting out gluten to see if you feel a difference in joint pain, whether you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or not.

Promote good health with a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and plant-based protein, like legumes and nuts. Learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet by contacting Gulf West Medical Associates today. Call us at 727-848-0247  or request an appointment online

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