Foods to Avoid When You Have Arthritis

Foods to Avoid When You Have Arthritis

January 08, 2021 / Daniel J. Kraus, D.C.

Arthritis is a group of diseases that causes joint inflammation. As your joints swell, your limbs may feel stiff and your mobility may be compromised. Treating arthritis pain often involves undergoing different therapies and making certain lifestyle changes.


To control your symptoms and prevent further discomfort, avoid these foods:


If you have a sweet tooth, chocolates, pastries and other sugar-loaded desserts are simply irresistible. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers in your body called cytokines. To avoid this, it’s best for people with arthritis to reduce their intake of sodas, fruit juices and other sweets.


Studies show that saturated fats may cause fat tissue inflammation, potentially worsening arthritis symptoms. The National Cancer Institute has found that most Americans get the bulk of their saturated fat intake from foods like pizza and cheese. Other sources include meat, dairy and grain-based products. People with knee arthritis should also avoid eating foods that contain trans fats, which are commonly found in fried and processed products.

Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products, such as bread, rice and many types of cereal, are refined carbohydrates. They have a high glycemic index that boosts production of advanced glycation end-products (AGE) in your body. AGE products are proteins or lipids that stimulate inflammation in your joints and other parts of your body.

Mono-Sodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is often added to enhance the flavor of food. Ingesting this chemical may send signals to inflammation pathways in your body, which can make your joints more swollen and stiff.

Apart from avoiding these foods, therapeutic exercise, such as manual therapy and flexibility training, can also work as an effective type of pain relief for arthritis. We may also suggest having hyaluronic acid injections on the affected areas to improve your mobility.

For more information about arthritis and our pain management options, call us at (301) 220-1930 or complete our form. We serve Greenbelt, College Park and nearby MD areas.