Foods to Avoid for Arthritis
Can certain foods be a trigger for arthritic conditions?
The saying “We are what we eat..” holds a lot of truth…
Anything that adversely affects our digestion will impact our overall health and in turn our immune system and the level of inflammation in the body.
A 1989 survey of more than a thousand arthritis patients is highlighted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. It found many foods that consistently aggravated arthritis symptoms.
There have been many other studies that support their findings.
So what do you need to avoid?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to foods, so some trial and error is required to discover what works for you. You may wish to avoid all of the following for at least a month then add them back in one at a time, consuming each one for at least a week before adding the next one.
The following list is not in any particular order.
Dairy: Any product that contains lactose OR casein (milk protein), so this includes milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream, whey powder etc. whether on its own or as an ingredient in prepared goods.
Eggs: On their own or in baked goods
Wheat and Corn: In fact, the protein in all grains can be inflammatory for some people. You may wish to start with wheat/corn and then experiment with eliminating all grains (including rice, oats, buckwheat etc.) for a period.
These are found in bread, pasta, baked goods, muffins, cookies, pastries etc., and also in many prepared sauces, marinades and ready meals, so read the labels or cook from scratch.
Sugar: Foods high in sugar can be overt (white and brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, sodas and pop) but it is also hidden in many foods.
Some examples are fruit, fruit juice and dried fruits (a slice of watermelon can contain the equivalent of 5 sugar cubes, click here to see..); applesauce; sauces and marinades such as ketchup, teriyaki, BBQ; ready meals; beer, wine and cider; some milk alternatives e.g sweetened, chocolate or vanilla soy milk; and gluten-free products which are generally highly processed.
Meats: The saturated fat in meat has been linked to arthritis. It may be the fat itself, or the fact that when fat is heated (grilled, fried, baked etc.) it contains toxins called “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs), which trigger inflammation.
You may wish to remove all meat or just fatty meat from your diet. 100% grass fed and game meats are leaner than commercially produced meats.
Night Shade Vegetables: Tomato, bell pepper, eggplant and potato contain a chemical that is linked to inflammation.
Citrus fruits: For some these can trigger arthritic pain.
Coffee: Both de-caff and regular coffee have been linked to increased inflammation in the body which can aggravate the symptoms of arthritis.
Alcohol: The alcohol itself triggers inflammation. However, wine, in particular, creates a lot of histamine in the body and will aggravate arthritis.
Omega 6 oils: This is converted in the body into pro-inflammatory chemicals. The foods to avoid would include corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, palm and soy oils. Canola oil is also best avoided as it has been linked to many health concerns. Check labels on ready meals, gluten-free products, chips and crackers, dips (hummus, baba ganoush etc.), sauces, marinades etc.
And finally, where possible, choose organic produce that is in its natural state and not processed. Pesticides and herbicides have a detrimental effect on our gut health which in turn impacts our immune system and levels of inflammation in the body.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Now I would like to hear from you. Do you have Osteoarthritis? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.