foods to avoid for arthritis: 9 Foods and Beverages to Avoid with Arthritis

So what exactly are some foods to avoid for arthritis? 

Well, as we have discussed, what is arthritis in the previous article.  

Briefly, it is a common health condition that involves chronic inflammation in your joints. 

Additionally, it causes pain and damage to joints, bones, and other body parts depending upon its type.[1]

Although arthritis has over 100 types yet a few of them are very common. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common in fact nearly 40% of men and 47% of women may be diagnosed with OA during their lifetime.

While Osteoarthritis is noninflammatory, other types such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis. 

These are inflammatory conditions and are considered autoimmune diseases.

And according to research symptoms and severity of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis.  Can be improved by eliminating certain foods and beverages.

Moreover, dietary interventions, such as eliminating these foods to avoid for arthritis, may also improve your overall quality of life.

9 foods to avoid for arthritis

Research shows that you should avoid certain foods and beverages if you have arthritis.

Here are 9 foods to avoid for arthritis

1. Added sugars

Your sugar intake should be limited no matter what, But when you have arthritis it is a must. 

As, foods containing refined sugar can trigger the release of cytokines in the body, which play an important role in inflammation. 

According, to a study on 217 people with rheumatoid arthritis noted that among 20 foods, sugar-sweetened soda and desserts were the most frequently reported to worsen RA symptoms.[2]

Moreover, sugary beverages like soda may significantly increase your risk of arthritis.

To give you an example, in a study conducted on 1,209 adults ages 20–30. 

Those who drank fructose-sweetened beverages 5 times per week or more were 3 times likelier to have arthritis. 

Then those who consumed few to no fructose-sweetened drinks.[3]

Some high sugar foods include:

  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Ice cream
  • Barbecue sauce

Also, See… 17 Food to Reduce your cholesterol.

2. Nightshades

Well, nightshades are the group of vegetables that contain the compound solanine. 

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine keeps suggesting that removing them from the diet helps improve symptoms for people.

Some nightshades vegetables are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Chili peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes

3. Processed and red meats 

Some research links red and processed meat to inflammation.  

As red meats are higher in fats more specifically saturated fat than white meats or plant-based protein.

This is the reason processed and red meats may increase arthritis symptoms.

Additionally, diets high in processed and red meats show high levels of inflammatory markers  interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and homocysteine.

According, to a study on 217 people with RA mentioned above also found that red meat commonly worsens RA symptoms. 

Moreover, a study on 25,630 people stated that high red meat intake may be a major risk factor for inflammatory arthritis.

But,  diets that exclude red meat and are mainly plant-based have been linked to improving arthritis symptoms.[4]

4. High salted foods

Salt is an important mineral in the diet, but its too much consumption can be harmful to multiple areas of health. 

Cutting back on salt is a good choice in arthritis, choose foods that are low in sodium with no added salt.

Additionally, researchers have suggested that high sodium intake may be a risk factor for autoimmune diseases like inflammatory arthritis.

Moreover, a study on 18,555 people tied high sodium intake to an increased risk of RA.

Some of the high salted foods include:

  • Canned soup
  • Pizza
  • Certain cheeses 
  • Processed and canned meats

Also, See… 21 Food for your lungs health.

5.  Highly processed foods

Frozen meals, lunch meat, baked goods, fast food, and packaged snacks are some highly processed foods. 

Moreover, they are mainly made with refined grains, added sugar, preservatives, and other potentially inflammatory ingredients. 

And all of these may worsen arthritis symptoms.

Additionally, research shows that Western diets rich in these may increase your risk of RA by contributing to inflammation and risk factors like obesity.

Moreover, those who ate higher amounts of this processed food showed increased heart disease risk factors. 

Including higher levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), a long-term marker of blood sugar control, according to a study in 56 people with RA.

6. Gluten-containing Food items 

Gluten is a group of proteins in grains barley, wheat, rye, and triticale. Its function is to provide the structure and texture of the grain products.

Additionally, certain research linked it to increased inflammation and suggests that going gluten-free may ease arthritis symptoms. 

Moreover, a notable 1-year study in 66 people with RA found that a gluten-free, vegan diet significantly reduced disease activity and improved inflammation. 

Yet, more deep research is needed to confirm whether a gluten-free diet alone benefits people with arthritis.

7. Foods high in AGEs

AGEs (Advanced glycation end products) are the inflammatory compounds that are created through reactions between sugars and proteins or fats. 

They generally exist in uncooked animal foods and are formed through certain cooking methods. 

The high consumption of AGEs in your body increases oxidative stress and inflammation. 

Additionally, these oxidative stress and AGE formations are tied to disease progression in people with arthritis. 

Moreover, people with inflammatory arthritis have been found to have higher levels of AGEs in their bodies than people without arthritis.

So, you should replace high AGE foods with nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, and fish.  

To reduce the total AGE load in your body

Some high AGEs foods include:

  • French fries
  • American cheese 
  • Margarine 
  • Mayonnaise 

8. Certain vegetable oils 

Omega-6 Fatty Acids are a precursor to inflammation. 

And if your diet is high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3 fats this worsens symptoms of osteoarthritis and RA.

These fats are necessary for good health. 

However, the imbalanced ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in most Western diets increases inflammation. 

Reduce your intake of foods high in omega-6 fats, such as vegetable oils.  

Simultaneously increasing your intake of omega-3-rich foods like fatty fish may improve arthritis symptoms.[5]

9. Alcohol

Yes, alcohol may worsen arthritis symptoms, anyone with inflammatory arthritis should restrict or avoid its consumption.

In fact, a study on 278 people with axial spondyloarthritis — inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spinal cord and sacroiliac (SI) joints — tied alcohol intake to increased spinal structural damage.

Additionally, studies suggest that alcohol intake may increase the frequency and severity of gout attacks.

Moreover, chronic alcohol consumption is also largely linked with an increased risk of osteoarthritis. 

Yet not all studies have found a significant link between them.

Also, See… 20 Food to reduce Your stress.


foods to avoid for arthritis these simple diet changes could help to manage your symptoms of arthritis. 

Research shows that you should avoid alcohol, processed foods, red meat, and sugar-rich foods. 

Be mindful, and lifestyle factors like your activity level, body weight, and smoking status are also vital to managing arthritis.