worst foods for arthritis

Worst Foods for Arthritis

Helping your Arthritis with Foods to Avoid

There are many different forms of arthritis. What they have in common is that they all cause joint inflammation and pain.

People with arthritis may be able to manage these symptoms by making lifestyle changes, including not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet. They can also consider treatment options like Rinvoq, a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults. It works by targeting specific enzymes in the body that are involved in the inflammation process associated with RA.

Several foods can increase inflammation and exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Here are 10 of the worst arthritis foods and why they should be avoided.

1. Added Sugar

Sugar is one of the worst foods for increasing inflammation and worsening arthritis symptoms. Just 40g of sugar (the amount found in an average can of soda) is enough to trigger an inflammatory response.

Eating high-sugar foods can also contribute to weight gain, which stresses the joints and may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

2. Processed Foods

Processed foods are bad for arthritis for several reasons. Firstly, they are often loaded with added sugars and other inflammatory ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG).

They also usually contain refined carbohydrates, which can further aggravate arthritis symptoms. It is important to have some carbohydrates in the diet as they are a crucial source of energy. However, it is best to get them from whole grains, such as brown rice, buckwheat, and millet, rather than white flour.

Try to eat whole foods whenever possible to know exactly what is going into your body. If you must eat pre-prepared foods, look for those with shorter ingredient lists and avoid unfamiliar additives.

3. “Bad” Fats

It is necessary to have some fat in the diet, but several “bad” fats can increase inflammation and worsen arthritis. Some examples include saturated fats (found in butter, cheese, and fatty cuts of meat) and trans fats (found in some processed foods).

Some vegetable oils also contain an imbalanced ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, which is considered pro-inflammatory. Therefore, people with arthritis should avoid fried foods as well as those listed above.

Aim to consume more fats from healthy sources, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and fatty fish instead.

4. Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)

AGEs, also known as glycotoxins, are chemicals that form due to a reaction between sugars and certain proteins and fats. They increase oxidative stress in the body, which can damage cells and increase inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis often have increased levels of AGEs in their bodies.

Meat is one of the most common sources of AGEs, especially when grilled, broiled, roasted, or fried. They are also found in French fries, American cheese, mayonnaise, and margarine.

5. Processed Meats

Processed meats, another food group that can increase inflammation and overconsumption, have been linked with rheumatoid arthritis.

Avoid bacon, ham, and luncheon meat, and try to get most of your protein from other sources. Chicken breast, fish, and beans are all good alternatives. Beans have the extra advantage of being high in fiber, which is associated with lowering inflammation.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol is yet another substance that increases inflammation, especially when consumed in excess.

People with arthritis should also be cautious with alcohol as it may cause drowsiness and confusion when combined with strong painkillers. It can also cause digestive issues and may increase the risk of gastric side effects for those taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

7. Purines

Purines are chemicals the body converts into uric acid, the primary cause of gout attacks. Therefore, people with this form of arthritis should avoid high-purine foods.

Some examples include organ meat, cured meat (bacon, ham, luncheon meat, etc.), some seafood (mussels, scallops, etc.), and alcohol, especially beer.

8. Salty Food

High salt intake has been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Try to keep the amount of salt in your diet to a minimum by reducing your intake of cheese, processed foods, chips, and other salty snacks. Cook meals from scratch whenever possible and use herbs and spices as an alternative seasoning.

9. Gluten

Some people find that gluten worsens their arthritis symptoms, although there is no evidence of a direct link.

However, celiac disease has been linked with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and people with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher incidence of celiac disease than the general population.

If you suspect that gluten triggers you, try cutting out foods like wheat, barley, and rye for a couple of weeks and see whether your symptoms improve.

10. Nightshades and Citrus Fruit

Some people say their arthritis symptoms are worse after consuming nightshades and citrus fruit. Nightshades include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. There is no scientific evidence that these foods are bad for arthritis, but some people might be allergic to them, leading to an inflammatory response.

These foods are rich sources of vitamins and antioxidants, so do not stop eating them unless you have to. If you suspect they are making your arthritis worse, try cutting them out for a couple of weeks and reintroducing them one by one to find out what is responsible.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is considered an excellent choice. It is rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Rinvoq for RA

Rinvoq (upadacitinib) is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults. It belongs to a class of drugs known as Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. Rinvoq works by targeting specific enzymes in the body that are involved in the inflammation process associated with RA. By inhibiting these enzymes, Rinvoq helps reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It's typically prescribed for patients who have not responded well to other RA treatments.

Advil vs. Relief Factor Sleep Aid

Advil Pain Reliever and Relief Factor Sleep Aid are two distinct products designed to address different needs. Advil Pain Reliever, commonly known as ibuprofen, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) primarily used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation and lower fever. It is commonly used to treat headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps and minor injuries. Advil works by blocking certain enzymes in the body that cause pain and inflammation.

On the other hand, Relief Factor Sleep Aid is a sleep aid supplement formulated to promote restful sleep and relaxation. It typically contains a blend of natural ingredients such as herbs, vitamins and minerals that are believed to support healthy sleep patterns. Relief Factor Sleep Aid may contain ingredients like melatonin, chamomile, valerian root or L-theanine, which are known for their calming and sleep-enhancing properties.

A two-week elimination diet is a great way to find out your triggers and identify the worst arthritis foods for you.

As we age, it's important to take a look at what we eat.