To raise awareness of the condition, as well as the importance of early diagnosis, here are some foods that should be avoided to fight against rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Some foods have nutritional properties that are beneficial for arthritis and joint pain. Others can exacerbate the problem, acting as triggers for inflammation. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid is key, nutritionists say. Here are five of the worst foods for arthritis and joint pain.
Fried and processed foods
A study completed by scientists at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that reducing consumption of fried and processed foods “can reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defenses.” That includes cutting back on meats and frozen meals.
White sugar and refined carbohydrates
Since high-glycemic foods can contribute to inflammation, cutting back on them can help arthritis suffers, Healthline noted. Likewise, reducing and foods with high levels of preservatives in your diet can also cut inflammation pain, the website said.
Milk, cheese, and other dairy products have been known to irritate arthritic conditions, according to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “Dairy foods are one of the principal offenders, and the problem is the dairy protein, rather than the fat, so skim products are as much a problem as whole milk,” the Committee says. “Once the offending food is eliminated completely, improvement usually comes within a few weeks.” Mayo Clinic rheumatologist Dr. Clement Michet told Everyday Health the body can create antibodies against what it thinks is a harmful substance, in this case, the dairy proteins. Those antibodies then attack not only the milk but also certain portions of the body itself, he noted. Doctors suggest soy, rice, or almond milk as dairy alternatives for those suffering from arthritis.
The trend against gluten consumption is real for some arthritis patients. Though studies have yet to prove it definitively, there are many reports of associations between celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis, according to Rheumatology News. A study published in the Oxford Journal of Rheumatology reported 41 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients tested on a vegan, gluten-free diet showed improvement.
Foods containing trans fats should be avoided since they can increase inflammation, according to The Arthritis Foundation. Trans fats can be found in processed snacks, fast food, and many stick margarine, as well as cookies, donuts, and crackers, the website said, noting to check ingredient labels for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.