Over 52 million American adults have arthritis. There are many potential courses of treatment. One of them includes eliminating foods that cause joint pain.
But to revise your grocery list, you must understand what inflammatory foods to avoid. Modify your diet accordingly, and you’ll likely experience less joint pain and inflammation.
Below, we’ll explain what foods you should avoid for joint pain. Afterward, you can start a well-rounded treatment plan and an anti-inflammatory whole foods diet to combat inflammation.
Causes of Joint Pain
Numerous conditions can trigger joint pain. Joint pain can occur because of a complication due to an illness. Such illnesses include:
- Broken bones
- Adult Still’s disease
- Bone cancer
- And much more
However, specific populations are at higher risk of arthritis. These populations include:
- Older adults
- Those who have experienced sports injuries
- Obese adults
- Those who inherited illnesses whose symptoms involve joint pain
Joint Pain Complications
Pain in the joints itself can be very debilitating. But the consequences of joint pain can deepen people’s frustration with their symptoms.
Ironically, stress can also trigger joints to inflame, which creates a vicious cycle. Some potential joint pain complications include:
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- Loss of livelihood
- Worsened social life
- Worsened mental health
10 Inflammatory Foods That Affect Joint Pain
Food and joint pain have an inextricably linked relationship. This relationship is mainly due to inflammation.
Below, you’ll see that these foods affect joint pain and have their unique potential to trigger inflammation. Not all healthy diets work the same way for everyone. But after some trial and error, you’re bound to find an ideal diet for your comfort.
1. High Sugar Foods
Certain diabetics are twice as likely to develop arthritis due to high blood sugar. Blood sugar levels that are too high can also produce other illnesses that trigger inflammation. These illnesses may include arterial disease, diabetic neuropathy, and more.
2. Red Meat
Red meat has certain health benefits but is not great for inflammation. That’s because red meat is high in saturated fat, triggering inflammation and worsening joint pain.
Meat can also generally trigger inflammation since protein is difficult to break down. Thus comes the occasional bloating and inflammatory discomfort after eating meat. Nonetheless, red meat poses a much higher risk, so opt for non-red meat if you stay an omnivore.
3. Fried Foods
Saturated fat can trigger inflammation and worsen joint pain. Many fried foods also lack enough omega-3 fatty acids, which would otherwise limit omega-6 fatty acids’ inflammatory ability.
If you love the flavor of fried foods, consider using an air fryer or a standard oven for your treats. Air fryers are particularly perfect for that crispy exterior that’s typically lacking in oven-baked food.
As a depressant, alcohol should technically combat inflammation instead of provoking it. However, it’s also a diuretic. Consequently, it will force the body to shed water and nutrients.
If you drink too much, the alcohol can also wipe the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome, and it will take a while for them to grow back. These bacteria are responsible for happy digestion and can stunt inflammation. But without them, the body can become much better inflamed.
5. Processed Foods
Not all processed foods are the same, but they all tend to have a couple of ingredients in common — refined grains, preservatives, MSG, added sugar, vegetable oils, and much more.
These ingredients might make food very palatable. However, they also increase their risk of inflaming those who eat them.
6. Purine-High Foods
Purine-rich foods can cause gout, a form of arthritis exhibiting intense pain, discomfort, irritation, redness, and tenderness in the joints. This occurs when uric acid, a broken-down form of purine, isn’t correctly passed through the body.
Instead, it builds up in the bloodstream and creates needle-shaped crystals in the joints. Purine-high foods mainly include:
- Organ meats
7. Processed Meats
Processed meats contain nitrites, purines, and saturated fats. All these create an inflammatory cocktail that can seriously risk inflammation.
Remember that processed meats include sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and more. This is partially due to red meats, which contain saturated fats, being often used for these foods.
Lots of food contain MSG, including processed foods. Most people won’t react badly to this ingredient, but it is potentially responsible for provoking inflammation, especially for those at particular risk of arthritis.
The protein casein can trigger joint pain and inflammation. Dairy contains a high level of casein, making many dairy products at increased risk for inflammation.
Many popular dairy foods, such as butter, are also full of saturated fat. Saturated fat itself can also inflame joints. Combined with casein’s effects, there’s double the reason to avoid dairy for joint pain.
10. Allergenic/Intolerant Foods
This might seem like a no-brainer. However, many people aren’t aware of minor food intolerances they may possess. If left unchecked, these stressors can build and provoke bodily inflammatory responses.
Even if you avoid every other food on this list, you may possess unique food intolerances. Perhaps you already know what these foods are. But if you don’t, you could run medical tests to precisely diagnose what foods you’re allergic to or intolerant of.
Foods That Cause Joint Pain — Avoid Them!
Unfortunately, there are a lot of delicious foods that cause joint pain. But eliminating them from your diet and adopting a healthier, more wholesome nutrition plan could help alleviate your joint pain symptoms. Besides, there are a ton of delicious, anti-inflammatory foods you can enjoy instead.
At The Joint Replacement Center of Scottsdale, we understand how debilitating joint pain can be. That’s why we offer some of the best joint pain treatments in Scottsdale, AZ! Contact us today to make your first appointment.