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Managing Arthritis Through Diet

While there are over 100 different types of arthritis, including psoriatic arthritis, the generally accepted definition is that arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints. Common symptoms include swelling, pain and inflammation, and those with psoriatic arthritis also experience red, scaly rashes on their skin.

Certain foods and drinks can enhance inflammation, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen when you have a disease like arthritis. Believe it or not, some foods can trigger arthritis-like symptoms.

5 Drinks to Avoid With Arthritis

If you're struggling with arthritis symptoms, avoid these drinks:

1. Sugary Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices

High sugar content can promote inflammation, which may exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Consuming sugary drinks regularly can also lead to weight gain, putting extra stress on joints.

2. Alcohol

Regular and excessive intake of alcohol can lead to inflammation and have a negative impact on liver function. This can interfere with the effectiveness of some arthritis medications and exacerbate inflammation.

3. Coffee

While coffee has some health benefits, excessive intake might affect bone health and arthritis symptoms due to its caffeine content. Caffeine can increase the amount of calcium that the body excretes, which might weaken bones over time.

4. Energy Drinks

These often contain high levels of caffeine and sugar, which can contribute to increased inflammation and potentially worsen arthritis symptoms.

5. Diet Soda

Although diet sodas are low in calories, they contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which might trigger inflammatory responses in some individuals.

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3 Foods to Avoid Eating With Arthritis

1. Fats and Oils

Fats and oils are a normal part of your diet. However, there are certain types of fats that are simply not good for you and should be avoided if you have arthritis. While you should limit saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, you should completely avoid trans fats. Not only does trans-fat increase bad cholesterol, but it also decreases good cholesterol.

While you can find small amounts of trans fats naturally in certain meats, the worst trans fats can be found in manufactured goods. Common trans-fat foods you should avoid include:

  • Margarine.
  • Fried foods.
  • Pre-packaged baked goods.

It’s best to avoid any type of food with added trans-fat. It simply isn’t good for your body and can make symptoms worse if you have arthritis.

2. Sugars

One of the most common, yet difficult foods that people with arthritis should avoid is excessive sugar. The reason this should be avoided is that high levels of sugar in your body can lead to increased advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). The result? Inflammation. Foods with excessive sugar to avoid include:

  • Candy.
  • Bread.
  • Breakfast cereals.

However, there are many other foods that are high in added sugars, so always be sure to check the ingredient list. Before consumption, take a quick look at how many grams of sugar are added. You can also consider trying sugar alternatives such as:

  • Stevia.
  • Aspartame.
  • Maple syrup.
  • Honey.

3. Salt

If you live with arthritis, then you should absolutely limit your sodium intake. Often, people assume that food must taste ‘salty’ in order for it to have high levels of sodium. However, this is simply not true. Here are a few foods that are actually very high in sodium, and should be avoided:

  • Breakfast cereal.
  • Bagels.
  • Frozen dinners.
  • Processed lunch meats.

Instead of relying on salt for your meals, try out different herbs and spices that will yield delicious flavors.

You can also opt for sodium alternatives such as AlsoSalt Original. If it proves too difficult to avoid sodium in foods, you can reduce your salt intake simply by not keeping a salt shaker around.

Consume a Balanced Diet

It’s important for all people to consume a balanced diet. This means eating plenty of fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Doing so will not only reduce inflammation, but it will help you avoid other serious health conditions that could be complicated even more, especially if you already have arthritis.

Here are a few tips for creating a balanced diet:

  • Keep a food journal to document foods that you eat and the reaction that your body has to them.
  • Track your meals to ensure that you are consuming the proper number of calories.
  • Ensure that you are eating a variety of foods that span all of the food groups.

For more help with creating a healthy diet, you can reach out to your doctor or a nutritionist for additional guidance.


Living with arthritis can be difficult. However, you still have power over your health! Your diet can certainly play a critical role in your overall health, but it can be even more influential if you have arthritis.

You can take control of your health by watching what you eat, being mindful of what foods to avoid with arthritis, and paying close attention to how your body responds to certain foods. If you would like more specialized information regarding your arthritis diagnosis and your diet, then you should consult with your family doctor.

Though arthritis is common among adults, it can happen in children as well.