Five Foods to Avoid with Arthritis - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett



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There are many foods which are said to help arthritic conditions or boost your immune system helping it to battle inflammation and pain. There are also many foods which should be avoided for the benefit of your joints and to ease the pain of your condition. Here are just five to try and avoid:

Red Meat

The majority of red meat cuts have high levels of saturated fat. This is known to exacerbate inflammation and contributes to weight gain and obesity. Red meat also has high volumes of omega-6 fatty acids which can also contribute to inflammation if you have to many of them. Lean cuts of red meat are recommended although some people choose to give it up altogether.

Refined Sugar and Flour

Spikes in blood sugar levels lead to your body producing pro-inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. They can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Simple carbohydrates such as sugary snacks, drinks, white pasta and bread often lead to these sugar level spikes.


While the effect alcohol has on arthritis isn’t clear cut, it is considered a simple carbohydrate so can impact on the growth of cytokines, just like refined sugar and flour. Too much alcohol can also lead to other health conditions. Similarly, a spike in the body’s C-reactive protein, known as a powerful signal of inflammation.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are not a healthy element of any balanced diet. They are particularly damaging if you have an arthritis condition. Research has found that cutting out fried foods, which contain toxins called advanced glycation end products, can see a reduction in arthritis inflammation and pain.


Gluten only contributes to inflammation in some people. The effect is much higher if you live with a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or coeliac disease. Many people try gluten free diets and find they have many health benefits, not just for their arthritic symptoms