What Foods Should I Avoid If I Have Arthritis?

foods to avoid if you have arthritis

Most of us know that eating healthy is something we should do. Eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean sources of protein are important for good health and quality of life.  For those with arthritis, a healthy eating plan can be even more important.  Avoiding certain foods is an important part of that plan– as there are some foods that are thought to cause arthritis symptoms to flare up.  We hope the information in this blog will help answer the question — what foods should I avoid if I have arthritis?

Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes stiffness, tenderness and swelling of the joints. Different types of arthritis include reactive arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine reports that millions of Americans suffer from arthritis and its symptoms. Although prescribed medications can help to treat arthritis pain and inflammation, studies have shown a proper diet can also help remedy symptoms.

Some trigger foods to avoid include:


Even though tomatoes contain minerals and vitamins, they can cause painful symptoms in arthritis patients. For this reason, arthritis sufferers are advised to restrict tomatoes from their diets. Tomatoes are classified as nightshade plants, which have chemical agents that contribute to arthritic inflammation and pain, states the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Other vegetables and fruits like broccoli, spinach and berries are encouraged for arthritis patients.

Citrus Fruits

According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, some arthritis patients who eliminate oranges and other citrus fruits from their diets experience fewer arthritic symptoms. The committee also states that citrus fruits are listed as one of the worst foods for arthritis patients. Although the exact cause of why oranges and other citrus fruits trigger arthritis flare-ups, arthritis sufferers can benefit by eating fruits such as berries and apples.


Dairy products, such as milk products, tend to worsen arthritic symptoms, states the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. For this reason, the organization recommends that arthritis patients choose a vegan diet, which contains no dairy products or meat. Even dairy products with low or reduced fat can trigger inflammation and pain in arthritis patients. According to ArthritisToday.org, arthritis patients normally have high levels of antibodies to milk, which suggest they may have an allergy to milk products. If you encounter severe reactions to dairy products, consult a physician immediately.


Arthritis patients should avoid or limit their consumption of red meats to include beef, pork, organ meat and game meat. Arthritis Today explains that arthritis sufferers typically possess a higher amount of antibodies against red meat in their immune system. This implies that arthritis patients may have a hard time tolerating red meat or may have allergies to it. As a result, this can cause an influx of arthritic symptoms, such as inflammation and pain. The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine notes that low-fat diets are best for arthritis; red meat contains high amounts of unhealthy fat that may contribute to weight increase. Instead, eat cold-water fish such as trout, flounder, salmon and tuna.

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Our blogs are presented for informational purposes only and are not to be considered medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic intervention. We are happy to answer questions or comments pertaining to any products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.

One Response to What Foods Should I Avoid If I Have Arthritis?

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi Gwolfe , I would like to thank you for sharing this post with us, have got irritated of reading about arthritis, same points every where. What i liked about you is ” foods-to-avoid-if-you-have-arthritis”. We needed it, what to eat if we are suffering form such issues.
    Thanks again and to see you soooon.

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