Do you have arthritis? I’m talking about the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptom is usually stiff pain, which worsens with age.
In 2015, there were an estimated 54 million people diagnosed in the U.S. alone. If you’re among these people, your diet can make all the difference sometimes.
Let’s talk about 9 Foods and Drinks to Avoid If You Have Arthritis. Is cheese one? How about French fries? Would the odd sip of beer hurt me? Wait, pizza? I mean really? We’re talking all that AND more…
Foods with sugar are terrible for those suffering from arthritis. These trigger inflammation.
When you eat pizza, you are getting more than your fair share of carbs. Just a slice of cheese pizza has around 26 grams of carbohydrates. In those carbs, you have around 3 grams of sugar.
Where the real problem lies is the fact that pizza is super cravable. You have to have a lot of self-discipline to eat just one slice in a sitting. It’s pretty common to find yourself eating 5 to 6 slices before you’re full. I don’t know about you, but those are more carbs than I need in a day.
It’s important to note that pizza is really high in salt. That same slice of cheese pizza can hold up to 20% of your daily sodium! All you need to go over your limit is eat five or more.
Think about that the next time you’re at a work party. Researchers say that a diet high in sodium contributes to inflammatory arthritis. For patients, this will set off proteins that inflame the joints, causing further pain and discomfort.
But keep in mind this doesn’t mean you need to cut pizza for the rest of your life. If you’re a pizza lover like me, it’s impossible to resist. If you are going to eat it, go for the thinnest crust you can find. This is so you eat as few carbs as possible.
Whether it’s on your pizza or eaten by itself, cheese is not an ideal food choice for people with arthritis. In fact, dairy products altogether can be dangerous. This goes back to inflammation.
The saturated fats located in these foods release inflammatory particles that worsen your arthritis. Here’s some good news, much like pizza, you don’t have to cut dairy products across the board. Some actually have the opposite effects.
Studies have shown that fermented dairy foods like Greek yogurt actually fight inflammation for people with these problems. If you are someone who has a reaction to regular cow’s milk, you might benefit from this.
3. White Bread
White bread is just another inflammatory food that can do a number on your arthritis. Think about the amount of thick, bready sandwiches you’ve eaten in your lifetime.
Many of us finish white bread and feel bloated and uncomfortable. This is because we are particularly sensitive to the amount of gluten and carbs we’ve just consumed.
Take one slice of white bread for example. It packs over 12 grams of carbs, with a gram of sugar in each slice. This one gram can go a long way. The refined carbohydrates will cause a spike in your blood glucose level. This will increase inflammation in your body.
I’m touching on all the fun foods today, aren’t I? Well, it needs to be said. Red meat is another enemy of your arthritis. It’s high in saturated fats.
The high cholesterol you’re consuming can trigger inflammation. This can make a person with severe arthritis go nuts. A hamburger on a bun counts for 20% of your daily saturated fats.
If the bun you are eating is made out of white bread, you are also taking in a ton of carbs. In many ways, it’s the worst of two worlds. Do you think that’s bad?
A 3 oz serving of ground beef on its own has 32% of your daily saturated fats. The best option is to avoid eating this kind of meat as often as you can. But if you don’t want to pass on a juicy hamburger, try eating it without the bun. This way you are reducing the amount of inflammation your body will go through.
5. Fried Chicken
Let’s talk about AGE’s for a second. This stands for Advanced Glycation End products. These are molecules created through reactions between sugars, proteins, and fats. They exist in uncooked foods that come from animals. High-fat and high-protein meats that are cooked in particular ways are loaded with AGE’s. Fried chicken is one of them.
When you’ve consumed too many AGE’s, your body will see increased inflammation. A combination of oxidative stress and AGE’s is linked to an increase in arthritis.
People with inflammatory arthritis have higher levels of AGE’s in their system than people without it. If you’ve found that eating fried chicken and other animal meats has set off your arthritis, replace it with healthier, cleaner foods. Options include fruits, vegetables and fish.
That’s right. If you can’t eat sugary bread or pizza, what do you think the answer’s going to be to soda.
I’m not going to waste time explaining how much sugar soda holds. You’ve definitely heard that a million times since birth. But believe me when I say that refined sugar can bring on inflammation.
A study from years back focused on 20 people with arthritis. Out of all the things they consumed, soda and sweet desserts caused the highest symptoms of arthritis.
Here’s another drink you should cut back on if you suffer from arthritis. Alcohol of any kind can make your symptoms much worse. Beer is known for its carbs. In fact, that’s why so many people end up staying away from it.
Think of it as drinking bread. The average bottle of beer holds 5% of your daily carbs. Much like pizza, it’s difficult to have just one. We’ve all been to backyard shindigs where the beer-drinking gets out of control.
Studies have shown that people with arthritis in their spinal region are much more likely to feel symptoms when alcohol is part of their regular diet. In fact, beer and other beverages are linked to increased damage to the structure of your spine.
So if you have arthritis, and you’re planning to party some time soon, your beer intake is definitely something to think about. Let’s just say your head will not be the only thing hurting in the morning.
Yup, even relatively healthy foods have made it to the list. Nuts are big on protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Many of them are also really low on calories. The problem lies within omega-3 fatty acids.
These can improve your heart function, lower your blood pressure and provide you with an energy boost. But it’s best to have them in small doses. Omega-3’s can trigger inflammation in your body. You know what this means for arthritis.
Another thing about nuts is their salt content. Unless you’re being careful and reading the label, you don’t always know how salty mixed nuts are. Before you know it, you’ve eaten 20% of your daily value of sodium. Just something to think about the next time you’re watching the Sunday football game.
9. French Fries
We’re not done talking about the fun foods. French fries are one of the more commonly served side items in the world. I can’t think of one fried snack they don’t go with. But fries are filled with both carbs and salt.
Have you ever had Burger King’s fries? Yes, they’re delicious. But just one serving is enough to make an arthritis patient never want to touch them again. A small serving of BK fries holds 44 grams of carbs. That’s 16% of your daily intake. And you better hold onto your seat, because on the sodium front, we’re talking a whopping 480 mg of salt! That’s over 20% of the sodium you need for the day.
And remember that this is only a small order. Now I’m not picking on Burger King. Plenty of other French fries brands are either the same or worse. If you have them with a hamburger and soda, it could spell out even more trouble.