What foods are not good for arthritis?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What foods are not good for arthritis?” We will also discuss if dairy products are good for arthritis and how we can lower the risk of arthritis.

What foods are not good for arthritis?

Foods that contain a lot of inflammatory fats, sugars, gluten, and salt are not good for arthritis. If you are an arthritis patient, you should avoid these kinds of food at all costs. 

Here are some of the food categories that are not good for arthritis:

Foods high in gluten

Gluten refers to the proteins found in whole grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Many studies have linked high gluten to increased inflammation. 

Studies have also shown that consuming gluten-free foods may help with arthritic symptoms by reducing inflammation. Gluten can be lethal for your health if you’re suffering from arthritis.

Inflammatory fats

Inflammatory fats include omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats, and trans fats, all of which can have derogatory effects on arthritis patients. 

Foods under these categories can raise inflammation levels which is not good for arthritis. The foods that come under these categories that you should avoid are:

  • Omega 6 fatty acids: Oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • Saturated fat: Meat, butter, ghee, sausage, bacon, coconut oil, palm oil, cheese, etc.
  • Trans fats: baked foods like cakes and cookies, fried foods, frozen foods, etc.

Food high in sugar

Individuals that have a habit of eating too many sugar-containing foods and beverages and added sugars have a higher risk of arthritis. 

It can also worsen the condition in arthritis patients.

Excess sugar consumption also increases the risk of heart disease, inflammation, and other chronic diseases.

Food high in salt

High sodium intake may be a risk factor for different types of arthritis diseases. Consuming high salt content can do you no good in any aspect so it’s best to cut back on salt if you don’t want your arthritis to get worse.

Processed foods

Processed foods contain a high amount of salt, refined grains, added sugar, preservatives, and other potentially inflammatory ingredients in them which can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. Processed meat items, especially red meat can cause serious damage to arthritis patients.

They can make your arthritis worse by contributing to inflammation and risk factors like obesity.

Furthermore, it also increases the risk of other harmful diseases.

Nightshade vegetables

They are the vegetables from the family Solanaceae that contain the compound called solanine. It is not that the compound can trigger arthritis, at least this statement is yet to be proved, but eliminating these vegetables from the diet of arthritis patients helped to manage the symptoms of arthritis.

Some of the nightshade vegetables are tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, eggplant, and potatoes.

Food high in purines

Purines are dietary substances that the body turns into uric acid. Arthritis attacks are caused by uric acid buildup in the circulation. Some of the food categories that are high in purines are:

  • Red meat
  • Organ meat, such as liver
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Ham and bacon
  • Seafood like mussels and scallops

Are dairy products good for arthritis?

No, dairy products are not good for arthritis. In fact, consuming dairy products can be lethal for arthritis patients as it increases inflammation in the joints. The compound responsible for this inflammation is called casein which is present in most dairy products. 

Although dairy products are high in protein, they are also high in saturated fats which can cause inflammation. Saturated fats can cause inflammation, increase uric acid levels, and contribute to weight gain. Hence, consuming dairy products regularly can be bad for your rheumatoid arthritis.

What can we do to lower the risk of arthritis?

  • Losing excess fat from your body can help you lower the risk of arthritis as obesity is one of the risk factors for arthritis.
  • Avoid foods that can trigger arthritis.
  • Eating a few garlic cloves before going to bed can also help.
  • Get involved in some kind of physical activities like running, exercising, yoga, or sports.
  • Consume foods that are high in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Find some of the foods high in omega-3 fatty acids here.
  • Consume more citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “What foods are not good for arthritis?” We have also discussed if dairy products are good for arthritis and how we can lower the risk of arthritis.




Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.