10 Foods That Could Worsen Your Arthritis Inflammation

By Kelly Everson
Kelly Everson
Kelly Everson
Kelly Everson is an American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on stretch marks, pregnancy, sleep disorders, female health and joint pain problems. She is also passionate about health, beauty and fitness. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest from 2011. Examiner - 2013 & Healthline - 2014
December 28, 2014 Updated: December 28, 2014

By Kelly Everson, Healing the Body

Understanding the aspects of joint inflammation and a medical condition such as arthritis can be overwhelming for those who experience painful flare-ups and stiffness in their joints. Since there are over one hundred different types of arthritis, or joint inflammation types, understanding the impact of daily dietary choices can help manage and control the severity of symptoms associated with arthritis.

Processed foods contain oils and sugars and refined carbohydrates that result in inflammation of the joints. Avoiding the following foods will help decrease flare-ups and pain in the joints:

  • Processed grains such as white bread
  • Sugary sodas and sports drinks
  • Junk food
  • Foods with high fructose corn syrup ingredients
  • Commercial boxed breakfast cereals
  • Condiments like jams and jellies
  • Juice Concentrates
  • White rice and pasta made from anything other than whole grains
  • Frozen sweets and dessert items
  • Store-bought chips, cookies and crackers

White Bread

Experiencing a reaction such as joint inflammation or an arthritis flare-up is common with the consumption of white bread because it can cause an allergic reaction within the body. Ingredients like milk, egg, yeast and wheat are all common food allergies that trigger a reaction in the body to fight off allergens. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease can also contribute to joint inflammation.

Pop and Sports Drinks

Studies have linked sports drinks and sugary sodas to joint pain and worsening symptoms of arthritis. Ingredients such as color additives and phosphoric acid creates an imbalance of calcium-phosphorus within the body and dissolves calcium from the bones, weakening skeletal structure and causing pain in the joints.

Junk Food

Of the endless reasons to avoid fast-food and junk foods, arthritis inflammation is one of them. Since junk food is tremendously high in trans fats and low in nutritional value they can create painful inflamed joints and result in poor nourishment. Trans fats are scientifically created to extend the shelf-life of foods and are dangerous when consumed in high quantities. 

High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS, or high fructose corn syrup is proven to cause inflammation from its high ratio of fructose because it moves directly into the blood stream and requires zero digestion.

Boxed Cereal

Boxed cereals that contain simple, refined carbohydrates set the body up for inflammation by increasing pro-inflammatory compounds and increasing arthritis progression.


Jellies and jams are high in sugar and fructose content that cause painful joint inflammation when consumed regularly. Such simple sugars make arthritis symptoms worse by spiking blood sugar levels and creating an internal imbalance that is as unhealthy as it is harmful.

Concentrated Juice

While some juices like tart cherry can relieve arthritis pain, many juices contain significantly less water than others making them higher in sugar and harmful to those suffering from severe joint pain.

White-Flour Rice and Pastas

White rice and pastas can make those with arthritis feel increasingly stiff and contribute to arthritis symptoms because of their high sugar and trans fats content.

Frozen Sweets

Joint pain and arthritis inflammation can be caused by consuming frozen soy, and non-dairy dessert additives. These ingredients contain proteins that result in adverse arthritis conditions.

Crackers and Chips

Reducing and preventing painful flare-ups from joint inflammation includes avoiding processed crackers and chips that can trigger joint pain. Fried and processed foods contain chemicals that are damaging to certain proteins throughout the body and that result in higher occurrence of joint inflammation.

The two most prevalent forms of arthritis include RA, rheumatoid arthritis and OA, osteoarthritis. Both conditions cause inflammation of the lining of the joints and result in painful swelling when the bones rub against each other. Since arthritis is a disorder that causes painful inflammation, foods can greatly affect the severity of inflammation. Maintaining proper nutrition is crucial in managing arthritis and decreasing inflammation.

Common arthritis symptoms such as joint stiffness and pain in the joints can be decreased by consuming anti-inflammatory foods. Healthy foods also result in increased energy levels allowing individuals with arthritis to be more active and maintain motion and flexibility through exercise, which is always beneficial for improved health. Making small dietary improvements is the best approach when designing a meal plan that will result in decreased joint inflammation and overall improvement of arthritis symptoms.

*Image of “joints” via Shutterstock