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12 Foods to Avoid When You Have Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation in a joint that causes pain or stiffness.

It is an umbrella term used to describe multiple conditions, including osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriatic arthritis. They all affect a joint or the tissues around the joint.1

The amount of inflammation you have is affected by many factors, such as diet, activity level, hydration, illness, smoking, and alcohol intake.

Diets high in fat, sugar, refined grains, and salt have been associated with increased inflammation. This could worsen your arthritis symptoms.

This article discusses 12 foods and drinks you may want to avoid when you have arthritis, as well as simple changes you can make to reduce the amount of inflammation in your body.

Red Meat

Red meats are higher in fat—particularly saturated fat—than white meats or plant-based protein. Research studies have associated red meat intake with increased levels of inflammation, which may worsen swelling in the joints and arthritis symptoms.

One study found that substituting red meat with a serving of chicken, fish, legumes, or nuts was associated with lower inflammatory biomarkers.