6 foods that worsen osteoarthritis

6 Worst Foods For Osteoarthritis

When the cartilage cushioning your joints are deteriorating faster than they should, you have osteoarthritis. This medical condition manifests in painful swelling of the joints. As a practicing ortho doctor in coimbatore, food habit changes is the first thing I advice all my patients with osteoarthritis.

Because osteoarthritis is considered an inflammatory medical condition, some things can make it even worse. These include certain foods that could further cause inflammation in your body. We’re here to tell you some of the worse foods for osteoarthritis. 

1. Fried food

Fried foods typically involve a lot of oil and fat to cook. These saturated fats are common in the frying of anything from french fries to sweet donuts.

These fats can aggravate inflamed cartilage and worsen your osteoarthritis. They also increase your cholesterol levels.

To avoid the dangers of saturated fats, try baking without oil instead of frying. If you do have to use oil, try a less fatty option such as avocado or olive oil. 

2. Sugar

Sugar is a carbohydrate that can be found in most sweet things. Sugar is used in cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, brownies, cakes, and most other sweet baked goods. Aside from aggravating inflammation, sugar can also interfere with how your body responds to sickness. Because of this, your joints may have difficulty fighting the osteoarthritis.

The good news is there are plenty of things to replace sugar: non-sugar sweeteners, honey, and unsweetened maple syrup.

3. Salt

When a cell is fed a lot of sodium, it can swell even more. Sodium holds more water than usual, so a body saturated with sodium tends to hold water weight. Although your body naturally needs sodium, there is such a thing as too much eating, and one effect is further damage to the joints.

It was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that in the USA, Americans often eat more sodium than is healthy. But just like sugar, other things can help you add flavor to your food. Next time you are craving some flavor, try using black pepper, lemon zest, or even garlic pepper.

4. White flour

White bread, among other foods made from white flour, can aggravate the inflammatory response of your body. Other foods like cereal, pasta, and processed grains can further irritate your osteoarthritis.

The alternative to processed white flour is whole grain. Instead of buying foods that contain processed white flour, buy whole grain wheat foods instead.

5. Dairy

Dairy has been found to have inflammation triggers as well. These can make the pain from your osteoarthritis worse. Research has shown that people who stay away from dairy and similar inflammatory foods tend to experience less pain with their osteoarthritis.

Although it is still completely unsure of the causation between osteoarthritis pain and dairy, there is no harm in trying out a dairy substitute such as almond or soy milk, or even flax milk. You may just find your body having less pain.

The only risk to some of these types of milk is carrageenan, which may cause stomach problems. Some varieties do not contain this substance, so opt for those instead.

Effects of alcohol on osteoarthritis

The general opinion on alcohol and osteoarthritis is that they are not compatible, especially in excess. Alcoholic drinks contain lots of purine, which can cause more inflammation.

6. Omega-6 fatty acids

Some common foods like red meat and egg yolk are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Harvard Medical School reported that eating less of these foods can help keep your osteoarthritis on a down low.

The alternative to omega-6 is omega-3. There are delicious choices with omega-3, such as soy, walnuts, and salmon. These are all good protein sources.


It might seem too restricting to avoid these foods, but it should assure you to know that these avoiding these foods have other health benefits. Removing these from your diet can help you be more fit and even maintain your proper weight.

Losing excess weight can also help your osteoarthritis by relieving strain and pressure on your joints. If you would like to know more, it is best to consult your doctor.



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