Foods That Are Bad for Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition that causes swelling of the joints. There are several different types of arthritis, such as reactive arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, though all forms are painful. According to the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, over 20 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis and 2 million have rheumatoid arthritis. Since arthritis affects so many people, finding a cure is very important. There is currently no cure for arthritis, but avoiding certain harmful foods may help decrease the pain and inflammation associated with it.

Adding butter can increase arthritic pain. Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Though many people grew up with the habit of buttering everything from biscuits to potatoes and even green vegetables, people with arthritis may benefit by limiting butter intake. The Arthritis Research Campaign states that overweight and obesity worsens arthritis because extra weight puts strain on your joints.

Foods high in fat are often high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Not only is butter high in fat, but butter contains saturated fat, which can increase swelling and pain in the body. Therefore, butter should be avoided by people with arthritis.


Meats such as beef have been linked to increased inflammation and joint pain from arthritis, according to the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. People with arthritis generally experience less pain when they go on a vegetarian diet. Beef also contains saturated fat, which can increase pain.


The Arthritis Research Campaign states that sugary foods like candy should be eaten sparingly by people with arthritis. One reason is that candy contains calories but no fiber or nutrients, so it can lead to weight gain.

Gaining too much weight can worsen the pain for an arthritic person. The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine states that sugary foods such as candy are one of the foods most commonly associated with pain in arthritis patients.


Tomatoes aren't something that most people think would lead to pain. Since tomatoes are a fruit, they do not have any fat or saturated fat. Unfortunately, the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine states that tomatoes are in the nightshade plant group and these plants can be a major trigger for arthritic pain.

Instead of having tomatoes, a person with arthritis should eat other fruits like apples and pears or vegetables like green beans and spinach.

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