Arthritis can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable condition to have, and this is especially true when your symptoms start to flare up. While there are many things that can contribute to flare-ups, your daily diet may be one of the most important factors.
“People who suffer from arthritis live with the body in an inflammatory state,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSA, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our expert medical board, “so it’s important to note that there isn’t one food or drink that causes arthritis or arthritis flare-ups. It’s more about your overall diet and the foods you eat.” eat regularly.”
And according to Goodson, one of the worst eating habits for arthritis symptoms is to eat refined or processed sugars on a regular basis.
“Refined or processed sugars top the charts when it comes to inflammation,” Goodson says. “Processed sugars can trigger the release of cytokines, which act as inflammatory messengers in the body. So if eaten regularly, it can worsen inflammation or arthritis symptoms.”
Read on to learn more about how sugar can trigger inflammatory responses for people with arthritis, and for more healthy eating tips, check out 4 Subtle Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar, Dietitians Say.
According to a study by the American College of Rheumatologyfoods like spinach and blueberries have been reported to help relieve symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis, while sugary things like sodas and candies worsen flare-up symptoms.
Unfortunately, eliminating sugar completely from your diet isn’t always an easy task. “The challenge is that processed sugars are found in so many places, from cookies and pastries, to sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and premium coffee drinks, to breakfast bars and snacks, and often even found in a variety of cooked dishes and sauces,” Goodson says.
Fortunately, you have to say goodbye to sugar forever.
“If you have arthritis, does that mean you should never eat sugar? No, but it does mean that you should limit your intake of added sugars and put the predominant focus in your diet on nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables “When sugar shows up here and there in a nutrient-dense diet, it usually doesn’t have the same effect as eating it at almost all meals and snacks,” Goodson says.