Changes to Your Diet That May Help Ease Your Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. This condition occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's healthy cells. This attack causes pain and joint inflammation.

A rheumatologist treats arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Along with following your doctor's course of treatment and necessary medications, avoiding these inflammatory foods can also help ease symptoms and pain.

Processed Foods

Research links red meats and processed foods with an increase in inflammation in the body. People who eat a plant-based diet often report improvement in their arthritis symptoms.

Other highly processed foods are also considered to increase inflammation in the body. Some examples include fast foods, baked goods, breakfast cereals, and frozen meals. These foods are high in preservatives and refined grains that can worsen arthritis pain and inflammation.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Studies show a link between eating gluten-contained foods and increased inflammation, so cutting back on, or out, these foods may help: bread, baked goods, some cereals, and gravies and sauces. Gluten often hides in foods that you wouldn't think would contain it, like meat substitutes, chips, oats and even medications. If you want to avoid gluten, be sure to read the ingredients carefully.

Certain Oils

While some oils are essential for good health, others may worsen arthritis symptoms. Two fats your body needs for good health but can cause problems in the wrong quantities are omega-6 and omega-3 fats. To help reduce inflammation, reduce the number of foods rich in omega-6 fats and increase your foods containing omega-3 fats. Foods to avoid include vegetable oils. Increase your intake of fatty fish that contain essential fats.


Studies are ongoing to determine how alcohol affects those with autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. However currently, studies how increased alcohol intake may increase the severity of arthritis symptoms, including gout.

High Salt And Sugar Foods

Too much salt is not good for people in general, but studies show that cutting back can also help those with arthritis. Studies suggest low-salt diets can decrease the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

Not only does reducing your salt intake lead to lower inflammatory markers, but research also shows that too many salty foods can increase a person's risk of developing arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

Sugar is another ingredient in many of the foods we eat. Studies suggest too much sugar worsens rheumatoid arthritis. Sugar also puts people at a higher risk for autoimmune diseases.

For more personalized information, contact a local rheumatologist