These Foods Are Making Your Joints Hurt

3 min read

foods bad for joints

If you’re dealing with arthritis or joint pain, your symptoms are caused by inflammation. Even if you haven’t been officially diagnosed with arthritis, you might notice that some days you seem to move more easily and feel better, while other days you experience twinges of pain or audible clicking and popping of your joints. It may seem unrelated, but those off days can actually be traced back to what you’re eating. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet is one of your best bets for managing joint stiffness, swelling and pain.  

Certain food groups and ingredients are known to increase inflammation in the body and contribute to the development of disease, including arthritis. Eliminating the foods that promote inflammation may help improve the health of your joints.

Here are five of the worst inflammatory foods for joints:


This category includes most desserts, like cake, doughnuts and ice cream. It also includes candy, pastries and soda. These foods tend to be extremely high in sugar, which is known to increase inflammation — especially when consumed in excess. 

Cheeseburgers and pizza pack a double dose of pro-inflammatory foods from the refined carbohydrates in the bun and crust. 

You may think sweets containing artificial sweeteners instead of sugar are a healthier option, but not when it comes to your joints. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, may be perceived as foreign substances by your body and launch an immune system attack that results in – you guessed it – more inflammation.

Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates act like sugar in the body, even though they may not all taste sweet. This category includes “white” starchy foods, such as white rice, bread and pasta. It also includes baked goods made with white flour. Compared with their whole-grain counterparts, these foods don’t contain much fiber or protein to slow digestion, so blood sugar levels and inflammatory markers spike soon after consumption. 

Cheeseburgers and Pizza

Staple foods of the standard American diet, cheeseburgers and pizza are high in saturated fats, which promote inflammation that can be bad for the health of both your joints and heart. Other foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy also tend to be high in saturated fats.

Cheeseburgers and pizza pack a double dose of pro-inflammatory foods from the refined carbohydrates in the bun and crust.

Fried Foods

The trouble with fried foods like French fries and chicken nuggets is the oils they’re cooked in. Most fried foods are prepared in oils containing trans fats or vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fats. Although the body needs some omega-6 fats, most people eat too many in relation to the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. A high omega-6 to low omega-3 intake is one of the main contributors to inflammation among Americans. Eating fewer fried foods can help decrease inflammation levels and keep joints pain-free.

Chips and Snack Foods

Potato chips, tortilla chips and other processed snack foods pack a triple hit of inflammation-promoting ingredients. These snacks are a source of refined carbohydrates, typically made with unhealthy oils, and contain moderate amounts of saturated fat. Minimize your consumption of processed snack foods made with sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oil.

Avoiding inflammation-promoting foods and ingredients can go a long way in protecting and preserving the health of your joints.!

In addition to avoiding the inflammatory foods mentioned above, another way to improve the health of your joints is to add a collagen supplement to your daily diet. By simply adding one scoop of our unflavored Native Origins Collagen Peptides to your favorite beverage or breakfast cereal, you can provide the nourishment your joints need to stay healthy and pain-free. And the additional benefits of healthy skin, hair and nails are a sweet bonus that may make it a little easier to skip the Krispy Kremes.

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