List of Foods That Cause Inflammation

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Top 4: List of Foods That Cause Inflammation in Joints!


When it comes to fighting inflammation, you’ve tried it all:

Yoga, running, making changes to your diet.

So why do you still experience pain in your joints and muscles?

Well, the problem could lie not with what you’re putting into your body but what you need to keep out of it!

To help you, we’ve put together a top 4 list of foods that cause inflammation in joints that you need to stay away from!

But first:

Why would your diet be the culprit?


How Do Omega-6 Foods Cause Chronic Inflammation?

You can think of normal acute inflammation like your body’s guard dog:

A thief breaks in (i.e. you injure yourself, consume something you’re allergic to, or become ill) and the guard dog (inflammation) alerts you to its presence. With time, your immune system will usually take care of the threat and calm the ‘dog’ down, thus reducing the inflammation.

But with chronic inflammation, your body’s guard dog is in a state of constant alert, which leads to the things you’re used to experiencing like aches, pains, and digestive problems. You may have trouble sleeping or notice rashes and other skin issues pop up.

And the cause?  Common foods with omega-6 fatty acids that sneak onto your shelves and into your diet!

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the list below, remember to check out the best healthy snacks for arthritis inflammation so you know what to replace them with next time you’re at the grocery store (hint: many contain omega-3’s instead!)


1. Refined Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners

You probably could’ve guessed the first one:

A diet high in refined sugars-like those found in soda, candy, and baked treats like donuts-may cause an inflammatory response (remember the guard dog) due to activation of your immune system.  Scientists think this is because your body is producing too many ‘proinflammatory cytokines’ and not enough ‘anti-inflammatory cytokines’.

So, you’ll cut these out of your diet and go with artificial sweeteners, right?

This soda says it’s calorie free!  This juice has no sugar added! They must be healthy!

Actually, artificial sweeteners are no better!  Studies suggest that they decrease our body’s ability to tolerate and process glucose, which produces the same pro-inflammatory cytokines mentioned above.

Looking for a general rule of thumb when it comes to sugars?

Stick to consuming sugar in it’s natural form if you’re craving something sweet, like a piece of fruit, and cut out the rest!

2. Back off on the Booze

Consuming too much alcohol might seem to increase your enjoyment of an event, but it definitely does not increase your body’s ability to fight inflammation.  The toxins released as your body breaks down alcohol can weaken your immune system’s ability to calm the inflammation.

But there’s good news for those who like to enjoy a glass of wine or beer:

Balance is key when it comes to alcohol!  

Science encourages the consumption of a small amount of alcohol, as the antioxidants in wine and probiotics in beer can both enhance gut health and reduce inflammation in the body.


3. Vegetable Oils (i.e. oils that are NOT olive oil)

Let me repeat: these vegetable oils like soy, palm, and sunflower are not like olive oil.

You see, food manufacturers started replacing horrible trans fats with vegetable oils, but these still have a disproportionate amount of omega-6 fatty acids versus the healthy omega-3’s found in ingredients like the New Zealand olive oil we use in our supplements here at GLX3.  

Omega-6 fatty acids (the intruder) trigger an inflammatory response (one more time: the guard dog) within your body and cause pain and discomfort in your joints. These oils are so pervasive in a modern Western diet that studies show a contemporary ratio of unhealthy omega-6 to healthy omega-3 fatty acids as 17:1 or higher when it sat as a balanced 1:1 during evolution!

Luckily, this is easily fixed:

Just stop using vegetable oils and switch to olive oil while improving your diet by taking supplements that use natural omega-3-rich ingredients like we do at GLX3!


4. Dairy Products (Yes, that means ice cream!)

The fourth culprit on our list of foods that cause inflammation in joints is an entire group of foods found in almost every household.  We’re talking about dairy products, and this includes everything from cheese and butter to yogurt and (sadly) ice cream.

Now, it’s true that some yogurts with live probiotic cultures may help enhance gut functions and immune system health.  But you really have to watch out for inflammation-inducing saturated fats and added sugars that are common not only in many popular yogurt brands but dairy products in general.

And if you’re worried about consuming enough calcium or protein, just look at vegetable and nut options instead.  There are even plat-based foods with more protein and calcium per serving than milk!


Watch Your Diet: Avoid These Foods that Make Arthritis Worse

As you’ve seen from the list, it’s not always about what you should do with your body but what you shouldn’t do. If you have arthritis, cut out foods that cause inflammation in joints-they’re high in omega-6 fatty acids and other proinflammatory components-and remember that a number of healthier options full of omega-3’s exist to take their place!

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