Foods that People with OA Need to Avoid

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Foods that People with OA Need to Avoid

OA patients should not only eat healthy, nutritious meals, but also avoid certain foods that have an adverse effect on them. This blog lists down what foods people with OA must avoid.

Foods that People with OA Need to Avoid

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an illness of the joints whose main symptoms are stiffness and pain in the knee, hip and spine, the first two being the most common forms. While older adults are generally more likely to be affected by OA, younger individuals with a history of injuries and obesity may also develop hip and knee OA. 

Foods recommended for people with OA are those with high anti-inflammatory properties and capable of improving bone strength. Doctors also advise eating healthy low-fat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin C, D, E, K, fibres, magnesium, oleocanthal, phytochemicals, antioxidants, polyphenols, and at the same time low in cholesterol. Sardine, mackerel, salmon, tuna, fish oil, walnuts, virgin olive oil (extracted without using either chemicals or heat), safflower oil, avocado, milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, spinach, kale (leaf cabbage), Swiss chard, green tea, garlic, and various nuts are considered good for OA diet. 

Always consult your doctor or dietician, to work on the best Diet plan, that’s suitable for you.

While the above foods help promote patients’ wellbeing, there are others that might do just the opposite. The following are some of the foods that are meant to be avoided by people with OA, since these might trigger inflammation as well as give rise to other chronic conditions like obesity: 

1) Sugar

Intake of free sugar (which is added by manufacturers to packaged food and beverages as different from sugars that are naturally present in fruits and vegetables) can lead to obesity, which could, in turn, increase the load on the affected joints. Obese individuals (BMI 30.0 or higher) are up to 80 times more likely to get type 2 diabetes versus those with “normal” weight (BMI 18.5 to <25). Besides, free sugar triggers the release of cytokines that can intensify OA inflammation.  


2) Meats


The extra fat, especially in grilled or fried meat, causes the body to produce cytokines (small proteins), which can alter the way cells in the cartilage, covering the ends of bones, work and worsen inflammation. Meat in the diet is also a significant contributor to excess body fat, increasing the risk of other health problems like heart disease. 

We recommend that you consult your doctor or dietician, to plan out the most effective Diet plan, that suits your needs.

3) Refined Carbohydrates

Research studies show that refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, pasta and cereals that contain very few nutrients might, in fact, be proinflammatory. This fuels the production of advanced glycation end oxidants (AGE), resulting in stiffening of the cartilage in the joints and increased OA inflammation. 

Refind Carbohydrates

4) Salt


Most canned foods and restaurant foods contain excess sodium that works much like a sponge to retain water in the joints, thereby damaging the joints and causing additional pain. Besides, a high salt diet can elevate the risk of high blood pressure, leading to stroke, kidney damage, or heart attack. 

Ensure to discuss any diet changes with your doctor or dietician, in advance, to plan out the diet that works best for your medical condition.  

5) Alcohol

Alcohol might interfere with the action of OA medication. Besides, excessive drinking is linked to various cancers, diabetes, and stroke. The breakdown of purines in alcohol, especially beer, by the body, results in high uric acid levels, a scenario that might aggravate the OA condition.  


6) Tobacco


Smoking is associated with cartilage loss or damage in the joints, which is the reason that many smokers experience increased OA pain. Smoking increases the level of carbon monoxide and toxins in the blood, leading to cartilage loss and delays to cartilage repair.

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