Food to Avoid and RA

Posted on June 06, 2019

Foods to Avoid and RA

Conversations about diet and which foods to avoid are a constant on myRAteam. The general recommendation for people with RA is a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and unsaturated fat. Some members report a marked improvement in symptoms when they cut certain foods from their diets, while others don’t find a connection between diet and well-being.

“Diet is crucial for me and has helped me go into remission,” a myRAteam member commented. “If I cheat I can feel it for days and sometimes weeks.”

Another member reported the opposite experience, ”I have never been able to determine that eliminating certain foods has had any impact on my RA.”

Members on myRAteam frequently discuss cutting gluten, sugar, dairy, MSG, certain oils, and processed foods from their diets. These foods correspond to the Arthritis Foundation’s list of foods to avoid and limit.

“I have directly noticed pain spikes when eating too much sugar,” a member wrote.

“I have found that gluten can cause flares for me,” another member added.

Some members adopt a highly vigilant approach to their diets - “I get produce straight from the farm. I make all my food from scratch. I even make my own yogurt. This way I know exactly what is in the food I eat.” Others are more relaxed: “I think everything in moderation is the way to go.”

Ultimately, there is no one right answer for everyone with RA. When it comes to questions of diet, one member wrote, “The short answer is ‘it's complicated.’”

On myRAteam, the social network and online support group for those living with rheumatoid arthritis, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Diet and foods to avoid are one of the most discussed topics.

Here are some question-and-answer threads about diet and foods to avoid:

Here are some conversations about diet and foods to avoid:

Are there certain foods that exacerbate your symptoms? Does avoiding any foods improve the way you feel? Share your experiences in the comments below or directly on myRAteam.

A myRAteam Member said:

Just reporting what works for me.
Quit sugar.. sugar causes flares but don’t make life miserable occasional sugar won't kill you.
Any food… read more

posted 7 days ago


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