Foods That Cause Inflammation

9 Foods That Cause Inflammation in Joints

One of the most effective ways to fight inflammation is in the refrigerator, not the medication closet. You can reduce the risk of joint inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory meals. While some foods reduce the risk of joint inflammation, some increase it. This guide will explore 9 foods that cause inflammation in joints.

Inflammation is how the body reacts to an injury, allergy, or infection. It’s why a sprained ankle swells and why you have a fever when your body is fighting a virus.


Sometimes the body might perceive certain meals as irritants, such as that sticky molten lava cake.

When the body recognizes food as an irritant, the immune system attacks, resulting in inflammation. Also, eating inflammatory foods often can cause tissue damage and increase your chance of developing various health problems.


Foods That Cause Inflammation

Foods that lack fish, vegetables, and nuts are mostly inflammatory. Below are nine foods that cause inflammation.

1. Fast Food

Fast Food
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Fast Food

Your favorite fast food fries may taste delicious but are known to increase inflammation in the body.

Fried foods have trans fats, which are an inflammation trigger, and a new study published in Environmental Sciences reveals that eating a lot of these foods may create inflammation in the brain, which could lead to anxiety and depression.

Many fast foods are also classified as processed foods, which have been linked to inflammation in studies.


2. Candy

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It will certainly excite your taste buds, but chocolate bars, candies, and other types of sweets are inflammatory sugar bombs.

The research is clear: added sugars cause inflammation in the body, therefore the more you take a sugary treat like candy, the more probable that inflammation will become chronic.

3. Red Meat

 Red Meat
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Red Meat

Red meat has compounds that can trigger inflammation in the body. Also. cooking methods that involve high temperatures, such as grilling and frying, can also lead to inflammation.

Reduce your consumption of red meat and replace it with lean protein sources like fish, poultry, and plant-based options.

4. Excess alcohol

Excess alcohol
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Excess alcohol

Moderate alcohol intake may be advantageous to one’s health. Higher levels, on the other hand, can be extremely challenging.

In one 2010 study, participants who drank alcohol had higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a sign of inflammation. CRP levels were highest in those who drank more than two drinks each day.

People who take a lot of alcohol may experience issues with bacterial toxins traveling out of the intestines and into the body. This disorder, mostly known as “leaky gut,” could cause inflammation.

To minimize alcohol-related health concerns, males should restrict their intake to a maximum of two drinks per day and females to one.

5. Refined carbohydrates

Refined Carbohydrates
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Refined Carbohydrates

Though carbohydrates have received a poor rap, many carbohydrate-rich foods are incredibly nutritious and can be included in a well-balanced diet. Excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, can promote inflammation.

The bulk of fiber in processed carbs has been removed. Fiber makes you feel full, regulates your blood sugar, and feeds the healthy microorganisms in your gut.

According to the researchers, refined carbs in today’s diet may promote the formation of inflammatory gut bacteria, which might increase the likelihood of obesity and intestinal inflammation.

Refined carbohydrates have an increased glycemic index (GI) than raw carbohydrates. Blood sugar levels rise faster in high-GI foods than in low-GI foods.

In one study, kids and teens with cystic fibrosis who observed a low-GI diet for three months saw significant decreases in inflammatory markers when compared to a control group.

Another study found that a low-GI diet could reduce levels of interleukin-6, an inflammation marker, more efficiently than a high-GI diet in persons with diabetes.

Candy, sugary soft drinks, pastries, cookies, pasta, cakes, bread, some cereals, and every other processed meal have added sugar or flour, including refined carbs.

6. Trans Fats

Trans Fats
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Trans Fats

Trans fats are manufactured by chemically changing the structure of unsaturated fats in order to extend the shelf life of processed foods.

However, according to a 2021 study released in Frontiers in Immunology, trans fats are much more damaging to the body than the saturated fat found in butter and red meat.

This is mostly due to the inflammatory response they cause in the body, which has been related to chronic disorders such as diabetes and heart disease.


7. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial Sweeteners
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Artificial Sweeteners

Though the Food and Drug Administration considers all artificial sweeteners to be largely safe, the majority of those used in restaurants and food items are sweet-tasting artificial chemical compounds such as aspartame and saccharine.

And if there is already some low-level inflammation, the body may regard these alien bodies or irritants as foreign bodies or irritants.

8. Soda

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Sugar-sweetened beverages pack a double punch: Sugar combined with sodium benzoate, a preservative that has been linked to impaired motor function and increased anxiety.

Artificial sweeteners like sucralose and saccharine increase the risk of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, according to Kirshner.

9. High Omega-6s (And less Omega-3s)

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High Omega-6s

Most people associate “healthy” fats with mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are composed of differing amounts of fatty acids, the most important of which are omega-6s and omega-3s.

According to a 2021 study released in the Journal of Lipids, most Americans consume much too many omega-6 fatty acids, owing to the widespread usage of vegetable oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower in processed and fast meals.

And it appears that we are ingesting much too few omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory giants. The net result is an imbalance that could lead to low-grade systemic inflammation.


While joint inflammation can have various causes, making mindful dietary choices is a proactive step in managing discomfort and supporting joint health.

By avoiding or limiting foods that cause inflammation, you can help reduce joint-related issues and improve your overall well-being.