Diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats might help reduce symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
But the research studies supporting this benefit have depended on the test subjects' memories of what they had eaten, which could be faulty. And this type of diet often results in weight loss, which can independently reduce stress on joints and improve arthritis symptoms.
Some people have also tried eliminating certain foods from their diets — such as wheat, bacon or pork, milk, rye, beef, or coffee. But the benefits of this practice have been difficult to quantify scientifically.
Avoiding certain foods that seem to worsen your symptoms may be worth trying, but don't exclude whole food groups or large numbers of foods without consulting a registered dietitian or your doctor.
Nov. 25, 2014
- O'Connor A. An overview of the role of diet in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition Bulletin. 2013;39:74.
- Li S, et al. Role of diet in rheumatic disease. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2011;37:119.
- Hagen KB, et al. Dietary interventions for rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006400.pub2/abstract. Accessed Oct. 30, 2014.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. Nov. 7, 2014.