Skip to Content

Rheumatoid arthritis: Can diet affect symptoms?

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.

Last updated: November 25th, 2014

© 1998-2017 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use