That's because sugary, high fat and processed foods are known to promote inflammation and can cause painful flares, whereas many whole foods and whole grains, especially those high in fiber, have been shown to lower inflammation. Still, it's not always so simple. Several healthy foods, including whole-grain and dairy products, as well as nightshade vegetables including potatoes and eggplants, seem to trigger arthritis symptoms in some people – even though studies show these types of foods are good choices for most people with arthritis.  

Dr. Ogdie-Beatty says reactions to so-called "trigger foods" are highly individual; for one of her patients, chocolate was a even trigger.

Good for Your Knees and Your Wardrobe

By eating a healthier diet, you're also more likely to lose weight. That's good news for your joints, not just your wardrobe. A study in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that among overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis, each pound shed resulted in a four-fold reduction in the load exerted on the knee. Translation: if you're overweight, losing one pound would take four pounds of pressure off your knees. 

And because fat cells can produce cytokines – proteins that promote inflammation – losing weight helps decrease inflammation in your body.

Foods to Avoid With Gout

The exception here may be gout. In general, people with gout should avoid large amounts of beer, red meat, shellfish and other foods high in purines, which can cause uric acid buildup – and painful symptoms. 

One large study also found that fructose, a sugar in soft drinks, fruit juice and fruits such as apples and oranges, can spike the risk of gout. Those who drank two or more servings of a sugar-sweetened drink a day were 85 percent more likely to develop gout than people who had fewer than one a month, according to a study in the British Medical Journal.

To feel your best, whatever type of arthritis you have, Dr. Ogdie-Beatty has this simple, sound advice for self-management: eat heathy, get regular exercise and maintain a normal body weight. 

Learn about the ultimate Arthritis Diet

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