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I have heard that eating meat increases inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis, is this true?

Smartliving Guest asked this
November 11, 2011 at 8:22 AM



There are many people who might benefit by modifying their fat intake away from animal fats.

Saturated fats can increase inflammation in the body (inflammation is something you would want to avoid if you have rheumatoid arthritis). Foods high in saturated fats include: Junk food, animal products like bacon, steak, butter, and cream. Saturated fats can cause a release of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are what aspirin and ibuprofen fight against. Eliminating these prostaglandins are why some people with rheumatoid arthritis benefit from a vegetarian diet.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then it might be worth it to try a vegetarian diet for a month and see if it improves your symptoms. Right now, I’m in the process of writing an article on my elimination diet. This elimination diet has the potential to benefit a lot of people with rheumatoid arthritis. I’ll post something about it when it is finished.

Stay Healthy

Dr. Jeff M.D.

Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD Health Coach answered
November 11, 2011 at 8:22 AM

This is a great question!

In 2010 authors of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (J Am Diet Assoc. 2010; 110:727-735) reviewed data from previous studies on arthritis. They concluded there is not yet enough evidence to scientifically confirm the healing effects of diet on arthritis. However, authors did find other relevant data from previous clinical trials. They were able to document a link associated with a vegetarian or Mediterranean diet and reduction in pain. When followed correctly, a vegetarian diet is overflowing with antioxidants in the form of whole grains, bright produce, dark leafy greens, beans, nuts and seeds. The Mediterranean diet tops those healthy foods off with a touch of fatty fish and olive oil – all helping your body defend itself against inflammation. Note I did NOT mention red meat, fried food or sugary beverages. These have been found to increase inflammation.

If you would like to learn more about some of the foods that are believed to help reduce your risk of inflammation and arthritis, I encourage you to read this blog on this very topic:

In good health, Jessica Corwin, RD

Jessica Corwin MPH RDN Health Coach answered
November 21, 2011 at 10:26 AM

It might seem like a pain to do, it is better to protect your children now, then wait until something bad

Collin answered
November 22, 2011 at 1:17 AM


I encourage you to help your children become open to a variety of tastes, flavors, and foods. You have the opportunity to introduce them to the rainbow of produce (leafy greens, berries, oranges, purple cauliflower, etc.), whole grains (oatmeal, cereals, breads, pasta, quinoa, etc.), dairy (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.), lean proteins (poultry, fish, and lean cuts of red meat), and also nuts and seeds.

It may take one-dozen tries for your child to taste a new food and like it, but the point is that you are role-modeling a healthy eating behavior and they are learning...

If you instead try to keep your children from eating any certain foods, then they may be more likely to desire those foods in the future. I think it is best to provide a balanced diet. If you are following the Mediterranean approach to eating, that may translate to having red meat only 1-2 times each month - certainly a moderate amount. Your body will thank you, as will your children when they are older.

Variety is the spice of life!


Jessica Corwin MPH RDN Health Coach answered
November 22, 2011 at 6:42 AM
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NutritionRheumatoid Arthritis

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