If you wanted to know which foods can trigger joint pain, the simple answer is to throw away all the prepackaged, processed and refined foods!
Why not the prepackaged, processed and refined foods? This is because they contained partially hydrogenated oils that are known as trans fats that can trigger the release of cytokines (note: a type of protein that can cause white blood cells to attack healthy tissue) causing inflammation response and stir up swelling. Avoiding the processed and refined foods also mean that we do not take in extra omega-6s fatty acids that our body needs. It is suggested to stay away from the refined vegetable oils such as corn, safflower and cotton cottonseed and commercially fried foods due to the low quality oils that were usually used. In fact, studies have shown that the global inflammation trend in women is positively related to the intake of trans fats (reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
Another useful way to know your joint pain “trigger foods” is through a dietary elimination approach. For instance, some people have noted that after consuming tomatoes, refined wheat and sugar, their knee pain was aggravated. If so, you may want to avoid these common culprits that can trigger joint pain and set off inflammation in your body. Some of these sensitive foods included gluten and casein (proteins that are found in wheat and dairy) and additives such as MSG and aspartame.
Another reason to avoid prepackaged foods (including drinks) is that the basic sugars and glucose from the processed sugars that were broken down by the body digestive system can cause the pancreas to release insulin. Research has shown that high level of glucose is no good as it triggers the body cells in the damaged tissue to release nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB), a type of protein that causes white blood cells to attack healthy tissue resulted in further joints inflammation and pain.
We should also be mindful to consume highly processed foods such as white bread and white rice, cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and cakes. Unlike fiber, the chemical structure of these highly processed foods is weak and can quickly be broken down into glucose once ingested thus triggers the joint pain inflammatory response.
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich