7 Worst Snacks for Joint Pain

Snacks can provide a way to quench hunger or keep you going until you have your next meal. Snacks may also be a way to take in extra nutrients and ensure that the body is ready for activities. For instance, the right snack could create an opportunity to reduce stress, get energized, recover from boredom or possibly fight depression. For some people, snacking at the right time enables them maintain an appropriate body weight. Just as there are good and healthy snacks, there are also bad and unhealthy snacks. There are certain snacks that could adversely affect the body including exacerbating joint pain and inflammation. Thus, when snacking on a food item, it is essential to ensure you are not doing more harm than good. Especially for joint health, the right kind of snack could keep you pain free and agile.

Thus, could that snack you are biting into be the cause of pain in your joints? Have you noticed inflammation flaring up at a time that coincides with when you are consuming a particular kind of snack? Indeed, there can be a link between the foods we eat, including snacks, to various ailments within the body such as joint pain and inflammation. Thus, it is essential that you do your best to avoid these snacks when trying to prevent or tackle joint pain and inflammation. There are a multitude of snacks available in grocery stores and snacks that are advertised on various media channels, with many of these products receiving immense marketing that is targeted at exploiting various soft spots that people have including taste, organic affiliations and healthy living.

However, despite the advertisements, some of these snacks could still be bad for your body. Especially for those who have joint pain such as arthritis, snacking on the wrong type of snack at work or possibly at home could make symptoms become much worse. The ingredients in these “bad” snacks could also cause inflammation to develop and possibly spread or become worse. So, how do people cope, especially in the workplace where snacking on food may be quite common to get people through the day? Also, how to people push past the powerful advertisement and media attention that is given to certain types of snacks which are truly not good for the body? One way to address these issues is to become informed regarding snacks and with such knowledge you will be more readily able to identify what type of snack is best for your joints! To help you identify the snacks that are specifically bad for joint pain and inflammation, the following 7 worst snacks have been described below.

#1 – Sugar Snacks

Snacks that contain processed or refined sugars can be bad for the body. These types of snacks include various kinds of candies, cookies, pastries and biscuits. Sugar-filled, chocolate-covered doughnuts, for instance, can be quite attractive to look at and may also send tempting messages to the brain. However, sugar can be a bad idea for the body especially refined sugars. Similarly, sodas can contain a high amount of these refined issues. For joint pain, these sugars in the body can make the situation worse.


Hence, avoiding refined sugars is advisable. There can be alternatives to processed and the best alternative is the raw form of sugar including organic maple syrup and honey. Sugar-free version of snacks could also be a good idea. However, sometimes, food manufacturers may trade one ingredient for another ingredient that may not do any good to your joints or health in general. Sugar has been known to contribute to various ailments that people encounter. Hence, do pay attention to the ingredients listed on the packing of the snack. The first few ingredients of a food item can tell you a lot about the product [1].

#2 – Chicken Nuggets

It can be great to consume protein and chicken certainly provides you with a good amount of protein. However, chicken nuggets may also come with unwanted ingredients such as saturated fats and high amounts of sodium.

Chicken Nuggets

Four or five pieces of chicken nuggets could easily get you consuming 200 to 250 calories and 2 g to 3.5 g of saturated fat, 400 mg to 700 mg of sodium, depending on the brand of chicken nuggets being consumed. Improved dietary strategies include the reduction of saturated and trans-fats and this could also help tackle inflammation that occurs as a result of unhealthy dietary patterns [2]. High amounts of saturated fats can be detrimental to good joint health.

#3 – Canned Fruit

Yes, fruit can be a healthy snack option. However, do beware of fruit that is bought in cans. The canned fruit option may present convenience but the problem with some types of canned fruit is the use as large amount of sugar to add to the taste of the fruit.

Canned Fruit

Hence, when consuming canned fruit, you may also be taking in additional refined sugars. In essence, you end up eating the not-so-healthy version of fruit. In addition, when food product manufacturers know that sweeteners like processed sugars will be used to sweeten or add flavour to the canned product, these food producers may be less likely to use the high quality fruit in their canned products. Thus, fresh fruits snack options can be the better choice.

#4 – Potato Chips

There are different varieties of chips snacks. We usually see these bags of chips sitting and waiting in grocery stores, all packaged attractively and waiting eager to be picked up by consumers who wait to satisfy their cravings for tasty, salty snacks.

Potato Chips

One thing that this type of snack has in common is the potentially high amounts of calories, high saturated fats and high sodium content in a few ounces of chips. Another major problem with choosing chips as snacks is the fact that these types of snacks are not quite filling. Thus, there is a high likelihood that many people would consume much more of this snack at a given time. Lots of salt may also be used to make potato chips and there any many disadvantages to consuming high amounts of sodium [3].

#5 – Wheat-Based Snacks

People may have intolerance to gluten. Gluten is found in wheat and in some cases, the consumption of snacks that contain gluten could cause allergic reactions to develop. Such reactions could include inflamed joints and pain in various parts of the body.

Gluten sources

Hence, if joint pain and inflammation occurs after consuming snacks made from wheat, you may have a gluten allergy. If you do fall into the category of people of need gluten-free meals, a snack containing gluten would definitely be one of the worst snacks you could eat.

#6 – Frozen Snacks

Snack and food manufacturers have also found ways to market frozen versions of food including frozen sandwiches, pizza, burgers, pastries, fries and much more.

Frozen food

The appeal of frozen snacks is the convenience that these food products may provide. If you are tired from work and do not want to dine outside or simply don’t feel like cooking, frozen snacks may seem like the convenient option. However, this may not be the option that is beneficial to your joints. It can be difficult to find healthy food that is good for joint pain that would also be sold as a frozen snack.

#7 – Cheese and Crackers

Indeed, this may seem like the ultimate healthy snack. However, do beware of the high content of saturated fats that these snack products could contain. In addition, some cheese and cracker products also contain a large amount of sugar.

Cheese and Crackers

Can cheese and crackers still be a great snack? Yes it can, if you are careful to locate versions of this snack that contains healthy amounts of the right type of fat and minimal sodium. You should keep away from the high sodium and high saturated fats versions of snacks that put pressure on your joints and worsen any conditions of arthritis that you may be experiencing.

The wrong kind of snack could increase the likelihood of the occurrence of joint pain and inflammation. Subsequently, inflammation that occurs in the body could lead to various ailments, health hazards and diseases including arthritis, skin problems, allergies, cancer, heart problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, weight gain, the occurrence of tumors, asthma, cancer and other diseases. Some of these ailments such as arthritis affect millions of people worldwide [4]. Eating the wrong types of fats can add unnecessary weight on the joints and puts stress on the tendons and muscles [5]. Foods in their natural, raw and organic state are usually the best option to go with. Such foods like fresh fruit and nuts may contain some sugar and fat. However, foods with these types of raw sugars and omega-3 fats are healthier than the 7 worse snacks mentioned above and consuming these healthier foods could help prevent or reduce inflammation and joint pain such as arthritis from occurring.

Want to learn about the foods to eat when having joint pain? Then check out the Best Foods That Rapidly Slim & Heal In 7 Days program here:

Best Foods That Rapidly Slim & Heal In 7 Days

Rick Kaselj, MS


[1] Best and Worst Snacks in Your Supermarket

[2] The Effects of Diet on Inflammation – PubMed

[3] The Disadvantages of Sodium

[4] Arthritis and Pain – Neurogenic Origins of Joint Pain

[5]Natural Remedies for Joint Pain