Can Eating Meat Cause Joint Pain?

Are you suffering from joint pain? Are you a nonvegetarian who is extremely fond of eating meat? If yes, then it is for sure you must have been advised by someone or the other to keep a check on your eating habits and choices. Well! Here the real fact comes is there is no particular food which is the root cause of the joint pain though the overall diet which one takes can contribute in together for the pain in joints, especially with arthritic conditions. It is known that eating meat aggravates the joint pain, but again taking meat in diet is not the sole cause of arthritis or joint pain in arthritis. In this current article we will discuss on some of the conditions where one can encounter joint pain after eating meat and why does eating meat cause joint pain and replacement diet for red meat to avoid getting joint pain.

Can Eating Meat Cause Joint Pain

Statistics and Studies About Joint Pain and Related Foods:

It is studied that about 30% of Americans complained about joint pain or stiffness in joints during the year 2006 and the most common cause leading to the joint pain was known to be arthritis. Now as mentioned in the very beginning of the article, there is no special type of food which is known to be the cause of chronic joint inflammation or the cause of severe joint pain in arthritis. However foods like red meat, tomatoes, citrus fruits, dairy products, foods containing more of sugar and salt contribute to the joint pain in arthritis patients which was explained in a health survey during the year 1989. There are also studies done during the year 2002 which reflected that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the foods with low fat vegan diet etc fairly reduces the symptoms of joint pain in arthritis.

Why Does Consuming Meat Cause Joint Pain?

There is a loud noise that meat causes joint pain. But taking a deeper thought on what actually makes the meat cause or aggravate the joint pain; here we can come up with a list mentioned below.

  • Purine Content in Meat: Meat contains an adequate amount of purine level in it which is known to be one of the major causes of aggravating joint pain, especially in patients with arthritis. When a body intakes food with more of purine contents, it is known to release uric acid as its waste product. It is known that an excessive deposit of uric acid in a single joint leads to a severe painful condition of the joint called the gout or a particular form of arthritis.
  • Unhealthy Fats in Meat: It is known that the unhealthy fats present in the meat causes the joint pain on a greater account than the meat itself in particular.
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Meat: The omega-6 fatty acids contained in the meat are known to enhance the inflammation and thus can be a causative agent for joint pain. About 70% of our immune cells are known to lie in the digestive system which comes in direct contact with the food we consume. In case our food has any kind of inflammatory source, it would further trigger the immune system and lead to a seriously alarming inflammation. Thus, there are chances that meat can cause more of the joint pain which is a result of inflammation in patients already suffering from gout or any injury in joints.

Conditions When Eating Meat Can Cause Joint Pain:

As explained above, eating meat can cause joint pain in some persons. This section will talk about the various conditions that can cause joint pain after eating meat.

  1. Gout: Eating red meat can immediately cause joint pain in patients suffering from Gout, which is known to be an extremely painful form of arthritis. Gout is a condition which occurs with excessive level of uric ac id which form crystals and gather in any particular joint. Foods rich in excessive purine content have greater chance of growing gout. It is known that red meat contain comparatively greater purine content than any other food. It is explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine that such foods can aggravate the existing joint pain of gout.
  2. Injured Joint: There is one chief phase when a person might experience a gradual joint pain by eating meat, and that is when he or she has an injured joint. Such patients with a noted injury in any joint from before might experience a pain in joint by eating fatty meats which are more known as the inflammatory foods and can increase inflammation leading to further more joint pain or the symptoms of gout.
  3. Regular Diet Comprising Only Meat: It is seen that most people who have craze for eating meat or who eat more of meat in the diet, have very less room reserved for eating any other food type which might include diets rich in omega-3 or the low fat diets which can reduce joint pain. 

Replacement of Red Meat in Diet To Avoid Joint Pain

Now, if you are someone who cannot resist diet without non vegetarian foods or who cannot rely on complete vegetarian food then all you can do is go for a replacement to the red meat with the skinless chicken, lean pork, extra lean ground beef etc; which has comparatively low fat contents than the red meat.


So, now it is clear that eating meat in particular and avoiding vegan foods or the foods containing low fats or omega-3 fatty acids may cause joint pain or may aggravate an already existing joint pain. If you are actually particular about the pain in your joints and want to free your joints from the painful phases, then all you can do is keep a check on your dietary habits and go for a healthy food plan containing less amount of meat or the meat rich in unhealthy fats, omega-6 fatty acids, purines etc and adopt more of omega-3 fatty acids and low fat containing foods like most vegan foods, certain cold water fishes, walnuts, flax seeds etc. One more important thing to keep in mind is to try and cook with olive oil which is known to be anti-inflammatory oil and thus contributes greatly in reducing inflammation like the joint pain.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 11, 2019

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