Foods Items To Avoid If You Are Dealing With Chronic Pain

Posted May 8, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

Chronic pain is not life-threatening, but it can take a toll on life. Any kind of pain, be it neck pain, shoulder pain, or back pain, can ruin the quality of life by interfering with day-to-day activities. Although the underlying causes, intensity, and effects of chronic pain are different for every person, avoiding certain food items can cause relief in one and all. 

Listed below are the foods to avoid if you are dealing with chronic pain:

A latte with latte art and tiramisu on a grey table next to lime and mint leaves.


High levels of insulin in the body are connected to pain and inflammation. High sugar intake enhances insulin levels, exacerbating chronic pain. 

As today, every food contains sugar in some amount, it might get difficult for you to keep a check on your sugar intake. Consume food only after gathering its nutritional information. Apart from the common sugar-loaded food items, like desserts, cookies, and fruit juices, keep an eye on lesser-known culprits like low-fat yogurt, barbecue sauce, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, granola, sports drinks, protein bars, cereal bars, iced tea, flavored coffee, canned fruits, canned baked beans, and readymade soups and smoothies. 

Fresh fruits and vegetables also have sugar, but avoid only those having a high glycemic index, such as potatoes, corn, peas, watermelon, and banana. 


Healthy fats are essential to keep the body functioning normally. Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado contain good fats that protect heart health. Bad fats, on the other hand, put you at a higher risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. They also make your chronic pain worse. Avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fats, such as processed foods, red meat, fried food, butter, margarine, and cold cuts. 

White Flour 

White flour contains gluten that is a highly inflammatory ingredient. Moreover, white flour is a carbohydrate that turns into sugar when it reaches the body, and sugar is a common trigger of pain and inflammation. Hence, you should avoid white flour if you are already dealing with chronic pain. 

Furthermore, white flour is highly processed and has zero nutritional value. Limit your consumption of anything that contains white flour, such as pasta, bread, certain snack foods, and baked goods. 


Milk and other dairy products have lactose in high amounts. Lactose is a kind of sugar that causes inflammation. 

Also, consumption of milk and dairy products can affect digestion and cause stomach upset, leading to pain and bloating. Casein, a protein present in milk, can also trigger a painful inflammatory response. 

Hence, it is best to avoid milk and dairy products if you have chronic pain. 

Artificial Food Products 

From artificial preservatives to artificial flavors and flavor boosters to artificial colors, anything that’s synthetic can trigger pain. 

Preservatives like nitrites and nitrates lead to inflammation, headache, and fatigue. Flavor boosters like monosodium glutamate (MSG) invigorate pain receptors leading to pain. Food dyes can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. 

It’s best to steer clear from anything artificial in general. 


Although coffee is known to improve heart health, it is good for people who do not have chronic pain. For those who are dealing with chronic pain, coffee can do more harm than good.

Coffee interferes with sleep, and poor sleep quality exacerbates pain.

Take your daily dose of caffeine in the form of green tea, which has caffeine in moderate amounts and antioxidants in high amounts.

Nightshade Vegetables

Green peppers, eggplant, and potatoes are nightshade vegetables. They are known to enhance arthritis pain by triggering an inflammatory response. 


Alcohol is loaded with sugar, which exacerbates chronic pain. Plus, alcohol dehydrates you, and dehydration can lead to headaches and painful cramps. 

Taking a healthy diet is an avenue that leads you to a pain-free life. So, swear by a healthy diet and steer clear of these food items to avoid flaring of chronic pain. 

If you are already dealing with chronic pain, book an appointment at Spokane pain management clinic and conjugate your therapy with a healthy diet. 

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Foods that can cause pain and inflammation in the body.