If you're experiencing achy bones, the bones in your body could be experiencing extreme tenderness or other discomforts. You might feel this way when you get sick with the flu or have a bone fracture. However, it can also be from longer-term problems such as arthritis. While in some cases achy bones are treatable, there are other times where it's not and you want to lessen the severity of it.
While you can take temporary relief medicine for achy bones, you can also watch your diet. The foods you eat can help or make the situation worse. We spoke with Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD, and member of our Medical Expert Board, about the worst foods you can eat that will make your achy bones worse. Then, be sure to check out the Best Supplements for Preventing Bone Loss, Say Dietitians.
Processed red meat
"Products like high-fat hot dogs, fast food burgers, or sausages are pro-inflammatory and could increase the risk of joint problems," says Hembree.
These ultra-processed meats contain nitrites and purines: chemicals that increase inflammation and may lead to joint pain.
In a study published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal, research showed that eating a high level of fresh red meat compared to processed was associated with a decreased risk of hip joint replacement, ultimately showing that fresh meat is the healthier alternative to achy bones versus processed red meat.
"In general, drinks with added sugars, such as regular soda and sweetened lemonades or teas, have also been associated with inflammation and this may contribute to elevated joint issues," says Hembree.
Do you know how sugary foods can lead to tooth decay, the damage to a tooth's enamel? The same goes for the effect of the bones in your body. Excessive intake of soda and other sugary drinks leads to an increased risk of fracture.
Although dairy products can have some beneficial effects on your bones due to the calcium, they can also be harmful because of the casein, which is a possible contribution to inflammation in your joints.
According to Hembree, dairy products like whole milk, butter, or high-fat creams may be linked to more joint pain in some people.
Certain types of seafood
Hembree suggests that there are some kinds of seafood that give you a higher chance of achy bones than others.
"Excess intake of fish like anchovies, tuna, scallops, and sardines contribute a high amount of 'purines,'" says Hembree. "Purines break down into uric acid. A buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints could lead to a gout diagnosis."