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    Foods That Cause Inflammation and Joint Pain

    Foods That Cause Inflammation and Joint Pain

    Originally posted on the NutraBio blog


    You are what you eat – this is one of the most popular phrases that you must have heard some time in your life. It is the notion that in order to be fit and healthy, you need to consume healthy and nutritious food. On the flip side, there are foods that cause inflammation and joint pain.


    Healthy food choices should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle and even more so for those suffering from inflammation and joint pain. Some foods are beneficial for inflammation and joint pain, but on the other hand, some actually cause inflammation that can have some severe consequences on the mind and body. There are certain compounds found in some foods that trigger the body to produce chemicals that can cause inflammation and joint pain. If not corrected, inflammation can lead to more severe and chronic health conditions.


    For that reason, here are some foods that cause inflammation that you should be aware of and try to avoid, whenever possible.

    Avoid These Foods That Cause Inflammation And Joint Pain 


    We know how those tasty pastries and desserts are irresistible to eat. But, processed sugars will trigger cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers in your body that cause inflammation and joint pain. Keep an eye out for ingredients such as fructose, sucrose, or anything that ends with “ose” and avoid consuming them. 


    It is advisable to limit sugar intake, in general, because too much of that sweet deliciousness is unhealthy for you. If you have joint pain tendencies, for example in your knees, you must avoid processed sugars in items like soft drinks, candy, ice cream, desserts, etc. A 2017 study showed that more than 200 people suffered from inflammation or arthritis due to sugar intake in their food.  


    Limiting consumption of alcohol is always good for your body, especially if you have inflammatory issues. Some studies show that excess alcohol consumption leads to systematic inflammation as it takes a toll on your normal gut functions. This inflammation can lead to joint pain, as well. 


    Apart from that, alcohol may also trigger gout attacks, and it can get quite severe. So, under drinks that cause inflammation, alcohol is a definite no-no.

    Saturated Fats

    There are many studies that have stated that saturated fats activate fat tissue inflammation, also known as adipose. It does not only trigger heart diseases but also makes joint pain and inflammation worse. So, under foods that cause inflammation, you have to put foods like pizza and cheese to the side or at least to a minimum.


    The United States is full of people who are sensitive to gluten, which is the protein found in certain grains such as wheat and barley. According to studies, gluten-containing foods lead to increased inflammation and joint pain. There are many people who have gone gluten-free, and it has eased their inflammation and joint pain issues. If you are looking to get rid of the same problems, it may be wise for you to change up your nutrition and try a gluten-free diet.

    Omega-6 Fatty Acids

    Omega-6 fatty acids are one of the most essential components that your body requires for growth and development. But, overconsumption of Omega-6 fatty acids can lead to inflammation. You have to maintain a healthy balance of Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet. If you consume excess Omega-6, then your body will activate pro-inflammatory chemicals. 


    You will find Omega-6 fatty acids in the following foods:


    • Sunflower
    • Corn
    • Soy
    • Peanut
    • Mayonnaise
    • Safflower 
    • Some salad dressings
    • Fried foods and junk food



    MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate) is quite a popular ingredient around the world. It is that magic powder that makes every fast food dish more delicious. You can find this food that causes inflammation in various Asian cuisines, soy sauce, and some fast foods. This chemical activates chronic inflammation and can also negatively affect your liver.


    Processed Foods

    Processed foods such as cereal, fast food items, ready to eat snacks, etc., are generally high in preservatives, added sugar, refined grains, and mostly inflammatory chemicals, which can cause severe joint pain. Processed foods contain trans fats, which help preserve the food item, but unfortunately, it triggers an inflammatory response and can lead to joint pain. Hence, you must avoid processed foods as much as possible, as it can cause inflammation and other serious diseases as well. 


    Foods That Helps To Reduce Inflammation

    Now that we are aware of foods that cause inflammation, it is time for us to know some foods that fall under the “you can eat” list. Here are some foods that will help you ease inflammation and lessen joint pain through its consumption.


    • Fruit
    • Salmon, sardines, and other fatty fish
    • Almonds and nuts
    • Poultry
    • Green tea
    • Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes
    • Whole grains
    • Olive oil, coconut oil, and other healthy fats
    • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
    • Avocados and olives


    Get Proactive To Fight Inflammation And Joint Pain

    A well-balanced diet and exercise are all it takes to take good care of your health. The same goes for inflammation and joint pain as well. If you consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and avoid sugar, gluten, alcohol, and other foods that cause inflammation and joint pain mentioned above, you can more easily live a healthy life while minimizing inflammation and joint pain that can slow you down and decrease your mobility and movement. Try to eliminate the foods that cause inflammation for a month, and you will be amazed at the positive result you can yield. 


    Attempt to make some changes to your nutrition and implement some of the things mentioned above in this article and see how they make you feel after a week or more. You may be surprised at how much a difference it can make. 


    If you want to take things to the next level, add NutraBio Extreme Joint Care to your supplement regimen to help promote mobility, renew cartilage, maintain healthy connective tissue, and help revitalize your joints. 


    Whether you are already suffering from joint pain, or you simply want to get ahead of it, making these changes to your diet can help. To take your improved diet to the next level, NutraBio Extreme Joint Care contains a supporting matrix of clinically validated and patented ingredients to help improve the overall health and function of your joints. Don’t allow inflammation and joint pain to ruin your life or workouts!

    Wyatt Medlin’s ICONIC Weight Loss Journey

    Wyatt Medlin’s ICONIC Weight Loss Journey

    In college Wyatt was a weightlifter and avid swimmer. After graduating and entering the workforce, something happened that is all too common — life got in the way and fitness was no longer part of his daily routine. 


    Just before January 2021 he weighed 321 lbs, and started eating ICON meals in the new year. His after pics are from June 15th, 50 pounds lighter and looking great! Read on to hear how he got past his biggest challenge: “getting started again.”


    Wyatt Medlin Weight Loss ICON Meals


    Can you describe the moment when you decided to make a change? What caused you to make that decision?


    Late 2020 I went on a family vacation to the mountains and found myself extremely winded and out of breath while hiking trails, struggling to keep up, at only 30 years old. Being an active person most of my life, growing up playing sports and enjoying working out, it hit me very quickly that I had lost focus for my own well-being and had let myself no longer be a priority. It was time to make a change!


    When you started, what was your original vision or goal?


    My original goal was to realign my physical, emotional, and personal priorities. Finding a new

    routine, trusting the process, becoming comfortable again in the gym, and hitting new goals!


    What has been your biggest struggle along the journey so far?


    Shifting around a schedule to ensure that I allow myself time every day to be better as a human. 


    Do you remember when you finally began to see progress? When was that and how did you feel?


    A few weeks into my journey and it was motivating and exciting!


    Where are you now? Describe your results and how you feel.


    I'm 6.5 months into my journey and ICON Meals has allowed me to follow a healthy, clean diet that takes the guesswork out! I am feeling proud and excited for what's to come!


    What advice do you have for others that want to make a change?


    Take the first step. You won't regret it! 


    Has your journey impacted others? If so, in what way?


    My twin sister has joined along on her own journey and it's been so fulfilling to see her progress as well!



    Share Your Own ICONIC Story!

    Have ICON meals helped you reach your fitness goals? Share your story and inspire others to start their journey.

    Recipe: Brisket Baked Sweet Potato

    The 4th of July around these parts means brisket. Combine Texas’s favorite cut of meat with a baked sweet potato and you’ve got a dangerously delicious and easy meal. Make it even easier by having us ship the brisket and seasoning directly to your door.

    The Recipe

    Prep time: 45 minutes (mostly baking the sweet potato)



    • Large sweet potato
    • 1 lb brisket
    • ¼ cup ICON Tennessee Whiskey Flavor
    • 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh if possible)
    • 1 cup water
    • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese (more to taste)
    • ¼ cup green onions (more to taste)


    1. Wash and dry all fresh produce.
    2. Drizzle olive oil on sweet potato, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until tender.
    3. In a large saucepan combine brisket, water, tomatoes, and ICON Tennessee Whiskey Flavor. Mix until thoroughly combined. Cook on high until simmering, then drop to medium low heat for 15 minutes.
    4. When the sweet potato is done baking, remove from foil and place on serving plate. Cut one deep slice lengthwise and slightly squeeze ends to create a hollow “canoe.”
    5. Fill sweet potato canoe with brisket mixture. Top with cheddar cheese and green onions.


    Click here to buy 1lb of brisket

    Click here to buy Tennessee Whiskey Seasoning

    How To Make High Protein Oatmeal

    In this video, Chef Danny walks you through his simple high protein oatmeal recipe using our ICON Cinnamon Honey Butter Seasoning. 


    • 2 Cups Water

    • 1 Cup Oatmeal

    • 1 Cup Egg whites

    • 2 Tbsp ICON Cinnamon Honey Butter Seasoning


    • Bring Water to a boil

    • Stir in oatmeal, let cook for 1-2 minutes

    ª Whisk in egg whites and seasoning

    • Add more seasoning on top and enjoy!


    Order ICON Seasoning:

    Five Steps To Stop Emotional Eating

    Five Steps To Stop Emotional Eating

    Let’s be real for a minute and talk about a problem that many face on a day to day basis: emotional eatingIt’s an issue I’ve personally dealt with on and off for almost as long as I can remember, and according to a national survey is a struggle for an estimated 2.8 million people. [1,2]

    The Mayo Clinic says emotional eating is a coping mechanism to deal with negative emotions. Major life events and daily hassles can trigger these emotions. We experience many such triggers every day — relationship conflicts, stress at work, money worries, and rejection to name a few.

    The foods we search out when emotionally eating tend to be high in carbs, sugar, and fat. They give us an immediate serotonin boost (the “happy hormone”), but the response is short-lived. Sugar is highly addictive and your body begins to crave that sugar high, creating a vicious spiral that is difficult to break.

    Why is this a problem for so many?  Most do so out of habit. Years of associating food with feelings — a mindset that isn’t going to get better overnight. To break the emotional eating cycle it will take practice, willpower, and determination plus a healthy dose of trial and error.  

    Let me share with you five steps that have helped me break this terrible cycle. Give them a try before throwing in the towel!

    1. Recognize Your Triggers

    What sets off your emotional eating frenzy?  Work? Relationships? Money? Make a list of everything causing you to eat and keep it in a visible place. When these triggers appear, you can make a conscious mental note that they’re setting you off towards the fridge.

    Triggers are not completely avoidable, but you do have some control over how often they show up in your life. One of my favorite quotes is, “Starve the distractions, feed the focus.”  Saying no to possible stressors can be freeing, opening up the door to positive changes.


    1. Consume Healthy Fuel

    Nutrient-dense foods provide your body with the fuel it needs to run properly and can help curb cravings. Sugary foods and drinks cripple your weight loss efforts and often create a binge eating snowball effect. Guess which types of food we gravitate towards when we’re stressed? 

    Keeping your water intake up also helps keep cravings at bay. Hunger, dehydration and stress are a recipe for disaster when it comes to emotional eating.  


    1. Find Healthier Ways to Cope

    When I’m stressed, hitting the weights is my number one coping mechanism. I always feel better after leaving the gym. Your healthy coping mechanism may be yoga, reading a good book, listening to music, or hanging out with people you love.  

    Whatever puts you in your happy place, do that instead of reaching for a carton of ice cream next time you feel the urge to emotionally eat.


    1. Make Your Kitchen A No-Junk Zone

    If junk food doesn’t exist in your fridge and pantry, you won’t eat it. Instead, keep your kitchen stocked with nutrient-dense foods, like:

    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Lean proteins like chicken
    • Cottage cheese
    • Greek yogurt
    • Whole grains
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Nutes

    I also keep some of my favorite protein bars on hand for when I’m craving something sweet.  


    1. Phone A Friend

    Friends make any struggle easier to overcome, and they may even have similar problems. Confide in those close to you. Ask them to keep you accountable, share your goals, and reach out when you’re feeling tempted to emotionally eat.

    Support is a huge factor in successfully overcoming any personal demon. Lack of support itself can be a serious trigger for many people.

    Most importantly, recognizing that emotional eating is a real, difficult problem many face  can make it easier to deal with. Knowing you are not alone can be helpful in overcoming this obstacle. 

    You Can Do It

    It took time and patience, but I learned to minimize emotional eating through practice, goal setting and tenacity. You can overcome this challenge, and getting past self-doubt is often the first step to success. Wake up each day reminding yourself: Be strong and courageous, and keep Livin’ Fit. 

    For more helpful training tips, workout ideas, macro-friendly recipes and more, follow me on Instagram @aprilimholte


    April M. Imholte, RN

    NASM Certified Personal Trainer

    Certified Sports Nutritionist

    Nationally Qualified Figure Competitor 


    [1] Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG Jr, Kessler RC. [Published correction appears inBiol Psychiatry. 2012;72(2):164.] Biol Psychiatry. 2007;61(3):348-358.

    [2] Howden LM, Meyer JA. US Census Bureau Age and Sex Composition: 2010. US Census Bureau. May 2011