Red Meat, Dairy Products & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reducing your consumption of red meat and dairy products can bring relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.


Eating a large amount of red meat has been linked to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis scientists say. A study showed people who ate meat every day had double the risk of the disease compared to those who ate meat less, perhaps twice a week.

The problem

Most commercial meat products come from animals that are primarily grain fed as opposed to being only grass fed, and therefore contain much more omega –6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies have shown that one of the body’s major inflammatory pathways (the arachidonic acid pathway, starts with omega 6 fatty acids from saturated animal fats. instead, eat more vegetable protein such as beans and soy foods.

Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that is derived almost entirely from animal sources (meat, dairy products, etc.) It is converted to to inflammatory prostaglandin’s and leukotrienes that contribute significantly to the inflammation.

It addition, grain fed cattle contain a fat content of almost 35% to 75%, with a majority of it being saturated, while grass fed cattle only have a 10% fat content.

An exception is pasture-raised meat products

Free-range animals and poultry graze naturally which give them a rich supply of omega-3, which is then passed on to us through their eggs, milk and meat.

Consuming meat products from animals that are raised organically without added growth hormones or antibiotics, and are grass-fed is can therefore be beneficial for proper health.


Pasture plants provide animals with more readily available nutrients, so their products contain more vitamin E, beta-carotene, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and omega-3.

In addition, (1), grasses have a lower level of omega-6 than –omega-3, while grain has more 6 than 3. So grass fed beef has a ratio of omega-3 to -6 that is closer to our requirements.

Avoid commercially available dairy products

There is a colossal amount of information and many studies linking the consumption of milk products to rheumatoid arthritis.

Commercially produced dairy products contain a diminished content of omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids and an overabundance of omega 6 fatty acids due to the overuse of grains for animal feed.

Many rheumatoid arthritis patients have found that as long as they stay completely away from dairy products they have no pain, but if they eat any dairy the pain returns. Many people have spent so much money and time trying to get their condition under control only to find it was something so simple.

Soy milk is now available in most supermarkets. It can be used in exactly the same way as cow’s milk. Some soy milk is fortified with calcium, so try to use this type. Other ‘milks’, made from rice or oats, are now available; some of these are also fortified with calcium.

An exception is Grass-Fed Dairy Products

It is a fact that dairy products which come from grass fed cows [especially raw milk products], as opposed to cows that are raised on a grain-based diet, contain much higher amounts of the all-important omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, A, D, and conjugated linoleic acid  or CLA – an essential fatty acid and cancer fighting fat that is most abundant in grass-fed products.

Studies have shown that butter and cheeses products that come from pasture-raised animals have up to 500% more CLA than dairy which comes from grain-fed animals.

Milk from pastured cows also contains an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids or EFA’s. There are two families of EFA’s—omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that if your diet contains roughly equal amounts of these two fats, you will have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and various other mental disorders.



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