Foods to Avoid With Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, causing red, scaly patches. While there is no cure for psoriasis, lifestyle changes such as diet can help manage symptoms. Certain foods may trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms, so it is important to be mindful of what you eat. This article will help you understand what foods to avoid with psoriasis.

Can diet really impact Psoriasis to avoid with psoriasis

The big question in psoriasis is does diet really play a role in managing the disease? Well, several medical practitioners like to think so because of the research-based evidence on food acting as triggers of psoriasis. While some feel, it depends on patients and their history, reviews such as those in JAMA Dermatology examined whether dietary changes might make a difference in people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. The review found how overweight people were impacted by the condition more than those who were not. Moreover, it was also found how patients who had psoriasis and suffered from celiac disease could benefit from avoiding gluten to manage symptoms of psoriasis. One review found how psoriasis patients were found to be deficient in vitamin D and selenium.

How do you measure inflammation in the body?

As understood by most medical professionals, not everyone reacts to psoriasis in the same way. However, there are certain foods that are inflammatory, and can make psoriasis worse. For example, some find wheat to increase psoriasis flare-ups while others are affected by peanuts. There are tests to measure inflammation in the body with biomarkers which increase in the blood when certain foods like unhealthy fats and sugar impact the body. The extent of the inflammation can be measured by a CRP test which checks the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood. Increased inflammation causes the liver to make extra CRP which is measured to find out how much are you at risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease. It is always recommended to work with your doctor to monitor with such tests to manage symptoms and inflammation levels. Here are foods to avoid in psoriasis.

Foods to Avoid with Psoriasis

Red Meat

Red meat is high in saturated fats, omega 6 fats and arachidonic acid, which can trigger inflammation in the body. This inflammation can worsen psoriasis symptoms, so it is best to avoid red meat or limit your intake. Healthy fats are those that provide you with omega 3 fatty acids such as mackerel, salmon, sea bass, flax seeds, olive oil, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. Not always is omega 6 unhealthy, and it does has some benefits when consumed in moderation. The safest way to consume omega-6 fats is probably from whole foods, such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.


Dairy products, particularly full-fat dairy, can also trigger inflammation in the body. In addition, dairy products contain casein, which has been shown to exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. If you must have dairy, consider switching to low-fat options or dairy-free alternatives. The thing with dairy is that most products contain high fat that can lead to inflammation. To avoid the impact of casein, switch to lactose free alternatives to avoid gastrointestinal irritation which can make the psoriasis worse. Some people have found their symptoms improving after cutting out dairy.

Nightshade vegetables

Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers, contain solanine, a chemical that can trigger inflammation and worsen psoriasis symptoms. If you find that nightshade vegetables exacerbate your symptoms, it is best to avoid them or limit your intake. According to a small 2017 national survey of psoriasis patients’ dietary habits described in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, more than half of respondents reported skin improvements after reducing their intake of nightshade vegetables.


While not all psoriasis sufferers are gluten-sensitive, many have found that eliminating gluten from their diets has helped reduce symptoms. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and can be found in a variety of foods such as bread, pasta, and baked goods. Moreover, those with celiac disease, a health condition characterized by an autoimmune response to the protein gluten are more susceptible to flareups if also suffering from psoriasis. If you have psoriasis and a gluten sensitivity, it’s important to cut out gluten-containing foods. Feel free to add rice, steel cut oats, barley, Sorghum, Amaranth, millets, corn, buckwheat/ kuttu, quinoa to your daily diet.

Gluten foods to avoid include:

  • Wheat and wheat derivatives
  • Rye, barley, and malt
  • Pasta, noodles, and baked goods
  • Processed foods
  • Sauces and condiments containing gluten
  • Beer and malt beverages
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Refined Flour


Alcohol is a known trigger for psoriasis flare-ups. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it can cause dehydration leading to dry skin, which may worsen psoriasis symptoms. Alcohol can also make certain psoriasis treatment medications less effective since the liver must do double duty: metabolizing alcohol and systemic medicines people take to manage psoriasis. If you must have alcohol, limit your intake, or cut it out entirely.

Sugar and high glycemic foods

Sugar is a known trigger for inflammation in the body, which can worsen psoriasis symptoms. In addition, sugary foods upset the gut microbiome and can contribute to weight gain, which can put extra strain on joints and worsen psoriasis symptoms. Moreover, high glycemic foods also put you at risk of Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), pre-diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Certain high-glycemic foods can worsen psoriatic disease when eaten in large quantities for extended periods of time

Processed foods

Processed foods, such as packaged snacks, frozen meals, fried and fast food, are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. In addition, the high temperatures used in frying can produce a chemical called acrylamide, which has been shown to exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.

Processed foods can trigger inflammation in the body and worsen psoriasis symptoms. Instead, focus on whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. According to a 2018 review in Current Obesity Reports, examples of ultra-processed foods include:

  • Pastries, cookies, and crackers
  • Ice cream
  • Candy
  • Processed meat
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Soft drinks
  • Prepared meals

Citrus fruits

While citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit and lemons are excellent for health, they are unfortunately regarded among foods to avoid with psoriasis. Citrus fruits might just worsen psoriasis symptoms being common allergens. If you find that citrus fruits exacerbate your symptoms, try swapping them out for other fruits such as berries, apples, or bananas.


There is a huge debate about the coffee-psoriasis link, but when in doubt simply avoid.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can be managed through lifestyle changes such as diet and eating foods good for psoriasis. Paying attention to these foods to avoid with psoriasis or limiting your intake, you may be able to reduce inflammation in the body and improve psoriasis symptoms. It is important to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.