Bottom line: Eat well, lose weight
Most scientific studies do not show a definitive link between diet and psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
If you have psoriasis, doctors generally recommend eating a balanced diet that minimizes the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other associated health conditions.
Watch your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce psoriasis severity and minimize the risk of developing related diseases.
- People who are obese are more likely to have severe psoriasis than people with an average Body Mass Index. Calculate yours »
- Obesity also increases the risk of developing other diseases associated with psoriasis, like heart disease and diabetes.
- Obese people with psoriasis may also be more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis. Learn more »
Some nutritionists, popular authors and health care providers recommend eating more of some foods and less of others to reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Although there is not much specific research about whether anti-inflammatory diets work, many of the recommendations are similar to guidelines for a heart-healthy diet. For example:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid most saturated and trans fats.
- Eat more whole gains and fewer refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice.
- Eat lean protein sources such as skinless chicken and cut back red meat and full-fat dairy foods.
- Avoid refined and processed foods.
What to avoid
- Multiple studies have shown that increased alcohol use increases the risk of developing psoriasis—and may influence disease severity.
- Patients in some studies had fewer psoriasis symptoms when they eliminated gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) from their diets. However there are no large-scale studies confirming this connection.