Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but some arthritis patients can help reduce pain and discomfort by watching what they eat. Although no specific food has been targeted as a cause of arthritis, it's known that foods can alter the function of your immune system and some medications can affect the absorption of important vitamins and minerals. Avoiding certain foods or adding supplements will vary by the type of arthritis and the medications used to treat it, so it's wise to consult with your physician or nutritionist about specific recommendations. For example people with gout, which is affected by high uric (YER-ick) acid levels, should avoid alcohol and purine-rich (PYRN-in) foods. Excess body weight can also influence arthritis by placing extra strain on already impeded joints, so maintaining your ideal weight can help reduce pain. Guidelines you can follow for a healthy diet are: Eat a variety of foods; avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; eat adequate amounts of starch and fiber; and avoid too much sugar, sodium and alcohol.