Avoid These 7 Foods That Cause Inflammation At All Costs!
Weekly Health Horoscope!
Start the week with your health and
Foods That Can Cause Inflammation
Inflammation is like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. It can protect your body from invaders but, over time, too much if it can cause or aggravate certain diseases. “If you want to battle inflammation, start by taking a look in your kitchen. And when you make your grocery list, add less inflammatory foods and more anti-inflammatory foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds and fatty fish,” suggested registered dietitian Erin Coates.
Here are 7 foods you should avoid because they can cause inflammation in your body.
Sugar can be quite difficult to avoid, especially when manufacturers add it all the time to give more flavor to processed foods. But it is not impossible. You just need to pay more attention to the nutrition label on products and avoid the ones that include ingredients ending with “ose,” such as fructose or sucrose. Otherwise, too much added sugar releases inflammatory compounds into your blood and increases your risk of chronic inflammation.
“Our body is not designed to process excessive amounts of added sugar throughout the day and so we must be more aware when (we) choose products and read the (nutrition) label,” explained registered dietitian Erin Coates.
The types of fats you consume can have a major impact on your health. According to various studies, saturated fats trigger a host of inflammatory responses such as swelling, pain, and loss of function. If inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to various diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or and cancer.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommends limiting saturated fat intake to less than 10% of the total daily calories. But most Americans exceed this level, consuming, on average, 11-12% of their daily calories from saturated fat. According to the National Cancer Institute, pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fat in the United States, followed by burgers and sweet things. If you really want a healthy burger, try this delicious falafel burger recipe!
Trans fats have been in the spotlight ever since the 1990s, when Harvard School of Public Health researchers warned about their devastating health effects. Basically, trans fats are the unhealthiest fats you could eat.
They increase levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and inflammatory markers reduce levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). Unfortunately, they can be found in the ever-popular fast foods, processed snack foods, packaged cookies, frozen products and most types of margarine.
They’re created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats and are listed on labels as partially hydrogenated oils, so steer clear of products with such ingredients!
Not all carbs are bad but refined carbs have a higher glycemic index and can cause quite a damage to your body. “(Refined carbs are) similar to added sugars because nothing slows their breakdown. They hit your bloodstream quickly and spike your blood sugar. And elevated blood sugar creates an inflammatory response,” warned Coates. “Your body is trying to remove the sugar from your blood, so it stimulates that inflammation.”
Refined carbs can be found in white flour products (bread, crackers) white rice, white potatoes, various cereals, and other processed products which include added sugar or flour.
Omega 6 fatty acids
Omega 6 fatty acids, along with Omega-3 fatty acids, are essential to the body. However, if you disrupt the balance between these acids and consume too much Omega-6s, you increase your risk of inflammation. For most people, an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 4:1 is ideal. This means t 4 omega 6s for every 1 omega 3.
If you want to enjoy Omega-3 anti-inflammatory properties and improve your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio, avoid vegetable and seed oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut as well as mayonnaise and certain salad dressings.
In moderation, alcohol can provide numerous health benefits such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, boosting your libido, reducing the risk of gallstones. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men”.
High amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time, on the other hand, can impair the functions and interactions of key organs such as the liver, increase the production of harmful bacteria in the gut and promote inflammation.
Want to know what to include in a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet? Then check out 7 Easy-to-Follow Diet Tips to Reduce Inflammation and find the answer.