Inflammation in its most natural sense is actually a good thing – it helps us fight off sudden injuries or infection. But too much inflammation is another story.
Many chronic conditions such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes and obesity have been linked to inflammation.
But what you also may not know is the certain foods lead to inflammation. Many of the foods you eat on a regular basis can actually be creating a problem which leads to serious health issues.
So here’s some foods that can lead to unhealthy inflammation – foods that you should consider eliminating from your diet completely.
FOODS HIGH IN OMEGA-6 FATS
Most vegetable oils found in most processed foods – including the likes of sesame oil and sunflower oil – are high in omega-6 fats that are highly inflammatory. You’ll find these oils in many bagels, crackers, cookies and bread.
Besides reducing these kinds of inflammation-causing foods in our diet, we can balance them with omega-3 fats, a key nutrient in reducing inflammation in the body. The proper ratio of omega-6 foods to omega-3s should be around 2:1. Some foods that are high in omega-3s are:
- Salmon, mackerel and other cold water fish
- Eggs enriched with omega-3s
- Grass-fed beef
- Macadamia nuts
- Leafy vegetables
Research has shown that sugar is not only highly inflammatory, but it’s highly addictive, as well. It might be difficult to completely eliminate sugar from your diet – and the list includes soft drinks and sweetened juices – but reduce your consumption of it and choose fruit as your snack rather something artificially sweetened.
Folks in the sugar industry like to say that sugar is natural because it comes from sugarcane, neglecting the fact that all the cells within sugarcane have been removed during the refining process.
THE THREE PS
Processed, packaged and prepared foods. Avoid them. That, of course, includes fast food which is crammed with inflammatory ingredients such as harmful oils, sugar, and an endless list of other bad stuff.
Synthetics like NutraSweet, Splenda, saccharin, aspartame, etc., are linked to a variety of serious health conditions, including inflammation, disease and weight gain. Avoid them.
Animals that are confined to concentrated animal-feeding operations are typically unhealthy from not being able to graze and live outdoors. Moreover, they’re given antibiotics, hormones and other drugs, and their meat is later processed with preservatives and artificial flavorings.
The scary part here is that many foods consumed by children are filled with harmful additives. The list includes colors, flavor enhancers, stabilizers, preservatives, and on down the line. The come disguised with names like sulfites and benzoates. Steer clear of all of these.
Too many of today’s dairy products are loaded with hormones, antibiotics and other harmful ingredients, all of which are powerful causes of inflammation. Foods include yogurt, milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, butter and cheese.
Milk is known to boost insulin levels and male hormones; it’s also a common allergen and trigger inflammatory reactions. Also beware of frozen yogurts which contain the milk protein casein, which may increase inflammation.
Studies have also shown that skimming milk doesn’t make it any healthier, or less inflammatory. Studies have also shown that milk and other dairy products don’t increase bone strength – but plant foods do.
Peanuts are comparable to milk in that they are a common allergen. And allergies set off an inflammatory reaction in the body. Peanuts are also susceptible to molds and fungus, both of which can set off inflammatory reactions.
The problem with wheat is that it’s acid-forming and inflammatory. Not a great combination, to say the least. More troubling is the fact that most wheat today is genetically-modified – and a variety of serious health issues are starting to be linked to genetically-modified wheat consumption.
Grains can be bad news because gluten is found in many of them, and gluten is highly-inflammatory. Barley and rye are also heavy in gluten and should be used in moderation.
Not a big surprise here (and you can add fried foods to the list) because alcohol is high in sugar and hard on the liver. It should be used in moderation or eliminated entirely.
Almost all chronic diseases can be linked to inflammation. Being aware of inflammation causing foods can drastically improve your health and risk of serious chronic conditions.
Do you experience inflammation with other foods not mentioned above? We love to hear from you.