Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, acne…these are just some of the possible consequences due to too much inflammation in the body.
Now, sometimes inflammation isn’t always a terrible thing. In fact, our bodies often depend on temporary inflammation to help fight off a sudden injuries or infection. It’s when inflammation becomes chronic that our immune system will start to accidently attack normal cells and the process which normally heals us and keeps us healthy, can become destructive.
Inflammation can sneak up on a person due to many of the foods which we often indulge on without putting too much thought into. Things like sugar and dairy, even alcohol and trans-fat filled foods are often to blame.
The following is a list of TWELVE of the top Inflammation causing culprits to avoid and cut back on:
1.Dairy– Conventional processed dairy is a high source of inflammation-inducing saturated fats. It is also a very common allergen, causing inflammation to those sensitive to its casein proteins. Full fat cultured dairy and raw dairy is usually better tolerated and can offer various health benefits.
2. Corn– Today, the food processing industry uses a high number of corn derivatives, like high-fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and corn oil to name a few, because it is cheap and easy to come by. In its refined form, corn can spike the body’s blood sugar levels, which leads to an increased insulin and inflammatory response.
3. MSG– MSG causes the inflammation of blood vessels in the liver, as well as the death of liver cells and even the destruction of red blood cells. Most MSG-laden foods that we eat are dangerously high in trans fats, and can cause the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease which triggers insulin resistance, resulting in high blood sugar and blood insulin levels.
4. Wheat– Wheat flours used in foods like pizza, pastas, crackers, ect are often stripped of their slow-digesting fiber and nutrients. This means that our bodies are able to break these foods down faster. The faster the break down, the more quickly our blood sugar levels will spike.
5. Processed Soy– Processed soy often promotes inflammation as they are made with cheaper ingredients. Like vegetable oil, they contain a high concentration of the inflammatory fat, omega-6.
6. Sugar– This one may seem obvious but some don’t know that when you consume too much glucose containing sugar, our bodies are unable to process the extra glucose coming in quickly enough. This increases chances for inflammation. Sugars can also suppress our white-blood cells ability to kill of germs which in turn will weaken our immune system, allowing more health issues to surface.
7. Conventional Meat– Because most cattle, chicken, and pigs are not raised on an all-grains diet, many meats that we consume are loaded up with antibiotics and hormones to prevent the animals from contracting any diseases which may affect the meat. This also allows the animals to get fatter faster. This means that the meats we are consuming are higher in inflammatory saturated fats, and have high levels of omega-6s due to their soy and corn diets. On top of all that, when the meats are cooked at high temps, this creates harmful inflammatory carcinogens.
8. Soda– Sugary beverages are guilty of adding extra calories, sodium, and sugar into our systems which leads to inflammation. The bubbles found in soda can also increase bloating. Sugar is the main culprit, causing energy crashes, increased appetites, and even cravings for more sugar which in turn promotes inflammation and cortisol, the stress hormone. When in doubt, stick to water, which helps to flush these toxins out!
9. Processed Foods– Our bodies are not evolved enough to eat/process artificial chemicals such as additives, preservatives, food coloring, as well as many other chemicals found in processed foods. Certain food additives can interfere with your gut bacteria, which causes inflammation in our intestines and can potentially promote the development of some chronic diseases.
10. Alcohol– While alcohol should always be consumed with moderation, too much alcohol can damage healthy liver cells, promote inflammation, and even weaken the body’s immune system. This is due to the process of breaking down alcohol which generates toxic by-products. High consumptions can cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx, and liver. Over time, the chronic inflammation can promote tumor growth and possibly cancer at the sites of repeated irritation.
11. Fast Foods– Phthalates. This is the class of endocrine-disrupting chemical toxins which we consume by eating most fast foods. Similar to BPA, these toxins are associated with metabolic syndrome, a disease which greatly increases levels of inflammation. A recent study made headlines, stating that people who often ate fast food had dose-dependent higher levels of phthalate metabolites than infrequent eaters.
12. Vegetable Oil– Take a closer look at some of your favorite salad dressings or even potato chips. Most if not all, include a high content of vegetable oils. Vegetable oils have a high concentration of the inflammatory fat, omega-6.