10 of the worst offending foods that cause inflammation:
Inflammation is your body’s way to defend against damage or injury. When there is internal damage, your body swells up in order to prevent further damage. Sadly, that stops your body from healing itself, slowing down the healing process.
However, inflammation NOT caused by injury can be a bad thing. It can be a sign that your organs are malfunctioning, or they can be linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, and a host of other health problems. Or, they can simply be caused by eating the wrong foods! Here are some of the foods that cause inflammation:
- Meat — Red meat is known to trigger an inflammatory response, which is why many people feel bloated or swollen after eating a lot of beef or pork. While you shouldn’t eliminate meat from your diet, it’s a good idea to limit yourself to eating two or three meals of red meat per week.
- Processed foods –– The more processed the foods, the higher the risk of inflammation! Packaged, pre-prepared, and processed foods are loaded with artificial ingredients, sweeteners, fillers, harmful oils, sugars, and the list goes on. All of these lead to inflammation, so it’s always best to avoid these foods!
- Fats –– Don’t be afraid of saturated or unsaturated fats, but be VERY afraid of trans fats and hydrogenated fats. Both of these fats are found in fried, deep fried, and processed foods, along with foods that contain a lot of shortening, margarine, and lard products. This may even include baked goods, along with chips, cookies, French fries, and the list goes on!
- Additives –– If it’s not natural, your body cannot process it, and thus it has only one response: inflammation. The inflammatory response is triggered to protect your body from what it perceives to be an outside invader. For this reason, it’s ALWAYS best to prepare your own food from scratch.
- Sugar alternatives –– We’re not talking honey, molasses, or maple syrup, but artificial sweeteners like Splenda, aspartame, saccharin, or Nutrasweet. These artificial sugars trigger an inflammatory response, and they have been linked to a number of cancers. Definitely a no-no!
READ MORE: 12 Foods for Stiff Joints
- Alcohol –– This may be hard to hear, but it’s true! Alcohol causes inflammation in the liver, and it can cause your body to retain water–making you puffy and/or bloated. It’s best to drink in extreme moderation, or just eliminate alcohol from your diet altogether.
- Dairy products — While they are good for your health, dairy products can also lead to inflammation. Not only the lactose will be a problem (for those who are lactose intolerant), but many dairy products are filled with hormones or antibiotics that can trigger a negative response.
- Sugar — Sugar is highly refined and processed, and there is almost nothing natural about it by the time it reaches your table. In any form (juice, soda, cookies, candy, treats, etc.), it’s a terrible choice for your health, and it’s guaranteed to trigger an inflammatory response.
- Wheat products –– The gluten in most wheat products can be a problem for many people, and there is a risk that you will be eating genetically modified wheat. You should AVOID it altogether, but be aware of what you’re eating.
- Fried foods –– Once again, these foods (onion rings, French fries, etc.) are a major source of trans fats and hydrogenated oils. They may be tasty, but they’re guaranteed to cause inflammation in your body. Another food you’d do well to avoid if you want to reduce inflammation!