Inflammation is the root of basically every disease and disorder, which is why we want to minimize inflammation in our body as much as possible. Inflammation can also cause weight gain and water retention, which can make you look bloated all over - who wants that?! Foods are a big culprit when it comes to inflammation, and there are certain foods that are known to be highly inflammatory that you should definitely keep to a minimum or avoid all together.
Here are my top 10 inflammatory foods to be mindful of:
Sugar is highly inflammatory for the body, and is the cause for diabetes as well as a main factor for many other preventable chronic diseases. Most individuals take in way too much sugar. Aim to get less than 20 grams of sugar per day.
2. Refined carbohydrate
Refined carbs include white bread, white rice, and food products made with white flour. These foods have been stripped of all their beneficials nutrients. When you eat these products they turn to sugar in your bloodstream almost immediately, leading to rapid blood sugar changes and spiking insulin, which is highly inflammatory to the body.
Does this mean you can never eat a croissant again?! Heck no! If you do enjoy pastries, just limit them to special occasions and don't make them a daily habit.
Man-made trans-fats are one of the worst things you can put into your body. In addition to being highly inflammatory, trans-fats are also linked to heart disease, infertility, diabetes, and obesity. Read more about trans-fats here.
4. Vegetable oils
Vegetable oils are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and very low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetable oils to avoid include corn and safflower oils. Unfortunately many food manufacturers have started adding these fats to their products when taking out trans fats - basically swapping one terrible fat for a lesser terrible fat.
Good oils to use include olive oil and coconut oil.
5. Fried food
Fried foods are inflammatory mostly due to what they are fried in - vegetable oils as discussed above. The high temperatures that fried foods are cooked at also contribute to inflammatory by products in the food.
Soda is liquid sugar with a bunch of chemicals added to it - soda literally might be the worst thing you can put into your body. This includes diet soda as well, because diet soda has even more chemicals added to it to make it taste better.
7. Artificial additives
This includes artificial flavorings and colorings, which have shown to be pro-inflammatory in the body and even disrupt normal hormone function.
8. Grain-fed meat
Grain-fed beef is why meat gets a bad wrap. These commercially feed meats are fed grains that are high in omega-6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory. Grain-fed beef also tend to be injected with hormones and antibiotics, and you can be sure they aren't organic.
Instead go for grass-fed beef which is a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Gluten is a name for a group of proteins found in wheat products. Gluten can wreak havoc on the body, especially the gut, because gluten is highly inflammatory.
Try cutting out gluten for a couple of weeks and see how you feel.
Fast-food is one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat because the majority of fast-food is highly processed with tons of chemicals, preservatives and unnatural flavorings added to it. You can be sure that the majority of fast-food (if not all) is not organic, grass-fed, or used without harmful oils. If a taco or a burger costs you a dollar, really question how the restaurant was able to get that price so low..
In sum, anything that is highly processed, overcooked, and unnatural is inflammatory for the body. Stick to natural whole foods and you will be good to go!