5 Inflammation-Causing Foods

5 Inflammation-Causing Foods

Inflammation is not always bad for your body. After all, it is your body's natural response to healing tissue, wounds and infections.

However, when you are simply healthy and living your life, inflammation needs to be managed at all costs. Chronic inflammation can lead to serious long term issues in the body.

On a day to day basis, you could be consuming foods that cause inflammation. I hope you read our blog, The Dangers of Gluten, a couple weeks back that was entirely focused on gluten. If you missed it, it's worth a read. 
Outside of gluten, I want to focus on five inflammation-causing foods. Hint: some of the ones listed below were part of my food challenge to you this month.
Here are the five other foods that can cause inflammation (besides gluten):
  • Sugar
Sugar (high fructose syrup included) is one of the worst ingredients that causes inflammation as well as all sorts of other diseases. That doesn't mean you stop eating all natural fruit smoothies or juices. Fructose in small amounts that is found naturally in fruits and vegetables is fine. It's when you add sugar to your juices or smoothies, that's a problem! Also, when you eat processed sugary foods such as cereal, soda, pastries and other sweet delights, inflammation can occur. Read the fine labels, ladies! If you see ingredients that were added to make the product sweeter, put it back and move onto another product!
  • Trans fats (especially artificial trans fats)
When you're looking at the nutrition labels, trans fats could also be labeled as partially hydrogenated oils. Margarine has trans fats. Processed foods have a lot of artificial trans fats. Trans fats can lower your good cholesterol as well as cause inflammation (don't forget the increase in risk of heart disease)!
  • Processed meat
This is an easy one for me to avoid because I happen to be a vegetarian. However, I have heard from my friends that a fresh Italian sausage sandwich or a bacon and egg sandwich can be hard to resist. If you're a meat lover, try to eat meat that is better for you (OR I am always happy to share vegetarian substitutes with you...like the Beyond burger...okay, I won't try and convert you!).
There are many diseases linked to consuming processed meat over a period of time, making the switch to cleaner alternatives cooked in healthier way can make a BIG difference.
  • Alcohol
OMG, did I just say it? No more Wine Down Wednesday? No, that's not what I am saying. However, anything in excess is bad for you. Drinking large amounts of alcohol is problematic for a myriad of reasons, but inflammation is the one I want to focus on. Also, the type of alcohol also matters. I am speaking about beer more than red wine. C-Reactive Protein, aka CRP, is a sign of inflammation that can show up in a blood test. In a study, it was found that people who drank excess amounts of alcohol had a higher CRP count than those who didn't. 
  • Refined Carbohydrates
When I say refined carbohydrates, I am speaking about rice, white bread, etc. More and more, scientists believe refined carbs may be worse than trans fats (although it's relative since they both cause inflammation). Low in fiber, most foods that constitute as refined carbohydrates may be responsible for growing inflammatory bacteria in your stomach. 
Not a pretty picture, huh? 
I know many of these foods I listed are quite delicious and common in the American diet, however, the good news is that the world is becoming more aware of inflammation. As this awareness grows, there are amazing food companies that are coming out with delicious alternatives. You can start by making small, gradual changes in your diet. Taking a daily supplement, like Turmeric Gold, will help you keep your inflammation in check to assist with your diet changes.