Do you know what foods cause inflammation in the body? If not, you may be surprised to learn that some of the most common foods people eat daily are inflammatory. Inflammation is a response by the body’s immune system to protect against infection or injury. However, when this response is constantly activated, it can lead to chronic inflammation linked to various health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
To help you avoid inflammatory foods and keep your health on track, we’ve compiled a list of the top foods to avoid.
Sugar and Candies
Sugar is one of the massive culprits when it comes to inflammation. Consuming too much sugar can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which triggers an inflammatory response in the body. It also promotes the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, which can lead to inflammation. Sugar triggers the release of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, which can promote inflammation and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. It also increases insulin levels, which can contribute to inflammation. So, it’s best to avoid sugary foods and drinks if you’re looking to reduce inflammation. Instead, use natural sweeteners like honey or stevia.
Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli meat are loaded with saturated fat and preservatives that can trigger inflammation. To make matters worse, they are often high in sodium, which can further contribute to inflammation. These meat products can also contain advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are compounds that promote inflammation. So, it’s best to avoid processed meats as much as possible. Besides, Red meat is also pro-inflammatory and should be avoided if you’re trying to reduce inflammation. It’s better to focus on lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, and beans. They are all lower in saturated fat and contain anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega-three fatty acids.
Bread, Cereal, and Pasta
Bread, cereal, and pasta are all made of grains, which can be inflammatory for some people. You should avoid grains entirely if you have an autoimmune disease or gluten sensitivity. But even if you don’t have either of those conditions, you might still experience inflammation from eating grains. That’s because they contain pro-inflammatory compounds like lectins and phytic acid. So, limiting your intake of bread, cereal, and pasta is probably a good idea. Consuming them in moderation is probably fine, but don’t make them the cornerstone of your diet. Instead, opt for whole wheat pasta or gluten-free options. Oats are also grain, but they contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber can help to reduce inflammation. So, if you’re going to eat grains, oats are probably the best choice. And do you know CouponGot offers the best discount coupons for all grocery marts and online stores to get the most healthy food options while still being within your budget? So what are you waiting for?
Fried foods are a double whammy when it comes to inflammation. Not only do they contain pro-inflammatory omega-six fatty acids, but they also tend to be high in unhealthy trans fats. Trans fats are even more inflammatory than omega-sixes, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. If you must eat fried foods, try to cook them yourself using healthy oils like olive oil or coconut oil. Air fryer recipes are a great way to make healthier versions of your favorite fried foods. Or grill, bake, or broil your food instead of frying it. Deep-fried foods are some of the most inflammatory foods you can eat, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.
Most people think granola bars are healthy, but many contain sugar and inflammatory omega-six fatty acids. If you’re going to eat a granola bar, make sure it’s made with healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. And check the label to make sure it doesn’t have too much sugar. Some brands of granola bars are healthier than others, so it’s important to read the labels carefully. You can also make your granola bars at home with healthy ingredients. Just add a little honey or maple syrup to sweeten them. Or you can also find some healthy crackers at food marts. Just don’t forget to grab your discount coupons to get the big pack of crackers and other healthy food at an amazing price.
Chocolate and Coffee
Chocolate is another food that’s often considered healthy but can be inflammatory. That’s because it contains sugar and dairy, which can trigger inflammation. If you’re going to eat chocolate, choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. And look for brands that are dairy-free and have no added sugar.
Coffee is a controversial topic when it comes to inflammation. Some studies suggest that coffee can help reduce inflammation, while others say it can worsen it. If you drink coffee, limit it to one or two cups a day. Black coffee is best, but you can add a little milk or cream if you need to. Or you may switch to herbal tea, which is thought to be anti-inflammatory.
Soda is one of the worst things you can drink for your health. It’s loaded with sugar and empty calories, and it’s been linked to various health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. For a healthy alternative to soda, try unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water, or fruit juice diluted with water. Soda also increases inflammation. It’s best to avoid it altogether. Besides soda, carbonated drinks, such as seltzer water, are also inflammatory. We often think cold beverages are refreshing, but they can increase inflammation.
Snacking is healthy, but the food options are not. Potato chips, corn chips, and other fried snacks are some of the worst offenders regarding inflammation. They’re high in unhealthy fats and calories, and they offer little in the way of nutrition. Fried or packaged chips should be avoided as much as possible. They contain acrylamide, a substance that has been linked to cancer. They are also high in salt, leading to water retention and bloating. If you love chips, try baked versions or vegetable chips instead. Or opt for nuts, fruits, or seeds as a healthier snack option.
Canned foods are often a high source of sodium and other preservatives that can cause inflammation. BPA, a common chemical found in cans, has been linked to various health problems, including infertility and cancer. If you do consume canned foods, look for brands that are BPA-free. Opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned options. Frozen fruits and vegetables are nutritious options and are often more affordable. They also have a longer shelf life.
We often think that a single cracker can’t possibly be that bad for us. But most crackers are made with refined flour and other inflammatory ingredients. These include sugar, trans fats, and artificial flavors. If you need a snack, reach for whole grain crackers or a piece of fruit instead. You can also make your crackers home with whole grain flour and healthy toppings. Or try using crackers as a base for healthy toppings like hummus or avocado.
Inflammation is a response by your body to protect itself from harm. However, when this response is constantly triggered, it can lead to chronic inflammation. It can damage your cells and lead to various health problems. To reduce inflammation, avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. You should also exercise regularly and get enough sleep. If you struggle to control inflammation, talk to your doctor about possible medications or supplements.