Six Types of Food that can Cause Inflammation
Eating healthy can be a challenge; after all, you need to keep your body running at an optimal level. That's why it's important to eat foods that don't cause inflammation. Inflammation is your body's natural defense mechanism against infection or injury—or any other inflammatory disorder. While there are many foods that cause inflammation, these six types should definitely be avoided.
1. Added Sugar
Inflammation has been linked to Americans' excessive consumption of added sugar, which raises their risk of developing chronic illnesses like obesity, kidney disease, and heart problems. Added sugar can be discovered in tricky places like salad dressings, food ingredients, and salty snack foods, which is frightening given how pervasive it has become in food products.
The American Heart Association advises limiting added sugars with no more than 6 teaspoons (or 24 g of sugar) per day for women and no more than 9 teaspoons (or 36 g of sugar) per day for men as a way to prevent or minimize their consumption. Tracking this could be difficult, since not every food label contains added sugars. You can keep close tabs on added sugar by reading out the ingredient list. Look first to see if you notice a sweetener, sugar or syrup listed. If you do, check its position on the list of ingredients. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, so the closer a sweetener appears to the end of an ingredient list, the less of it is in the food.
2. Refined carbohydrates
Carb-rich foods that are mostly composed of refined flour or grains, such as pasta, white rice and bread, can cause a rapid effect in blood sugar levels. According to laboratory research, this type of food is linked to increased inflammation, which can increase the risk of developing conditions such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes.
Consume whole grains whenever possible, and keep in mind that grains aren't the only source of complex carbohydrates. You can find some in beans, sweet potatoes, and other starchy vegetables which are also high in fiber and nutrients. Watch out for products labeled "wheat" or "multi-grain," since this doesn't mean the product is 100% whole grain or even made from any whole grains. Again, When looking at the ingredients list, make sure that the first ingredient is a whole grain.
3. Processed Meats
Processed meats contain salt, synthetic nitrates, and a high level of saturated fat. Some studies have shown that eating processed meats like hot dogs and bacon can lead to inflammation and certain types of cancer. It is speculated that this effect could be due to both nitrates and saturated fats.
The exact threat posed by processed meats is uncertain, but limiting your overall consumption is probably a good idea. When choosing processed meats, look for those labeled "uncured," which indicates that they are simply salted and not cured with nitrates.
4. Trans Fats
Trans fats are manufactured by chemically altering unsaturated fats in an effort to extend the shelf life of processed foods. However, research indicates that trans fats are more damaging to the body than saturated fat, which is present in foods like butter and red meat. This is largely because they cause an inflammatory reaction that's linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
To avoid or minimize trans fats, you can choose foods that do not have "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils listed in an ingredients list. These foods are often found in margarines, snack foods and processed desserts. Fried foods and fast food can also be sources of trans fats, so aim to choose those less often.
5. Highly Processed Foods
To make foods more convenient, manufacturers have increased the number of shelf-stable and ready-to-eat meals and grab-and-go foods on the market. However, chemicals and compounds not naturally found in food are often added to these products in order to make them shelf-stable or improve taste and appearance. Any of these foreign particles can irritate the body, triggering inflammation, which is why people with existing inflammation may be made worsened by exposure to these particles.
To avoid or reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, look for minimally processed convenience products. To do this, make the ingredient list the first thing you look at. Then, see if you recognize and can pronounce the ingredients. When looking at an ingredients list, ask yourself: If I were making this at home from a recipe, would most of these ingredients be in it? If not, keep looking.
6. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Research suggests that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and grapes, may help reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages in general has also been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease. However, it's easy to cross over the line between beneficial to harmful. Not only does the anti-inflammatory benefits be lost if you do this, but alcohol will also cause your body to become more inflammatory.
To gain potential health benefits, it is important to drink in moderation. One drink per day for women is considered moderate consumption; two drinks per day for men. The number of calories in the cocktail you select should also be considered. Minimize calories as well as added sugars from drinks by choosing a glass of wine, a serving of liquor, or a light beer combined with a low- or no-calorie mixer.
I hope you have found this blog post super helpful and I hope you have a great day/evening. Cheers, Lola.
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