We all eat foods that cause inflammation every day. Our daily diet is directly related to how much chronic inflammation you’re carrying around with you.
After years of eating the same old stuff and not realizing that inflammation is building all the time, your body may sending signs it’s time to rebel.
It will do so quietly at first, so softly you probably won’t even notice any changes. Once it’s reached its limit, signs won’t be so subtle any more.
That’s what we’re trying to avoid here, so let’s dig in.
Foods That Cause Body Inflammation
Let’s face it, sugar is one of the most addictive substances on earth. We put it in our coffee first thing in the morning, eat a candy bar for a snack during the day, and consume a sweet treat for dessert after dinner. It gives us a sugar rush and tastes oh so good.
In fact, sugar consumption is at an all time high these days, with the average American ingesting up to 140 pounds each year. That number might sound unbelievable to you, but sugar hides everywhere, and comes in many forms.
Don’t believe me? Just check a product label from almost any processed food the next time you’re in a grocery store.
Things like spaghetti sauce, your healthy granola, and even that low-fat yogurt you eat for breakfast can all have up to 6 teaspoons of added sugar.
You’d be surprised where sugar hides in processed foods. Just a few of these include breads, juices, energy bars and soft drinks.
In fact, one glazed donut has about 4 teaspoons of added sugar, and an innocent looking iced cupcake can contain up to 6 teaspoons of added sugar. The thought of eating a cupcake is a pleasant one, but think about eating 6 teaspoons of sugar one after the other. Gross!
Some of the other names sugar goes by include corn syrup, beet sugar, dextrose, maltose, and the big daddy of the all, high-fructose corn syrup. And this is just to name a few. Reading labels might seem boring, but can be oh-so enlightening.
Why Is Sugar Bad For You?
Lately, the government wants to control more and more of what we do, up to and including some of the foods we eat.
Regardless of how you feel about government intrusion in your life, there’s no denying the fact that a diet that has too much sugar can lead to all kinds of health problems, including inflammation, diabetes and heart disease.
Refined sugar can definitely lead to low-grade inflammatory conditions which can cause chronic inflammation and then chronic illnesses.
The Center For Disease Control has released a startling report that claims 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes by the year 2050. That is a shocking statement, but statistics show this trend to be correct.
Consuming a diet rich in sugar will most likely lead to weight gain, and there are a whole host of health problems that can arise from being overweight. So why do we continue to crave so much sugar when deep down we know it’s bad for us?
Studies show that eating a sweet item for breakfast, such as a danish or sticky bun, will satisfy your hunger for the moment, but consuming simple carbohydrates without help from some kind of proteins or fats can leave you craving more sugar just a short time later.
But do we have a choice in all this? Some scientists claim that the taste of sweets is the first thing we crave. And consuming carbohydrates causes the release of a chemical substance in our brain called serotonin, also called the “feel good” chemical. Ah-ha! No wonder we crave the sweet stuff!
If you like sweets but want to reduce your calorie intake, you may want to replace foods rich in sugar with artificial sweeteners.
But after closer investigation, it appears that all of these sugar substitutes have one thing or another that make them less fascinating than at first sight.
One of the most widely used artificial sweeteners in the world. It is used to sweeten all types of food and carbonated drinks due to the fact that a very small amount is needed – it is 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
This artificial sweetener goes by the name of Equal or NutraSweet, and is often used in diet sodas, desserts and yogurts.
The list of aspartame side effects is quite large and among them are headache and migraine, dizziness and nausea, depression, memory loss, vision and hearing loss, fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, heart rhythm disorders and the like.
Aspartame has been the subject of study by many scientists. Their opinion is that aspartame can lead to the appearance or worsening of existing diseases, especially when it comes to brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, developmental deformities in newborns, etc.
As you can see, in the long run, aspartame is not sweet at all.
Sucralose is obtained from table sugar, and goes by the name of Splenda. The food industry often uses it as it is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. It passes through the digestive tract mostly unchanged, which means that most of it is eliminated.
In a study conducted at the Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, it was determined that diet sodas cause weight gain.
A 2020 study found that sucralose and acesulfame-potassium sweetened diet soda can cause inflammation in overweight and obese females.
This list is not final. There are natural sweeteners that are better, like maple syrup or honey, but they’re very caloric, so if you are calories counter you need to be aware of that.
As all the other foods, artificial sweeteners have their opposers as well as their fans. I’m not choosing sides here, but simply trying to spotlight certain foods that cause inflammation in the body.
Refined Grains (Carbs)
These types of grains are just what they sound like. They have been pretty far removed from their natural state by some sort of processing.
The most famous example just might be white flour, which is stripped of its nutrients and also fiber in an effort to make it stable and increase its functionality and stability in the food world.
Unfortunately, it’s also unleashed a whole host of health problems as well.
Let’s think about it. White flour is almost everywhere at every meal. It can be found in muffins at breakfast time, in wraps and slices of bread at lunch, and at dinner time, almost every meal comes with rolls or some sort of bread.
Flour is easy find in almost all of our processed foods these days, and some say it’s wreaking havoc on our waistlines and our health.
Other refined grains include white rice, pizza crusts, white bread, pastas, grits …
Try to avoid these at all costs. Their nutritional value is not that great, and they tend to raise the chronic inflammation level in your body.
Well, finally one we can all pretty much agree upon. In 2006, the FDA stated that trans fat information had to be included on package labeling, and since then, food manufacturers have begun limiting the places where these fats used to pop up freely.
Consumer education plays a huge role in how the food industry plays the game, and when consumers were tuned in to how bad these fats are for us, manufacturers began to pay attention.
Now we can find the No Trans Fat label on a lot of our favorite snack foods and lots of the other products where these fats used to play a major role.
But they still lurk in some spots where we don’t give it much thought, such as the following.
List Of Foods That Cause Inflammation
Okay, I’ll admit it. I like French fries, but I hardly eat them anymore, and only get them where I know they’ve been baked and not fried. Believe me, if you find a restaurant that bakes their fries, you’ll never go back to the fried version again.
Most fast food chains have taken great strides to reduce or even eliminate the trans fats in their fried foods.
But there are some out there that still use hydrogenated oils to do their frying, so you should check before you chomp. If you can’t find the information on the Internet, simply ask.
Pies & Crust
Pies and also the crust have traditional been made with products containing hydrogenated oils. Again, fast food places have stepped up to the plate and removed a lot of the trans fats, but you can still find these in the grocery store, so check the label for hydrogenated oils.
For years, margarine was touted as a healthy replacement for our beloved butter, but lately research has been showing that margarine, and especially stick margarine, is not as good as we once thought.
The reason is that in order to hold its shape, margarine needs to employ the use of hydrogenated oils. It turns out that butter may be better, after all.
See how to make clarified butter in our other post.
What? Say it ain’t so! I’m sorry, but I’m afraid it is. Pancake and waffle mixes are notorious for hiding hydrogenated oils. It’s best to read the label because some varieties are okay.
All right, now I’m just being mean, right? Believe me, I used to eat this stuff like crazy, and I still indulge sometimes, but not nearly as much as I used to.
And there are some varieties that are perfectly fine, while others have 15 grams of trans fat per bag! And who doesn’t eat the whole bag?
Read more in the following article – Is Microwave Popcorn Bad For You?
My waistline is allergic to cookies, they cause it to swell tremendously. I love them, but again, I try to stay away.
Store bought cookies stay on the shelves for who knows how long, and to do that, they almost always employ hydrogenated oils. Again, label reading is a must.
Lots of crackers contain trans fats, although manufacturers have gotten better at reducing or eliminating the bad stuff.
Even though the amount may not be that much per serving, they all add up, and even a little is too much of this dangerous type of fat.
Is This Inflammatory Foods List Final?
These foods contained in previous chapter are by no means a complete list. I’ve merely tried to stimulate your thought process. I think you get the idea here.
There are two main takeaways that I’d like to make sure you really get.
Do I want you to completely rearrange your life? No. You should still enjoy foods you love, but really limit the ones you know are unhealthy.
Change will take commitment, but your health is totally worth it, and I’m confident you will find a balance between enjoying life and optimum health.