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Foods that Cause Inflammation

Foods that Cause Inflammation
There are certain foods which cause inflammation in the body. Becoming aware about foods which cause inflammation, and eliminating these foods from your diet can help you prevent many inflammatory conditions.
Pragya T
Last Updated: May 2, 2018
Inflammation is actually a helpful process which takes place inside the body. In this bodily process, the white blood cells and other chemicals present in the body come together and cause inflammation to fight against infection causing micro-organisms.
But, sometimes the immune system triggers inflammation when there is no infection from any micro-organism in the body. This is actually a health disorder and needs to be treated.
The anti-inflammatory diet is a very popular diet, which helps to control inflammation in the body.
Here are top foods which lead to inflammation, and top anti-inflammatory foods that you should add to your diet.
You might be a little shocked by the huge list of foods one needs to avoid. But, don't worry, after maintaining a diary, you will understand about the foodstuffs which trigger more inflammation and which give you minute inflammation. This way you can shift away from the amount of the intake of the foods that cause inflammation, and form your own anti-inflammatory diet plan.
#1 - Dairy Foodstuffs
✖ Many people can't tolerate lactose in their body and suffer from allergies. Milk is a common food item which can trigger inflammation in the body. Hence, lactose-intolerant people need to avoid milk and any milk products.
✔ However, there are two products which you can include in your diet. One is yogurt and second one is kefir. These are very good for the digestive health, as they contain beneficial bacteria. Also, fermented products like these help to reduce inflammation in the stomach.
#2 - Refined Sugar Foods
✖ Too much of sugar in the diet can increase your weight, make you prone to diabetes, tooth decay, and many other disorders. Certain studies show that too much sugar triggers inflammation. So, try to avoid any refined sugars like white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrups, turbinado sugar, confectioners sugars, etc. It is important that you also avoid any artificial sugar sweeteners.
✔ You can instead go for the natural sugar sources. Some natural sweeteners can be added to food preparations. However, make sure you don't add too much sugar. As too much natural sweeteners in the body can be harmful. Options in natural sweeteners include honey, rice syrup, stevia, and date paste. You can also have fruits to prevent sweet cravings.
#3 - Refined Grains
✖ Refined grains lack fiber and many important vitamins and minerals in them. They have low nutrition value and hence should be avoided. Also, refined grains contain gluten, which many people are allergic too.
✔ Instead, go for unrefined and unpolished grains. These grains are rich in many minerals and vitamins and contain a lot of fiber. Fiber will help in digestion and the minerals and vitamins in unrefined grains will improve the body's immunity.

So, buy 'gluten-free, unpolished and unrefined grains'.
#4 - Vegetable Oils
✖ Oils like sunflower, corn, soy, safflower, and peanut contain high linoleic acid, which has a pro-inflammatory influence on the body. Also, many vegetable oils contain a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids, and very less of omega-3. Too much of omega-6 and less of omega-3 in body promotes inflammation and increases the risk of chronic diseases.
✔ So, avoid such oils. A great alternative to such cooking oils are extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil, or avocado oil.

These oils have a good ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, these oils help to reduce the cholesterol level.
olive oil
#5 - Trans Fats
✖ Processed food items may be delicious, but are very low on nutrition. Try to avoid any junk and processed foodstuffs. Wondering, why? Because they contain trans fats in them. Trans fat are damaging to health. They increase the level of bad cholesterol, promote inflammation, and obesity. The foodstuffs which contain trans fat are pizzas, burgers, hotdogs, potato fries, etc.
✔ Most food products in the supermarket contain some amount of trans fat. Avoid any food products which contain trans fat, vegetable shortening, margarine, or hydrogenated oil in them. You can go for a bowl of fruits and nuts for snacks instead of snacking on junk or processed foods.
#6 - Nightshade Vegetables
✖ A group of vegetables called nightshade vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid which is known as solanine. It can trigger inflammation in certain people. Such people need to avoid nightshade vegetables. These vegetables are tomatoes, white potatoes, paprika, eggplants, and peppers.
✔ There are some anti-inflammatory vegetables which you can include in your diet and exclude the above mentioned ones. Some of the anti-inflammatory vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, garlic, spinach, leeks, green beans, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, spring onions, etc.
#7 - Meat
✖ Try to absolutely avoid red meat, as it causes inflammation, and try to avoid excess of all other meats too. Many commercially produced meat animals are given corn and soy beans in their diet. This means a lot of omega-6. Also, the commercially available meat animals are not given enough space to roam around which makes them gain excess fat. These animals are also injected with antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick. Eating such meats means inviting unwanted fat, omega-6, and antibiotics in the body.
✔ Instead, switch to eating fish, as fish is actually a great anti-inflammatory food.

Fish doesn't contain much fat and has good fats. Fish also helps to lower the cholesterol level.
#8 - Egg Yolks
✖ If you wish to eat eggs, only consume the egg white. Egg yolk contains arachidonic acid which is a fatty acid which is required in very small amount. Consumption of eggs can increase this acid in the body. So, if you are aiming at weight loss then avoid egg yolk.
✔ However, sometimes you can have the full egg, provided that the egg white and yolk remain separate. This is because when you scramble the egg, cholesterol in the yolk gets oxidized, and toxic byproducts are formed. You can instead go for complete egg white and poach or hard boil the egg.
#9 - Sodas
✖ Carbonated beverages like soda increase the blood sugar level in the body, which tends to make the immune system function abnormally.

Also, having one can of soda means having six cubes of refined sugar, which is equally bad!
✔ So, avoid sodas. Instead go for green tea or herbal tea. If you wish to have a cold beverage, then make your own fresh lemon-flavored ice tea using green tea and a bit of natural sweetener. Avoid, having cold water or any cold beverage with your meals as it tends to interfere with digestion.
#10 - Alcohol
✖ Alcohol when had regularly, promotes chronic inflammation which can make tumors to grow in the body. So, remove alcohol from you diet. It will help you to prevent inflammation and live longer too!
✔ A great substitute to alcohol are fresh fruit juices. You can have fresh apple, mango, orange juice, etc. Or make your own healthy and delicious combinations of fruit juices. Avoid adding sugar or ice to the fruit juices.
#11 - Food Additives
✖ A lot of additives are added in the food products. So, one needs to be very careful when shopping for any food items. Artificial food coloring, preservatives, and flavors are added to processed foods. This gives enhanced taste, color, and shelf life to the food products. However, these products can trigger inflammatory responses in the body. Especially, additives like aspartame and MSG.
✔ So, avoid food additives containing products. Instead, you can make you own recipes and add fresh anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger, holy basil, turmeric, etc.

These will make the food preparations even more healthy and appetizing.
Apart from following a healthy diet to reduce inflammation in the body, one also needs to follow some healthy habits.
Cook food on a low flame, and avoid overcooking. Overcooking can destroy enzymes in the food and increase the levels of toxic byproducts in the food. Also, stick to healthier ways of cooking food like grilling, baking, steaming, and boiling. Avoid using too much oil when cooking food.
Keep away from products which are made of high fructose corn syrup.
Make sure you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, the more colorful your diet is the more beneficial it is to your health.
If you suspect a food doesn't suit you then discard it from the diet for couple of weeks and observe your body. Then again introduce the food in the diet and notice the effects of the food. If you are sure that the particular type of food doesn't suit you then discard it from the diet completely.
If you are overweight then consider losing weight by indulging in a 'workout' routine. Because, certain studies show that obesity could itself be a cause for inflammation. You can consider working out for an hour for 5 days a week to lose the unnecessary weight.
Disclaimer: This  article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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