This is the second part to our article Foods that Reduce Inflammation. Because sometimes it’s not just about eating the right things, but equally about cutting out the bad things.
Internal inflammation can happen for a host of different reasons: high temperatures when cooking food, eating processed foods, sugar, trans fats, etc. A high level of inflammation within the body can cause many health problems. An easy way to combat this? Eat less inflammatory foods! Here are HFR’s list of foods that cause inflammation:
- Artificial Food Additives: MSG and Aspartame are two common food additives that can trigger inflammation responses. Try and omit all artificial food additives completely from your diet.
- White Flours and Rice: “Refined” products have no fiber and have a high glycemic index. They are everywhere: white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries… Try and replace with minimally processed grains (we wrote an article about the importance of switching to whole grains here).
- Red and Processed Meats: Red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5GC. Once you ingest this compound, your body develops antibodies which may trigger constant inflammatory responses. Reduce red meat consumption to once a week at most and replace with poultry, fish and unprocessed meats.
- Dairy: While kefir and greek yogurts are acceptable, dairy is hard on the body. Milk is a common allergen that can trigger inflammation, stomach problems, skin rashes, hives and even breathing difficulties- switch to almond milk, which we wrote about here.
- Alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol causes irritation and inflammation to numerous organs, which can lead to cancer. Reduce consumption of alcohol, and switch from hard liquor to wine or beer.
- Feedlot-Raised Meat: Animals who are fed with grains like soy and corn contain high inflammation. Also, these animals also gain excess fat and are injected with hormones and antibiotics, which not only wreck havoc on their bodies, but ours as well. Always opt for organic, free-range meats who have been fed natural diets.
- Sugar: Sugar is everywhere, and often hidden in foods you wouldn’t expect. Try and limit processed foods, desserts and snacks with excess sugar. Always read labels and opt for fresh or frozen fruit instead.
- Trans Fats: Trans fats increase bad cholesterol, promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin. They are in fried foods, fast foods, commercially baked goods, such as peanut butter and items prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable oil.
- Many Cooking Oils: Soy, safflower, sunflower, corn, and cottonseed oil promote inflammation and are made with cheaper ingredients. Opt instead for olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil. We even wrote a list of the 10 healthiest oils to cook with here.