3 Foods to Avoid to Reduce Inflammation and Feel Better
Although no two patients with pain are alike, they all have one thing in common: INFLAMMATION! Inflammation has been historically taught in the context of an acute injury, as in trauma or infection. We now know, without question, that chronic inflammation can rage on for years without swelling, redness and heat, and over time, lead to the development of pain, diabetes, depression, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and most other chronic conditions. Here are three foods that can increase inflammation in the body:
SUGAR! There are at least 57 names for sugar, and manufacturers cleverly disguise sugar within ingredients you wouldn’t recognize as sugar. Anything ending in “ose” is sugar. If food labels confuse you, simply switch to whole, unprocessed foods and you can guarantee you won’t get HFCS or other man-made sweeteners. Even though sugar and inflammation serve important functions in our bodies in moderation, the problem arises when we eat too much sugar, which results in too much inflammation. This can happen when we eat a lot of processed foods with added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Examples include soda, juice, white bread, white flour, white rice, cookies, crackers, chips, doughnuts, cake, and ice cream. Eating too many foods with added sugar and refined carbohydrates can result in long-term, low-grade systemic inflammation.
Milk is designed by nature to make calves gain weight quickly. Since we are not calves—or even babies any longer—our bodies do not require milk. Contrary to popular belief and advertisement, bone strength does not come from consuming milk and other dairy products but from plant foods. In fact, the phosphorus content in cow milk may have a negative impact on our bone health. Dairy is a highly inflammatory food for many people, and more processing (“skimming”) does not make it any healthier, only more inflammatory.
Refined Wheat Flours have been stripped of their slow-digesting fiber and nutrients, which means your body can break down the foods made from this ingredient very quickly. The more quickly your body digests glucose-containing foods, the faster your blood sugar levels can spike, which also spikes your insulin levels—a compound associated with a pro-inflammatory response. A Journal of Nutrition study found that a diet high in refined grains showed a greater concentration of the inflammatory marker, PAI-1, in the blood.
Everyone reacts differently to certain foods, but these are 3 examples of highly inflammatory foods. It is important to understand how foods affect your body because they could be contributing to the aches and pains you experience. Eating these foods could be like throwing gas on the fire in relation to pain. In addition to removing pro-inflammatory foods from your diet, adding anti-inflammatory foods and supplements can help keep your body functioning well. If you are in Bucks County or Montgomery County and have any questions about nutrition or just want to improve your overall health, schedule a complimentary consultation to see how we can help!