Five Foods that Increase Inflammation

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Inflammation is said to be the root of a variety of different health issues, including increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Much of the inflammation we have is caused by our diet, making it important to recognize the particular foods that may be contributing to our bodies. Here are five foods that are known to cause inflammation. 

Artificial trans fats 

These nasty fats are the unhealthiest you can eat, hands down. Trans fats are often listed as partially hydrogenated oils on food labels and are often found in kinds of margarine and other preservatives used to extend the shelf life of food. Other foods that include trans fats are various fast food items, microwave popcorn, and packaged cakes and cookies. Trans fats have been linked to increased inflammation, and can dangerously impair your arteries, which can lead to heart disease. 

Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup 

Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are both staples of a Western diet, and unfortunately, they also have strong inflammatory markers when consumed in high enough quantities. Both are found in a number of commonly eaten foods like soda, sweets, and cereals. Eating large amounts of either have been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and even cancer, and it all begins with elevated levels of inflammation. 

Refined carbohydrates 

While carbohydrates, in general, have become the boogeyman of the nutritional world, not all carbs are bad. The modern diet, however, is rife with high levels of refined carbs, which may drive up inflammation. Refined carbs mean most of the beneficial fiber has been removed, leaving a gut microbiome that encourages the growth of inflammatory bacteria. 

Processed meat 

Processed meat includes sausage, bacon, ham, smoked meat, and beef jerky. These mears contain what are known as advanced glycation end products, which are formed when cooking meats at high temperatures. These compounds have been linked to the causation of elevated inflammation levels, while also having a strong association with the development of colon cancer due to the body’s inflammatory response. 

Excessive alcohol 

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to a host of problems for your health, but one clear issue is an increased level of inflammatory marker CRP. With chronically elevated CRP levels, your body can develop a “leaky gut” which in turn can cause widespread inflammation. Excessive alcohol consumption should be limited at all costs in order to mitigate serious levels of inflammation. 


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