Top 10 Foods that Cause Inflammation

  1. Dairy – In nature, milk is a food for babies, not adults; and cow’s milk contains growth factors that are intended for baby cows, not humans!  With the exception of some populations of  northern Europe and a few African tribes, most adults do not digest dairy well.  Regular consumption of dairy can lead to chronic irritation of the GI tract, exacerbation of asthma, other respiratory disorders, some skin disorders, and has even been linked to Type I Diabetes in children.
  2. Gluten – A new syndrome has been identified, called “Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity”, and is just now beginning to be studied.  An increasing number of people worldwide are reporting sensitivity to dietary gluten, which can exacerbate a variety of inflammatory disorders from IBS to autoimmune disorders and weight gain.
  3. Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup/Sweetened Beverages –  Known to increase the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which leads to an increase in belly fat, which produces pro-inflammatory molecules (called cytokines).  Also, a link has recently been established between sugar intake and high blood pressure, as well as high triglycerides.  
  4. Trans Fats – This includes vegetable oil with the word “hydrogenated” in it, plus highly refined oils such as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower (also very high in omega-6 fatty acids, too much of which contributes to inflammation).  These fats damage the inner lining of blood vessels (the “endothelium”) which can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  5. Animal Fats – These are high in a substance called “arachidonic acid”, which can trigger inflammation when eaten in significant amounts.  Egg yolks are high in arachidonic acid, which is a good reason to always select “omega 3” eggs.   (Omega 3 fatty acids are antiinflammatory). 
  6. Processed/Packaged Foods, Refined Flours – Refined flours have been stripped of the bran which provides essential fiber, as well as many essential nutrients.  Processed and packaged foods almost always have undesirable additives (often to increase the shelf life of the product), plus added sugar and sodium.  These “foods” are very rapidly digested, which results in a rapid rise in blood sugar (see #3 above!).  They also tend to be very calorically dense, but nutritionally poor.
  7. Alcohol – When consumed in excess (i.e. more than 2 drinks/day for men, or more than 1 drink/day for women), alcohol causes inflammation of the liver and pancreas, and also of fatty tissue.
  8. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –  Consumption can lead to fatty liver disease (an inflammatory condition), a worsening of fibromyalgia and irritable bowel symptoms, and has been linked to obesity.
  9. Artificial Sweeteners – Although largely anecdotal at this time, the body of evidence supporting the toxicity of artificial sweeteners is rapidly growing.  Sucralose has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease; and the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages has been shown to actually stimulate appetite, leading to weight gain and its associated inflammatory diseases.
  10. Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) – Compounds that form primarily in protein foods that have been cooked at high temperatures in dry heat (as opposed to moist cooking methods).  These have been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can worsen osteoporosis, and are especially dangerous for people with diabetes and kidney disease.  Moist cooking methods (e.g. poaching, steaming, stewing and boiling), or the use of an acidic marinade for 1 hour before cooking, helps to minimize the formation of AGEs when cooking meats.                                                                                                                                              These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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