Kick these foods to the curb.
If you've been eating healthy and working out regularly, you may get frustrated when you don't see the weight coming off like you expected it to. This can be due in part to inflammation. Inflammation is part of the body's immune response.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation can stem from many of the common foods we eat everyday and can lead to weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issues, and a host of diseases, from diabetes to obesity to cancer. When you eat these foods, you may not only be increasing inflammation, but they can also set you up for other chronic conditions.
As with most unhealthy foods, try to eat these foods in moderation. When you do indulge, try and stick to portion controlled quantities.
These are common foods that can cause inflammation:
- Sugar: Foods like soda, snack bars, candy, coffee drinks and baked goods contain lots of sugar. The body can't process this excess glucose quick enough, leading to inflammation. Instead, opt for foods with whole grains, healthy fats, protein and fiber. Look out for these surprisingly sugary foods as well.
- Vegetable oil: Be careful with foods like mayonnaise, salad dressing, crackers, potato chips and many other condiments. The vegetable oil found in these foods, including soy, corn and palm oil, all have a high concentration of the inflammatory fat, omega-6, and are low in the anti-inflammatory fat, omega-3.
- Fried foods: French fries, fried chicken, chicken tenders, onion rings and fish sticks can all lead to inflammation. Many of these fried foods are also fried in vegetable oil, making this food a double whammy.
- Dairy: While some dairy products, like yogurt, can actually help decrease inflammation, other dairy products like cheese, butter and even milk contain inflammation-inducing saturated fats. Furthermore, dairy is a common allergen which can trigger inflammatory reactions.
- Saturated fats: Eat foods like pizza, chips, candy and burgers in moderation. Multiple studies have connected saturated fats to increasing fat tissue inflammation (the type of fat that stores energy).
- Artificial additives: Our bodies do not have a way to process artificial additives, like artificial coloring and thickeners. Your immune system may respond by trying to defend the body from these artificial additives and therefore lead to an inflammatory reaction.
What other foods have you found that increase inflammation?