7 Inflammatory Foods To Avoid Or Cut Down On

Inflammatory Foods To Avoid

Knowing what foods to avoid to cut inflammation, and what to have as part of an anti-inflammatory diet, is more important than ever with the average diet today chock-full of inflammation-causing foods.

As important as what you should eat is knowing what to eat less of. Some of the foods that follow are best avoided, so cut them out of your life if you can or reduce intake if nothing else.

1. Saturated Fats

Saturated fats have been linked to an inflammatory response by the body. Researchers suggest switching from saturated fatty acids like butter and cream for your cooking to unsaturated fatty acids like olive oil or other oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids that cut inflammation. It also means cutting down intake of fatty red meat, poultry with the skin on, and dairy products like cheese.1

2. Trans Fats

Trans fatty acids have been implicated in increased inflammation. One study focused on women found that TFA intake was positively associated with markers of systemic inflammation. Cutting down foods with TFA like store-bought baked goods, fried food, frozen pizza, pie crusts, and even packaged products like cookies and crackers should, therefore, help cut inflammation too.2


3. Sugar

Consuming a lot of refined sugar is also bad for you. If you have a diet that’s routinely high on refined sugar, you could be in trouble when it comes to inflammation.3 Even more worrying, sugar may actually hamper anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids from doing their job, as one animal study showed.4 Consuming sugary sodas has been found to increase the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases, so you’d definitely want to knock those off the shopping list.5

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup

Besides the risk of consuming so much sugar in the form of fructose in high fructose corn syrup, you also are at risk of inflammation if this is accompanied by a magnesium deficiency. Research suggests this combination of deficiency with high fructose corn syrup intake can increase your risk of inflammation, leading to higher chances of metabolic syndrome.6


5. Vegetable Oils

Once considered a healthier option than animal fats, vegetable oils have now been found to have negative implications for your body. The omega-6 fatty acids many vegetable oils contain is linked to increased inflammation in the body.7

6. Processed And Refined Foods

Processed foods tend to contain one or more of these “off bounds” inflammation-causing foods, whether it is sugar, high fructose corn syrup, highly refined starch, or saturated fats and trans fats. So it follows that avoiding these would be a good idea. Processed meats are even worse. Advanced glycation end products formed when meats are cooked at high temperatures (as is the case with processed meats) result in inflammation and increase oxidant stress.8 Refined carbs, low in fiber and usually high on the glycemic index, are triggers for inflammation. Which is why some experts suggest we return to eating whole grain foods as our ancestors did, because that may help cut inflammation.9


7. Alcohol

Certain systemic markers of inflammation increase when alcohol is consumed.10 For those who drink heavily, a “leaky gut” problem threatens to make the problem of inflammation more widespread. The liver detoxifies lipopolysaccharide (LPS), one of the main inducers of inflammation. Multi-organ interaction also limits the adverse effects of this LPS. Heavy drinking increases the movement of the LPS from your gut and impairs liver and multi-organ interactions. Bad news for your body’s inflammation-fighting ability.11