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Top 5 Inflammatory Foods

May 22, 2012

By:  Maria

Take a close look at the image above. Inflammation is the root cause of all the diseases and disorders shown. If you are constantly eating foods that are pro-inflammatory, your body is in a chronic state of inflammation and you are, without a doubt, headed towards at least ONE (or more) of those health problems. If you are already dealing with one or more of those issues, read on to learn what foods you should be avoiding (like your life depends on it – literally).

1. Refined Sugars
Some of you may be thinking “duh!”, but I’m willing to bet many of you are consuming this without even realizing it. READ labels to make sure there’s not a hidden source in the food you buy, this includes artificial sweeteners! Here’s something most people don’t know – eating non-sweet foods like processed and refined grains and high starch potatoes can also cause a high insulin response, which can lead to inflammation. If they are a regular part of your diet, the likelihood that you are dealing with inflammation is considerable.

2. Food Additives
If you read this blog, you already know how I feel about this. Items like MSG, aspartame, trans-fats, nitrates, nitrites (all you bacon lovers that still purchase bacon from the grocery store – ahem), artificial colorings and preservatives. If you eat out frequently, know that they are the worst sources of food additives.

3. Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs)
Excessive consumption of pufa’s (industrially processed vegetable oils, grape seed, safflower, sunflower) that are unstable and oxidize easily contribute to inflammation in a major way. They are high in omega-6 (bad: pro-inflammatory)) and pathetically low (or void!) in omega-3 (good: anti-inflammatory). Even extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is highly susceptible to heat, which is why it is best to use EVOO for cold food prep only. Best sources of fat for cooking are coconut oil, ghee or animal fats.

4. Commercially-Raised Meat
All grocery store and restaurant meats (except when specified 100% grass-fed AND grass finished) come from animals raised in deplorable conditions, fed a diet high in omega-6 grains and feed and contain toxins like pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Grass-fed meat and farm raised poultry and eggs – although a bit more expensive – are anti-inflammatory and impact your health in a positive way. You can spend your money now, on quality meats, or spend your money later, on doctor visits and prescriptions due to the diseases and health issues that will surface from consuming pro-inflammatory foods.

5. Allergy Producing Foods
Wheat and grains containing the protein gluten, dairy (due to the protein casein, and lactose), soy, corn, nuts and even eggs. The best approach, if you suspect a food intolerance, is to completely remove the suspect food for 2 weeks. Reintroduce food one at a time to see if there is a reaction (i.e., if you suspect more than one food, eliminate all foods, reintroduce one at a time each week and watch for signs of reaction like gut issues in the form of cramping, bloating or digestive problems and also skin and/or sinus issues).

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