Inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on your circumstances. On the one hand, it’s your body’s natural defense against injury or illness. It can also help in healing and assist your body in fending off disease.
Conversely, sustained chronic inflammation has been associated with a higher risk of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. So it’s interesting how your diet can greatly impact inflammation in your body. The following list of 5 foods can cause inflammation.
- Not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
To prevent persistent inflammation, you should break this bad practice. According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and member of the medical review board, “Fruits like berries, oranges and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale consist of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help keep our immune systems healthy and strong, which is vital especially as you age.” “Only one in ten people eat the advised amounts, which indicates that 90% of us can do better.”
2. Eating ‘AGE’ foods such as french fries.
Foods that must be fried at high temperatures may produce dangerous substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), which build up in the body as we age.
Johna Burdeos, RD, owner of Dietitian Johna, claims that foods like cooked red meat and refined carbs like white bread contain AGEs. “Extreme intake of these foods may speed up aging, and can also raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, and can cause inflammation and cellular damage. In addition, wrinkles, puffiness, and acne indicate reduced skin elasticity caused by the skin’s inflammatory response.”
3. Eating processed junk foods.
The unhealthiest foods to eat are processed meats like cold cuts, bacon, and hot dogs and junk food like candy bars, cookies, sugary drinks, potato chips, ice cream, and fast food. According to research, the delicate balance of healthy and unhealthy microorganisms in the gut, or microbiome, can be upset by these highly processed meals, which are a Western diet staple.
According to Kathryn Piper, RDN, LD, of The Age-Defying Dietitian, “processed foods alter the bacteria that live in our gut, triggering an altered immune response and resulting in chronic inflammation.” Chronic inflammation has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
4. Not eating enough fiber.
Avoiding highly processed foods and making it a habit to consume more dietary fiber—ideally 25 to 38 grams daily from foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and legumes—are the two main ways to treat an unhealthy microbiome, according to Goodson.
“Very few people eat enough fiber, but the fiber is the key if you want to age gracefully with good gut health and a healthy cholesterol,” claims Goodson. Set a target of consuming 4 to 6 grams of fiber per meal and snack throughout the day.
5. Happy hours and frequent drinking.
Any alcohol consumption may worsen inflammation in the body, and excessive alcohol consumption, among other health risks, raises your chance of chronic low-grade inflammation.
She advises that if you drink, stick to the guidelines of no more than one alcoholic beverage for women and two for men daily.