Sorry, cheese and ice cream lovers, but dairy can cause a variety of issues related to inflammation. As mindbodygreen notes, dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods we eat.
It’s the proteins and sugar in dairy that are really to blame for its bad rap. If you’re lactose intolerant, then consuming this sugar found in milk is sure to give you problems. Even if lactose isn’t your issue, many people respond poorly to casein and whey, two proteins found in dairy products. And we haven’t even mentioned the growth hormones and antibiotics used on cows for milk production, but these can also cause inflammation.
2. Refined grains
There’s a reason your doctor has told you to stick with whole grains when possible. Healthline explains white breads, pastas, and rice have all the nutrients and fibrous parts removed. This means refined grains have very little fiber, vitamins, or minerals. And because of that lack of fiber, they’re digested much quicker than their whole-wheat counterparts. This causes rapid blood sugar spikes during mealtime, which ultimately can lead to chronic inflammation and a wealth of diseases, like diabetes.
3. Diet foods with artificial sweeteners
Just because it’s approved by the FDA doesn’t necessarily mean you should be eating it. Artificial sweeteners are in all your favorite diet products, but some evidence suggests you might be better off consuming actual sugar. The Arthritis Foundation says if you already have an autoimmune condition, then it may have an impact on your health. Even if you’re just sensitive to artificial sweeteners, eating them may trigger an inflammatory response if your body doesn’t think they belong.
4. Fried foods
You know by now that eating anything deep fried isn’t doing your waistline any favors, but it’s also deeply hurting the inside of your body, too. Fried foods contain loads of saturated fat, which the journal Advances in Nutrition notes can lead to an inflammatory response. And Mother Nature Network says frying foods creates a neurotoxin chemical that also causes issues. Do yourself a favor and bake your foods instead of allowing them to hit that hot oil.
5. Processed meats
We know bacon is a favorite food for many, and you probably haven’t considered how your daily ham sandwich is affecting your health, but both of these meats are highly inflammatory. In fact, any meat that’s been processed and packaged should be avoided like the plague.
NHS Choices notes researchers believe nitrites, the preservatives in these meats, are what triggers an inflammatory response. And there was even a study performed on 1,000 adults, about half of whom had asthma, to see how a diet rich in processed meats affected their condition. The study found eating these products four times a week worsened symptoms.
Sorry — we know you’ve heard that your glass of red wine at dinner is helping your heart, but this may not really be the case. While an alcoholic beverage here and there isn’t such a big deal, going out drinking on a consistent basis can cause a serious inflammatory response and increase your risk of developing disease. An article from the World Journal of Gastroenterology explains chronic alcohol consumption impairs how well your gut and livers works, thus leading to inflammation and organ damage.
7. Sugar-laden desserts