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5 Foods that Cause Inflammation in the Body

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Inflammation can be good or bad, depending on the circumstance.

When you're ill or injured, it's your body's natural way of protecting itself.

It may assist your body in preventing illness and promoting healing.

On the other hand, diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are linked to chronic, sustained inflammation.

Strangely, the food sources you eat can altogether influence irritation in your body.

foods containing excess sugar

1. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup

Table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the two most common forms of added sugar found in Western diets.

High fructose corn syrup is roughly 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose, while sugar is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose.

Added sugars can increase inflammation, which can lead to disease, which is one reason they are bad.

In one study, mice fed diets high in sucrose developed breast cancer that spread to their lungs, in part because sugar triggers an inflammatory response.

Omega-3 fatty acids' anti-inflammatory effects were diminished in mice fed a diet high in sugar in a 2011 study.

In addition, only the regular soda group in a randomized clinical trial had elevated levels of uric acid, which contributes to inflammation and insulin resistance. The other groups drank milk, water, or diet soda.

Sugar can also be bad because it contains too much fructose.

Although fruits and vegetables contain only trace amounts of fructose, excessive consumption of added sugars can be harmful to health.

Obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver disease, cancer, and chronic kidney disease have all been linked to eating a lot of fructose.

Additionally, researchers have discovered that fructose contributes to the risk of heart disease by promoting inflammation in the endothelial cells that line blood vessels.

In both mice and humans, it has been demonstrated that consumption of a lot of fructose raises a number of inflammatory markers.

Candy, chocolate, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, sweet pastries, and some cereals are among the foods with a lot of added sugar.

Summary: A diet high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup causes inflammation, which can make a person sick. Additionally, it may interfere with omega-3 fatty acids' ability to reduce inflammation.

2. Fried foods

Fried foods like French fries, mozzarella sticks, doughnuts, and egg rolls may also make the body more prone to inflammation in addition to being high in fat and calories.

This is due to the fact that some high-temperature cooking methods, like frying, can make more harmful compounds like advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can cause inflammation and contribute to chronic disease.

Cooking oils that have been fried may also contain more trans fats, which can increase inflammation.

According to some studies, fried foods may alter the composition of the gut microbiome, which may raise inflammation levels.

According to additional studies, eating fried food may also raise one's risk of developing and dying from heart disease.

Summary: Frying foods can make harmful compounds like AGEs and trans fats, which can make inflammation worse, more likely. Fried foods can also have an effect on the microbiome in the gut and may increase the risk of chronic disease, according to studies.

3. Refined carbs

Although carbohydrates have received a bad rap, many high-carbohydrate foods are extremely nutritious and can be included in a balanced diet.

Nonetheless, eating inordinate measures of refined carbs can drive aggravation.

The majority of the fiber in refined carbs has been removed. Fiber makes you feel full, helps you control your blood sugar, and feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

The refined carbs in today's diet may encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria, which can make you more likely to be overweight and have inflammatory bowel disease.

The glycemic index (GI) of refined carbs is higher than that of unprocessed ones. Foods with a high GI raise blood sugar more quickly than foods with a low GI.

When compared to a control group, children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis who followed a low-GI diet for three months saw significant reductions in markers of inflammation.

Similar results were found in a second review, which found that people with diabetes who followed a low-GI diet had lower levels of the inflammation marker interleukin-6 than those who followed a high-GI diet.

Refined starches are tracked down in sweets, bread, pasta, baked goods, a few grains, treats, cakes, sweet soda pops, and all handled food sources that contain added sugar or flour.

Summary: Unprocessed, high-fiber carbs are good for you, but refined carbs make your blood sugar go up and cause inflammation, which can make you sick.

4. Excessive alcohol

Moderate alcohol: consumption may have some positive effects on one's health.

However, excessive amounts can result in serious issues.

In one 2010 review, levels of C-responsive protein (CRP), a marker of irritation, expanded in individuals who polished off liquor. CRP levels were highest in those who consumed more than two drinks per day.

Bacterial toxins may have trouble moving out of the colon and into the body in people who drink a lot. This condition, also known as "leaky gut," can cause widespread inflammation that can damage organs.

Limit alcohol consumption to two standard drinks per day for men and one for women to avoid health issues linked to alcohol.

Summary: Consuming a lot of alcohol can cause inflammation to spread throughout your body and create a "leaky gut."

5. Meats cooked at high temperatures

Consuming meats cooked at high temperatures — including handled meats like bacon, frankfurter, ham, and smoked meat — is related with an expanded gamble of coronary illness, diabetes, and specific kinds of malignant growth.

Grilling, barbecuing, roasting, frying, toasting, and searing are all other forms of high heat cooking.

AGEs, which are inflammatory compounds, are produced when meats are cooked at high temperatures.

AGEs are thought to play a role in the development of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation.

It's interesting to note that before grilling or roasting, marinating meats in acidic solutions like vinegar or lemon juice can cut the amount of AGEs in half.

Cooking meats with moist heat, such as boiling, steaming, poaching, or stewing, for shorter periods of time is another way to reduce the formation of AGEs.

Summary: High-temperature cooked meats, including processed meats, are high in AGEs, which have been linked to chronic disease and inflammation.

The bottom line: Many things can cause inflammation, some of which are hard to avoid like pollution, injury, or illness.

But things like your diet are much more in your control.

Keep inflammation to a minimum by avoiding foods that cause it and consuming foods that are anti-inflammatory for optimal health.


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