Foods That Have Hidden Inflammatory Properties

Foods That Have Hidden Inflammatory Properties

You’ve probably heard about inflammation before. It’s like an immune system response to an injury or infection, and is often characterized by redness, swelling, pain, and heat. A little bit of inflammation is normal, but too much can lead to chronic health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.

You might also hear that some foods can increase inflammation across the body. These foods usually contain high levels of saturated fat and sugar — so it’s important to limit them in your diet. To help you identify these inflammation-increasing foods, here are some examples.

1. Processed foods

Processed foods are loaded with preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and even chemicals used to make them feel fresh (like sodium benzoate in packaged salad dressings). Sadly, many of these additives have been linked to inflammation.

2. Hidden sugars

When you eat too much sugar, the excess ends up being stored as fat in your body. And that extra fat can cause chronic low-level inflammation throughout the body.

3. Artificial sweeteners

Even if you’re trying to avoid sugar in your diet, you may still be eating a lot of artificial sweeteners, which are commonly found in packaged foods labeled “diet” or “sugar-free.” Unfortunately, researchers from Purdue University showed that artificial sweeteners could actually increase appetite and encourage fat storage – both factors linked to inflammation.

4. Refined carbs

Refined carbs are high on the glycemic index and that means they get digested quickly, leading to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. That’s problematic because when blood sugar levels drop too low, your body releases stress hormones from the adrenal glands to boost them back up again. Over time, this “stress hormone roller coaster” can lead to inflammation and disease.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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