Food is meant to be enjoyable. What isn’t enjoyable, however, are the side effects that some foods, such as junk food, can cause on a deeper cellular level. Inflammation is one such side effect that should be avoided at all cost if you want to stay healthy or if you are to correctly manage a chronic health condition.

Inflammation Is Everywhere
Inflammation is an underlying cause of most modern-day chronic illnesses that are related to ageing, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease to cancer. Even if you are not currently living with a chronic illness, these foods are still best avoided in both scenarios to help manage or to help prevent a chronic illness developing.

Top 8 Foods That Cause Inflammation
Here are the top 8 foods that cause inflammation:

1. Dairy – For many, the issue with dairy comes from the A1 casein protein and the hormones added and naturally contained. Dairy is not always an issue however, simply because every one of us tolerates different things. Also, there are many different types of dairy. Typically, if you have an allergy to dairy (or any food) it will trigger inflammation. Some people that cannot tolerate dairy may not know the telltale signs and so it is only when they remove it and their health improves, do they see it was an issue.

2. Soy – Soy is usually very processed, and it is this processing that can lead to the formation of lysinoalanine and nitrosamine. These toxins that can damage your cells, causing inflammation.

3. Inflammatory Seed Oils – Corn, sunflower, canola, safflower and soy oils are extremely processed and contain unhealthy ratios of omega 6 to omega 3 essential fatty acids. Margarine and vegetable fats also typically contain these processed seed oils. When you tip the scale and upset the omega 6 to omega 3 balance, the body becomes less able to keep inflammation in check, allowing omega 6 to switch on the inflammatory pathways.

4. Glutenous Grains – Grains, in general, can cause inflammation in those with chronic health conditions but the first one to start experimenting with is gluten-containing grains. As many people experience a reduction or full relief of their symptoms just from removing gluten-containing grains such as wheat, spelt, Kamut, farro, durum, bulgar, semolina, barley, rye, triticale and some oats (if they are pure oats then they will be gluten-free, but most oats are contaminated with gluten).

5. Commercial Condiments – Condiments like mayonnaise, tomato sauce and other salad dressings are often full of seed oils, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours and harmful emulsifiers. All of which are pro-inflammatory ingredients that the body also struggles to process.

6. BPA – Whilst not a food ingredient, Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in the lining of food cans or packaging. Research has found that BPA is linked to health problems such as obesity, birth defects and increased inflammation in post-menopausal women.

7. Sugar – Most people are very aware that sugar is not helpful if you are trying to feel or look your best. But not so commonly known is the fact that sugar can trigger the release of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines that will, in turn, increase the inflammation inside you and weaken your immune system.

8. Artificial Sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners are known to increase inflammation in the body which can then increase your risk of developing glucose intolerance, metabolic disease and eventually full-blown diabetes. Consuming them also increases your chances of being overweight and developing heart disease and high blood pressure.

If you are not sure what foods are causing you to feel inflamed, try to remove all the above for 4 weeks, and then reintroduce slowly, one by one, noting down and symptoms you experience during the reintroduction phase. If you felt better without the above foods then keep them to a minimum, or they may be best avoided completely.

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