Inflammatory Foods You Should Avoid At All Costs

Inflammatory Foods You Should Avoid At All Costs

Mar 01, 2024

Inflammation is a hot topic in the health world these days. At emergency room in Temple, TX, we understand the impact diet has on overall wellbeing and want to provide our community with valuable information on making healthy choices. One important way to take control of our health is by recognizing foods that may contribute to unwanted inflammation in the body.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s natural way to response to an injury or infection. It’s characterized by redness, swelling, heat, and pain—all signs that the immune system has been activated. Acute inflammation is normal and helps aid the healing process when you get a cut or have a cold. However, chronic, low-grade inflammation can quietly impact your health over time. If left unchecked, this type of persistent inflammation is linked to serious medical conditions that may require urgent care.

Certain foods are common triggers for chronic inflammation. By making dietary changes, you can calm down your body’s inflammatory response and promote better health. Our emergency room near you encourages understanding your unique intolerances and food sensitivities.

Types of Foods That Cause Inflammation

  • 1. Processed Foods and Sugars

Diets high in processed foods and added sugars promote inflammation. This includes any fast food, frozen meals, white bread, as well as pastries, soda, candy, and other nutrient-deficient articles. They’re high in unhealthy fats, salt, chemical additives, and preservatives while low in fiber and vitamins. If you continue to eat these inflammatory foods over time, they can take a toll on your body, hence causing problems like weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and low immunity. Be mindful of cutting back on the packaged snacks and opting for whole food alternatives whenever possible.

  • 2. Saturated and Trans Fats

Fats and oils high in saturated and trans fats also trigger inflammation. These include butter, cheese, fatty cuts of meat, along with baked goods and fried foods, as well as margarine, shortening, and more. They change the membrane composition of cells, which can set off inflammatory reactions. Saturated fats also increase the production of cytokines, which are inflammatory signaling proteins. When dining out, you better ask how foods are prepared to avoid sneaky sources of these fats.

  • 3. Refined Carbohydrates

Refined grains like white rice, bread, pasta, crackers, and cereals are commonly found in the standard American diet. However, these processed carbohydrates cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, which stimulates inflammation. They also lack the beneficial fiber that supports gut health and immunity. Limiting intake of refined grains and replacing them with whole food complex carbs can help reduce inflammation.

  • 4. Excessive Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol frequently floods the body with sugar, stresses the liver, and promotes widespread inflammation. If you suspect a dependency, seek help as alcohol consumption can have severe health consequences over time, some potentially requiring urgent medical attention.

  • 5. Fried foods

Frying creates harmful compounds like AGEs and aldehydes while oxidizing fats into “free radicals” that damage cells. Damaged cells and toxins activate inflammatory processes. The high heat also denatures proteins.

  • 6. Excess added sugar

Fructose and simple sugars increase AGEs, disrupt gut bacteria, and overload the liver similar to alcohol – leading to inflammation. Sugars also spike insulin which causes resistance, metabolic dysfunction, and inflammatory cytokine production.

  • 7. Refined Oils

Omega-6 oils are easily oxidized into free radicals during refining, frying, baking, etc. This floods cells with signals of damage that activates more inflammation. Omega-6 also fuels inflammatory AA cascades.

  • 8. Gluten

In gluten sensitivity/celiac disease, gluten peptides pass through a leaky gut and stimulate the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while also driving autoimmunity that can perpetuate inflammation systemically.

The Link Between Diet and Chronic Diseases

Chronic inflammation that stems from diet can develop more serious health conditions down the road. Whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis, or cognitive decline, somewhere, they have always been associated with prolonged, low-grade inflammation. By being proactive about reducing inflammation through a healthy diet, you can help minimize your risk of developing these chronic diseases later on. Our emergency room sees the burden these preventable illnesses place on public health and wants to raise awareness.

 Healthy Dietary Choices to Reduce Inflammation

The good news is that many dietary tweaks can help combat inflammation. Focus on getting plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices like leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, turmeric, and ginger. Stay hydrated with anti-inflammatory beverages like green tea. Increase plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Swap out refined grains for fiber-rich whole grains and aim for healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and omega-3s from fish. If you have concerns about a lingering health issue, don’t hesitate to seek care, as needing urgent care is better than letting problems progress.

In closing, be mindful of how your diet impacts inflammation levels and make changes where you can. Small steps go a long way in supporting healthy aging and preventing chronic disease. For any pressing health concerns, Express ER Temple is here to serve the Temple community with quality urgent care. By working together, we can tackle inflammation and inspire better wellness for all.

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