The inflammatory foods should be on the list of the main things to avoid if you have chronic diseases. Chronic inflammation is the cause of these diseases progressing and reaching this level, evolving into more severe ones. Fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis, in addition to cancer, are some of the diseases that are the product of a body that is being exposed to constant inflammation.
Foods that cause inflammation are one of the most important causes that cause a disease like the ones mentioned above to persist and increase in degree causing death.
According to statistics around 12.9 million people worldwide died of some form of cardiovascular disease in 2004. Each year about eight million people died of cancer.
Heart disease and cancer, the deadly manifestation of chronic inflammation, are expected to remain the leading causes of death in developed countries for many years to come.
But study after study shows that the risk of heart disease and cancer is modifiable by our lifestyles, which include the foods we choose to eat each day.
With every bite we take, we are either balancing the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, or tipping the scales to an extreme.
10 inflammatory foods you shouldn’t eat if you have fibromyalgia.
To shift the balance in your favor, other than just incorporating more natural anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, it is also equally important to avoid or reduce foods that cause inflammation.
Here are the ten foods that set the stage for inflammatory diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, thyroid diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and you should consider it if you suffer from chronic fatigue, which, although it is not a disease itself, is commonly the product of an inflamed organism.
1. Sugar is one of the most addictive inflammatory foods.
Pro-inflammatory agent: Excessive sugar intake causes tooth decay and has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, inflammation, and chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Recently, sugar, as well as dairy products are the causes of acne.
You find it in: Sugary drinks like sodas, fruit drinks and punch are some of the main sources of sugars that many have overlooked. Did you know that drinking a can of Coca-Cola is the same as eating ten cubes of sugar?
Other obvious sugar-laden foods to avoid or at least limit include cakes, desserts, sweets, and snacks.
And when you’re looking for sugar in the ingredient list, keep in mind that sugar has many names: corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, golden syrup, maltose, sorghum syrup, and sucrose are some of the creative names used to confuse the consumer.
Sugar Substitute: Do you have a sweet tooth? opt for natural sweeteners like stevia, honey or molasses to sweeten drinks and foods modestly. The natural sugars found in fresh or dried fruits and canned fruits without added sugar are also excellent options.
Not only do they give you the sweetness you crave, fruits also supply you with vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers that you won’t find in sugary foods and drinks.
Dates, figs, persimmons, kiwis, tangerines and various types of berries are some of the natural healthy snacks you can go for if you want something sweet on your palate.
2. Common cooking oils cause inflammation.
Pro-Inflammatory Agent: Common vegetable cooking oils used in many homes and restaurants have very high omega-6 fatty acids and sadly low omega-3 fats.
A diet that consists of a highly unbalanced omega-6 to omega-3, promotes inflammation and engenders inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
You find them in: Polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as grapeseed, cotton, safflower, corn, canola and sunflower oil. These industrial vegetable oils are also commonly used to prepare the most processed foods and takeout.
Vegetable Oil Substitute: Replace your omega-6 saturated cooking oils with macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or other edible oils with a higher balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
Macadamia oil, for example, has a near one-to-one ratio of omega-6: 3 fats, and is also rich in oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid.
3. Trans fats of the most inflammatory products.
Pro-inflammatory agent: Trans fatty acids are known for their double whammy: they increase the levels of “bad” cholesterol, while reducing the levels of “good” cholesterol.
But that is not all they can do. They have also been found to be inflammatory foods that promote obesity and insulin resistance, setting the stage for degenerative diseases to take place.
You find them in: Fried foods, fast foods, commercial baked goods and those prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable shortening.
Keep in mind that items that list 0g trans fats on the label may still contain a certain amount of these toxic fats. This is because in the US, the government allows items containing less than 0.5 g of trans fat to be declared free of trans fat.
Commercially prepared peanut butter is a good example. Your best bet is to read the ingredient list and make sure that partially hydrogenated oil or shortening is not used.
Substitute for trans-fat: Look for alternative products that do not contain trans-fat, and do not have partially hydrogenated oil or shortening in the ingredient list.
When in doubt, all commercially prepared foods are assumed to contain trans-fat unless otherwise noted.
4. Dairy products on the list of the main inflammatory.
Pro-inflammatory agent: As much as 60% of the world’s population cannot digest milk. In fact, researchers think that being able to digest milk after infancy is abnormal, rather than the other way around.
Milk is also a common allergen that can trigger inflammatory responses, such as an upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives, and breathing difficulties in susceptible people.
You find them in: Milk and dairy products are as pervasive as foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil or omega-3 deficient vegetable oil.
Aside from the obvious dairy products such as butter and cheese, foods with hidden dairy content include boxed breads, cookies, cakes, cream sauces, and cereals.
Scanning the ingredient list is still the safest way to search for milk. They are one of the strongest inflammatory foods that exist although many people are not aware of it.
Dairy Substitute: Kefir and unsweetened yogurt are acceptable in moderation for those who are not allergic to milk. They are easier on the stomach, as the lactose and proteins in milk have been broken down by beneficial bacteria and yeast.
5. Farm meat.
Pro-Inflammatory Agent: Commercially produced cattle meats are fed grains such as soybeans and corn, a diet high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
Due to small and cramped living conditions, these animals also gain excess fat and end up with high saturated fats. Worse still, to make them grow faster and prevent them from getting sick, they are also injected with hormones and fed antibiotics.
The result is a piece of meat that you and I shouldn’t be eating.
You can find it in: Unless otherwise noted, most, if not all, beef, pork, and poultry can be found in supermarkets and restaurants that stock feedlots.
Free-range meat substitute: Organic free-range animals that are fed a natural diet, such as herbs instead of grains and hormones, contain more omega-3 fats. They have more room to move freely, are also thinner, and contain less saturated fat.
6. Red meat and processed meat, foods that cause a lot of inflammation.
Pro-inflammatory agent: Researchers found that red meat contains a molecule that humans do not naturally produce called Neu5Gc.
After ingestion of this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that can trigger the chronic inflammatory response. Low-grade latent inflammation that won’t go away has been linked to cancer and heart disease.
The link between processed meat consumption and cancer is even stronger. In a 2007 report processed meat has been declared a compelling cause of cancers of the colon and rectum, and possibly esophagus and lung as well.
Meat products include products of animal origin that have been smoked, cured, salted or chemically preserved.
You find them in: Common red meats like beef, lamb, and pork, while processed meats include ham, sausage, and salami.
Substitutes for these meats: You don’t need to avoid red meat altogether, especially if it’s organic, although the same can’t be said for processed meat. No amount of processed meat is safe.
Replace most of your red meat with organic veggies, chicken, and fish, and relegate red meat as a weekly treat. When you eat red meat, don’t forget to choose lean cuts and preferably grass-fed cuts.
To reduce the formation of toxins generated by heat, it is also advisable not to burn your meat and to use moist heat for cooking as well as for stewing, and to boil or steam more frequently than high-temperature methods such as broiling and frying.
7. Drinking alcohol causes inflammation.
Pro-inflammatory agent: Regular high alcohol consumption has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx (voice box), and liver. Over time, chronic inflammation promotes tumor growth and leads to cancer at sites of repeated irritation.
You find it in: Beers, ciders, spirits, and wines.
Alcohol Substitute: A refreshing, thirst-quenching glass of pure, filtered water How about a cup of anti-inflammatory and anti-aging green tea and jasmine? If you find the idea of swapping ethanol for water or tea difficult, at least limit your intake to no more than one drink per day each time you drink it.
8. Refined grains with or without gluten.
Pro-inflammatory agent: A great deal of the grains we eat today are refined. They lack fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains just as bad as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories.
And refined sugars, as well as refined grains, have a higher glycemic index than unprocessed grains and when consumed consistently, they can accelerate the onset of degenerative diseases such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
You find them in: Products made with refined grains are almost everywhere. The most common are: white rice, white flour, white bread, noodles, pasta, cookies and cakes.
To make matters worse, many refined grain products undergo post-treatment to improve their flavor, and are often loaded with excess sugar, salt, artificial flavors, and partially hydrogenated oil in the process.
A good example is cereal boxes that contain considerable amounts of added sugar and flavorings.
Refined grain substitutes: opt for minimally processed grains if you are not gluten intolerant or allergic to grains. If you are avid for bread or pastries, invest in a grain mill to produce your own flour.
It will be much fresher than the stale grain found in stores. When buying cereals or other grain-based products, don’t take what the box labels say at face value.
Just because the box says whole grains, this does not mean that the grains inside are 100% intact. The problem stems from the lack of an internationally accepted definition of the word “whole grain”. When in doubt, if it doesn’t look close to its natural state, don’t buy it.
9. Artificial food additives.
Pro-inflammatory agent: Some artificial food additives, such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), reportedly trigger inflammatory responses, especially in people already suffering from inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
You find them in: Packaged foods contain only artificial food additives. If you are going to buy them, read the labels carefully and analyze their risks. If you order Chinese takeout, make sure you have the option to order without MSG. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Substitute for these types of additives: In addition to limiting the consumption of processed foods, use anti-inflammatory herbs, spices or natural sweeteners to flavor your dishes instead of relying on food additives.
10. Pro-inflammatory agent:
Why is the number 10 blank? Because it is meant for you to fill with food that you are sensitive to. Many people are sensitive to certain foods, but are not fully aware of it.
Unlike food allergies whereby symptoms usually come on quickly and noticeably, symptoms caused by food intolerance can take longer to manifest.
Consequently, when symptoms of food intolerance appear, minor ailments such as tiredness and headaches are often common. But long-term, repeated exposure to irritating foods can cause inflammation and lead to chronic disease.
You find them in: The most common food allergens are gluten, milk, nuts, eggs and nightshade vegetables. Contrary to common belief, it is possible to develop an allergy to foods that you eat frequently.
Substitutes for these foods: If you suspect that a particular food may be responsible for the response to your food intolerance, try to avoid it completely for about two weeks and control your reaction, remember that intolerances are largely causing inflammation and with it, fibromyalgia pain.
At the end of the abstinence period, reintroduce food into your diet. If you do find yourself incompatible with these, you should be able to easily tell the difference in how you feel.