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The Worst Foods That Cause Inflammation and Weight Gain

By April 19, 2022 Health
foods that cause inflammation

A 2020 study claimed that 3 of 5 people worldwide die from chronic inflammatory diseases. 

If you’re regularly suffering from inflammation, you might reasonably suspect that your eating habits may be contributing to the problem.

And your diet can indeed have a major impact on inflammation and weight gain. Thankfully, most people can improve their health by identifying the foods that cause inflammation. 

Read further to learn about the worst offenders, and which foods you should be eating instead.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural defensive response to harmful infections and injury. But chronic inflammation is when the immune system continues to send out cells when there is no injury or infection.

It can lead to many serious health problems, like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. It’s also linked to bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

There are various symptoms of chronic inflammation, including body pain, stomach issues, depression and anxiety, weight gain or weight loss, and chronic fatigue.

A carefully designed anti-inflammatory diet plan can help reduce inflammation and weight gain. Let’s look at five of the worst foods that cause inflammation.

1. Sugar

You may not want to hear it, but sugary foods are the number one culprit for triggering inflammation and weight gain. Eating foods with high sugar content leads to the production of fatty acids in your liver. And this can cause an inflammatory response.

Sugar also weakens your immune system by suppressing the effectiveness of white blood cells’ ability to kill germs.

To reduce inflammation and weight gain, it’s recommended to limit your intake of sugary foods such as cake, cookies, and candy. When shopping, pay attention to any foods that contain added sugar. And avoid sugar-sweetened drinks like soda which tend to be full of calories but offer little to no nutritional benefit.

2. Processed Foods

It’s no secret that pre-packaged foods that are highly processed are no good for your body.

Famous for their convenience, these foods cannot provide the natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that reduce inflammation. Meanwhile, preservatives, colorings, and artificial flavorings are often found in processed foods. These will register as foreign attackers to the immune system, causing an inflammatory response.

We strongly recommend staying away from processed meats too. They’re high in saturated fats andcontain high levels of inflammatory compounds known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

3. Certain Cooking Oils

Some oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, and consuming too much of this can increase the risk of suffering from inflammation and weight gain. 

These oils also causeinflammation because they are high in saturated fats. Partially hydrogenated oils, commonly used in the kitchen, don’t occur naturally in foods. Therefore, the human body isn’t equipped to break them down, thus causing inflammation and potential weight gain.

The oils to try and avoid include corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, peanut, sesame, and soybean. 

Meanwhile, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and walnut oil are good options in any anti-inflammatory diet recipes.

4. Fried Foods

You may have suspected this after reading about the inflammatory response caused by many common oils. However delicious they may be, fried foods are unlikely to help you rectify inflammation and weight gain problems. They have high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, and contain both trans fats and advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

Research shows that reducing the consumption of processed and fried foods leads to a significant reduction in inflammation. And it also helps restore the body’s natural defenses.

It’s not rocket science that unhealthy food will lead to the malfunctioning of the body’s processes. The big clue is in the word “unhealthy”.

5. Refined Wheat Flour

High in calories, refined flour has been stripped of its nutritional value and slow-digesting fiber. Consuming it can cause a spike in insulin levels, contributing to inflammation.

Pay attention to your body’s response to foods like pizza, white bread, pasta, cereals, and bagels. They can cause inflammation and often lead to weight gain.

Choosing whole grains instead of refined flour has the opposite effect. This food type will help reduce the symptoms of inflammation.

Foods that Fight Inflammation and Weight Gain

While lots of foods can cause inflammation and weight gain, many other foods can reduce your symptoms. You can always look to the alternatives as opposed to eating junk food.

Instead of eating processed foods, choose fresh fruit and vegetables. These can provide naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and fiber into our diet. Leafy greens rich in vitamin-k, such as spinach and kale, are especially effective for reducing inflammation.

Other excellent foods for fighting inflammation include anything containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The best source is fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Nuts and seeds will also be helpful additions to your diet.

Beans are high in fiber and are full of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory properties. Whole grains are high in fiber, and turmeric is also loaded with antioxidants.

Do Away With Foods That Cause Inflammation

Instead of just cutting out a few particular food items, focus on your general eating habits to improve your physical health. What’s clear is that there are many foods that cause inflammation. It’s essential to work hard on reducing your intake, especially of the five foods detailed above.

Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Click here to find a ChiroThin doctor in your area.