The final installment in our 3 part blog series on chronic inflammation focuses on the foods to avoid or limit in your diet. With our 6 Week HIIT Winter Transformation Challenge about to start, it’s the perfect time to clean these items out of your kitchen!
- Sugars (including sweeteners)
- Refined Grains – White breads, pasta, crackers, cornbread, cous cous, flour tortillas, noodles.
- Grain Fed Meat
- Bad Fats – Fried food, vegetable oils, processed food.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to lower the inflammation within our body just by adding the foods listed in part 2* especially if we continue to eat a large volume of pro-inflammatory foods.
So whilst the anti-inflammatory foods should definitely be introduced into your diet in larger quantities, there are some foods that we should be trying to limit or avoid altogether to try and lower our inflammation.
Dairy – People will argue that you need this in your diet for sufficient calcium for your bones to make them stronger. Strength training is also ideal for making your bones much stronger!
Dairy by nature is designed to help calves (not the ones on your legs) gain weight quickly and grow quickly. As we are not babies anymore, rapid weight gain is something we wish to avoid.
Sugars – Sugar is now being given the gold medal for our growing numbers in the obesity epidemic. You need only watch That Sugar Film or follow them on Facebook to get a good understanding of just how it’s screwing up your body. Most sugars added to our food are refined which means they’ve lost any of the good qualities they may once have had.
Refined Grains – Refined products have no fiber and a high glycemic index. They are everywhere: white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries…And with the absence of fiber we tend to feel hungry again shortly after eating these refined grains which leads to overeating and weight gain.
Grain Fed Meat – Commercially produced meats are fed with grains such as soy beans and corn, a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
These animals also gain excess fat and end up with high saturated fats due to their tight living conditions and inability to move around. Worse still, to make them grow faster and prevent them from getting sick, they are injected with hormones and fed with antibiotics, which makes this cut of meat something to be avoided.
Bad Fats – Trans fats have are a double-edged sword when it comes to inflammation. Whilst they increase bad cholesterol, they also reduce the good cholesterol within our bodies. This promotes inflammation, obesity, and resistance to insulin. They are in fried foods, fast foods, commercially baked goods such as peanut butter, and items prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine, and vegetable oil.
Alcohol – Regular high consumption of alcohol has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the liver, esophagus, and larynx (voice box). Ever wake up with a massive hangover and the inability to voice your pain due to loss of voice? That’s not just because you belted out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody 5 times back to back during a karaoke session.
Over time, the chronic inflammation promotes tumor growth and gives rise to cancer at the sites of repeated irritation.
This concludes our 3 part blog series on chronic inflammation. We hope that you can now see a reason behind why we need to avoid certain foods and why we need to increase the intake of others. We often hear about the foods we should and shouldn’t be eating, however without fully understanding the reasons why we tend to turn a blind eye. Inflammation of the body is occurring in EVERYONE, it’s just a matter of what degree.
Choose to treat your body with the respect it deserves. Fuel it with anti-inflammatory foods and live a life of regulated weight, minimal sickness, and joint pain.
Part 2: Anti-inflammatory foods