It’s becoming increasingly apparent that inflammation is at the heart of every disease going these days, from diabetes and obesity to cancer and digestive upset. But did you know many of your kitchen ‘staples’ could be playing a major role in hiking inflammation in the body? We’ve rounded up the 8 biggest culprits to help you on your way to an inflammatory-free life:
- ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Diets rich in faux sweeteners can result in a form inflammation that can increase chances of developing glucose intolerance and metabolic disease. AKA key steps on the path to diabetes. Dr. Petrucci points us to a new study reporting that as well as spiking your risk of getting diabetes, artificial sweeteners, from the sucralose in your daily Splenda to the aspartame in your diet coke, can increase chances of obesity, cardiovascular disease and raised blood pressure.
We’re already aware sugar is the enemy of our teeth and waistline, but did you know its a serious inflammatory causing agent too? According to MindBodyGreen expert and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, ‘when you eat sugar, it triggers the release of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines that rev up the fire inside you.’
- GLUTEN-FILLED GRAINS
Speaking from experience, Dr. Petrucci has helped thousands of patients improve control over inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease by having them eliminate gluten-containing foods. While she recommends reducing or eliminating all grains due to their pro-inflammatory nature, she understands this isn’t so easy for many, and so advises to at least ‘give gluten the boot.’
- SEED OILS
Say goodbye to highly processed oils like canola, sunflower, corn safflower, and soybean, as well as margarine and vegetable fats if you want to keep inflammation at bay. They’re also composed of an unhealthy ratio of inflammatory omega-6 to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Petrucci recommends swapping these for for the much healthier avocado and olive oils; cold-pressed is always best.
In her 20+ years as a clinician, Dr. Petrucci has found that the majority of her patients struggle to tolerate dairy. A lot of the time they fail to realise this is an issue until they cut dairy from their diet all together. When they do, common symptoms from headaches and skin breakouts to bloating- even a stuffy nose!- clear up. This tends to indicate that internal
internal inflammation has reduced. For those unsure of a dairy intolerance, she recommends ‘eliminating dairy foods, carefully reintroducing them, and then discontinuing them if you experience a bad reaction.’
- BPA-PACKED FOODS
Dr Petrucci warns that ‘bisphenol A, or BPA, is already linked to many scary problems ranging from birth defects to obesity.’ She also points to research linking BPA to raised inflammation in post-menopausal women. Though it’s great to see an increasing number of manufacturers offering up products in BPA-free packaging, we still recommend reading labels carefully, and opting for BPA-free products where possible.
Though soy products like burgers and chicken alternatives are all the rage these days, particularly as a high-protein option for vegans, it’s important to be know that they are heavily processed. This can quite often lead to the formation of cell-damaging and inflammation producing toxins lysinoalanine and nitrosamines.
Depending on the extent of your inflammation, it can take anywhere from a few weeks, months, even years for it to subside. But the good news is that you have the power to speed things up. Try cutting these seven deadly triggers and reap the benefits. Stay tuned for our round up of the best anti-inflammatory foods to help you step up your fight on inflammation!