Inflammatory Foods: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

The following foods cause inflammation; that is, they are pro-inflammatory and therefore, should be avoided.

    • All grains and grain products, including white bread, whole wheat bread, pasta, cereal, pretzels, crackers, and any other product made with grains or flours from grains, which includes most desserts and packaged snacks.
  • Partially hydrogenated oils trans-fats found in margarine, deep fried foods (French fries, etc.) and most all packaged foods.
  • Corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and foods made with these oils such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce, margarine, salad dressings, and many packaged foods.
  • Soda and sugar are inflammatory. If you eat dairy, it should be consumed as a condiment, not staple.
  • Meat and eggs from grain-fed animals (domesticated animal products). Modern meat is problematic because the animals are obese and unhealthy; they are loaded with saturated fats and contain too many pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Grass-fed meat or wild game are our best choices. Otherwise, we should eat lean meat, skinless chicken, omega-3 eggs and fish. Lean cuts of meat and lean hamburger meat are available at most grocery stores, and even extra-lean is sometimes available.

Most of us find it somewhat distressing and/or depressing that so many foods are pro-inflammatory, and wonder what there is left to eat. However, far more depressing than making basic dietary changes is suffering from any of the numerous diseases and conditions caused by inflammation: chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sinusitis, allergies, acne, asthma, digestive conditions, flu symptoms, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, depression, the insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X (pre-diabetes), and diabetes.

You need to decide how much pain and suffering you are willing to live with, and then, eat and exercise accordingly. The fewer inflammatory foods you eat, the less inflammation you will have and feel. No one will be perfect with their eating…we all just need to do our best. Consider fresh produce from local market. Organic foods and vegan food is widely available these days and will compliment all your healthy diet plan.