It seems that everyone is currently on a Dan-Brown-like quest for ingredients that will cure them of inflammation. This chronic condition is increasingly being blamed by studies as a precursor for more chronic health problems and diseases.
Enter turmeric, coconut oil and ginger. These so-called superfoods are packed full of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants that can work to assist the body’s own immunological process of self-repair, destroying abnormal pathogens, dead cells and abnormal tissue.
While some foods were made to fight inflammation, there are those other foods that do exactly the opposite. If you are invested in controlling acute inflammation in your body, you should probably avoid these food groups.
1. Sugary drinks.
Bad news for daily DC drinkers, a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that woman who drank more than one ‘sugar-sweetened soda’ — defined as regular cola, caffeine-free cola, and other sugar-sweetened carbonated soda — were 63 percent more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune inflammatory disease.
What’s more, another study published in Diabetes Care found that those who drank more than one ‘sugar-sweetened beverage’ a day— including soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, and energy and vitamin water drinks — had a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to those who drank just 1 sugary drink per month.
2. Processed meats.
A Bunnings sausage sanga is iconically Australian, and also sadly a super serving of inflammation. A study published in the Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition found that diets high in red and processed meats were linked to an elevated risk of colon cancer. While there were several reasons cited for this, one was a higher inflammatory response.
In addition to colon cancer, processed meats are also associated with an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stomach cancer, according to Healthline.
3. Refined Carbs.
Here comes part two of that inflammation sanga banger (see above), we’re talking about the ultra-processed refined slice of wonder white that serves as a vehicle for the processed meat.
One study published in Mediators of Inflammation found that a high intake of refined carbs (white slice bread, white pasta, and white rice) decreased the body’s ability to fight inflammation, and increased one’s risk factor for developing insulin resistance — a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes, according to WebMD.
To be clear, this does not apply to fibre-rich whole grains which are an essential part of the Mediterranean Diet.
Reaching for a beer to wash down that sausage sanga? Sorry to report that excessive alcohol – deemed as more than one glass per day – can also cause your body’s inflammatory response to go into overdrive.
Research published in Alcohol and Alcoholism, a peer-reviewed medical journal, found that women who drank more than three glasses of alcohol per day had higher systemic markers for inflammation that those who drank only one glass a day.
What’s more, chronic alcohol consumption is associated with many different kinds of cancers, including stomach, liver, colon, and breast cancer, according to Medical News Today.
As the Easter holiday approach and you begin to stockpile chocolate eggs, it’s probably a good time to let you know that sugar is another “food” linked to inflammation.
A 2016 study published in Cancer Research found that “dietary sugar intake has a significant impact on the development of breast cancer.” The body’s inflammatory response to sugar was one proposed mechanism to explain these findings.
The mice in the study who were given Western-diet-levels of sucrose, ( i.e. common table sugar) were found to have increased tumour growth and metastasis compared to those on non-sugar diets.