Dairy, gluten and night shades aren’t the only foods that cause inflammation. Here are five inflammatory foods that are bad for all of us, not just those with intolerance.
Low Fat Yogurt. High-Protein Power bars. High-fiber cookies. Inflammation.
Ok, I’ll stop before this turns into a one woman show talking in short sentences.
What we have here today are 5 types of foods that are advertised as healthy, but are actually inflammatory.
The main offenders
I did some Google research and found seriously wild statements about what’s inflammatory and what isn’t.
Some of the main offenders are always dairy and gluten. Which I don’t really mind – they do cause reaction in many people and play around with the glycemic load (which can lead to inflammation).
But lately even night shades get a lot of hate. (night shades are vegetables like potatoes, eggplant & tomatoes that cause a reaction in some people). Which, if you aren’t intolerant – shouldn’t really stop you from eating tomatoes.
We’re all different
When it comes to diet, everyone can be intolerant or allergic to anything.
We’re all different.
I am allergic to raw carrots, apples, cherries, almonds, hazelnuts… Are they bad for others?
No. These are all great, antioxidant-rich foods that actually reduce inflammation in most people. For me, I eat them cooked or soaked and this solves my problem.
Here I’m not talking about these foods.
Unlike dairy, gluten and night shades the foods on this list can cause inflammation for all of us.
These are “healthy” foods that increase inflammation and your risk of a number of diseases slowly, but surely over the years.
(if you eat too many of them of course – let’s not make ourselves crazy).
They’re usually a healthier option for something you shouldn’t eat.
5 Healthy Foods That Cause Inflammation And You Shouldn’t Eat
The beet chips image found here.
Bean chips, lentil chips, chickpea chips, beet chips, kale chips – so many new options just to get rid of those evil potato chips.
Well, the fact is…when you take something healthy like beet, slice it, put some sunflower oil on it and then heat it without any water until it dries out – you aren’t going to get something super healthy.
Here it’s not about the original ingredient, it’s about the way you prepare it. These chips are usually made with sunflower oil that isn’t heat stable and is way too rich in omega-6 fatty acids (which are essential, but can be inflammatory when you eat too many).
Better Option: Raw nuts. They’re antioxidant-rich, high-fiber and actually have anti-inflammatory properties.
Agave syrup or other sweeteners
For years I thought that refined sugar was the devil and eating more natural liquid sweeteners is better for me. I was even planning to compare honey and sugar on this blog and just make sugar cry like a little baby.
I thought, well honey is anti-bacterial, has some other benefits. Well. Honey does have benefits, but they don’t justify overusing honey. Honey is something you can use a little bit of.
Your body doesn’t really care whether you eat honey, agave, maple or pure evil sugar. All increase the glycemic load and inflammation. And they all lead to the formation of AGE’s in the body – which cause wrinkles, but also increase oxidative stress and inflammation.
Better option: fruit. Fruit comes with fiber (important for reducing glycemic load) and antioxidants and it’s harder to overdo on sugar when you eat fresh fruit.
I really don’t care about energy bars. For me they don’t taste awesome and are LOADED with sugar. Whether that’s syrup or honey – as you can see above – all the same. Sugar = Inflammation.
Better option: nuts and fruit. Make your own power bars or buy one that’s made with just raw nuts and dried fruit. You’ll get more fiber and antioxidants that are actually anti-inflammatory. I made similar power balls, the recipe is here.
Now this one I see on many websites that would tell you you need to exclude grains, legumes, even fruit & nuts in order to reduce inflammation.
Yet somehow grilled meat, which can be a huge source of carcinogens and AGE’s is the main ingredient. Along with vegetables (which is always the good part). As you know, AGE’s in foods cause inflammation and red meat consumption is also shown to increase inflammatory markers in the body.
Better Option: Believe it or not you can get your protein also from those much avoided legumes, grains, nuts. These foods are actually better, because they also contain antioxidants and fiber – both shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
With meat and fish – instead of grilling or baking (just because you want to avoid frying) – try steaming or cooking at lower temperatures with herbs and spices, also not with direct & dry heat.
Now while fiber is good and can reduce inflammation, high-fiber cookies are mostly also full of sugar. Which again, sorry for repeating, causes inflammation. And even wrinkles. Just because something is rich in one good nutrient (like fiber here) doesn’t mean it’s good overall.
Better option: Make your own high-fiber cookies by mixing some oats, nuts and fruit (for example banana or even dried fruit).
Okay, so I’m not gonna lie. This is not my favorite topic to talk about. I don’t like hating on food. This blog is more about celebrating the good that food can do for us. But on the other hand it just makes me mad that there’s so much misinformation out there. It causes so much confusion and it seems like if you’re not with us and eliminate a million and ten foods (with good ones among them) – you’re just gonna be sick all the time.
Diet is not black and white.
If you want to eat either of these foods above – go for it, if you enjoy them. If you don’t overdo it, nothing’s gonna hurt you. It’s about making better, informed choices, most of the time.
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