The following foods can increase the amount of inflammation in your body, including in your gut.
Sugar: Sugar is one of the key foods that’s involved with inflammatory processes. If you put white sugar in your mouth, literally within minutes, the activity of neutrophils, a time of white blood cell, is reduced. In other words, sugar immediately lowers immune function activity.
Sugar also ramps up the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines can be beneficial or harmful. The cytokines that are stimulated by eating sugar are the unhealthy cytokines that create inflammatory responses. Sugar also pushes up blood sugar levels. Higher blood sugar increases insulin, a pro-inflammatory hormone. Insulin should only be secreted and utilized when you’re having a meal. If you’re going to have snack foods, or junk foods, or drink soda drinks, or have other foods that stimulate significant insulin production, you’re going to be walking around constantly with low-grade inflammation.
White flour: Refined white flour and related products like white bagels and donuts also increase gut inflammation by increasing insulin levels.
Vegetable oils: Vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids. People today consume too many products high in omega-6 rather than consume omega-3 oil. An overly high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio results in a pro-inflammatory state.
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Deep-Fried Foods: Deep-fried foods are bad for the gut. The deep-frying process creates damaged fats known as advanced glycation end products. These products up-regulate your immune response, including your level of interleukin-6, an inflammatory cytokine.
Dairy products: It’s not a good idea to consume a lot of high-fat dairy products such as cheese or whole milk. The animal fat found in dairy products is pro-inflammatory. Yogurt, if it’s been properly cultured, is an exception. Yogurt made from organic milk that isn’t homogenized or pasteurized is a healthy food.
Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are pro-inflammatory. I’ve also discovered that artificial sweeteners reduce the production of beneficial bacteria called Bacteroides.
Red Meat: Beef and pork from industrial farms are not great foods to eat. This type of meat can increase the production of arachidonic acid, a very inflammatory compound. I would recommend eating fatty fish or lamb instead of beef or pork.
Alcohol: Alcohol is a big problem. Small amounts here or there help to reduce C-reactive protein levels, which is an inflammatory marker. But, if you have that second or third drink, you are at risk of increasing inflammation. Moderation of alcohol is essential. Red wine is better for your health than alcohol or hard liquor. You shouldn’t have any more than a glass of red wine a few times per week. More alcohol than that, and you are moving into a high inflammation state.
Trans fats: Trans fats are synthetic, man-made fats. Trans fats are hard at room temperature and are designed to prolong the shelf-life of processed foods. Trans fats increased the production of pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 and C-reactive proteins. Trans fats are linked to several health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. I recommend that you eliminate trans-fats from your diet.