Everyday foods like bacon, eggs, coffee and dairy products have a strong correlation to inflammation. Inflammation is something that happens inside of us everyday and if uncontrolled, it can get out of hand, fast. Because of its ubiquity, it may not sound like a great deal but low grade inflammation is a formidable factor in most health issues.
Two Types of Inflammation
There are two types of inflammation. The first is the classic inflammation where it causes immediate pain. This is when most people go seek health-care. The other type is below the perception of pain and the inflammatory process itself does not inflict any pain, this is cellular inflammation. Initially, cellular inflammation causes disruption of hormonal signalling in cells. But this becomes a problem because there are no immediate signs or symptoms that alert us to the problem. Eventually, the damage becomes accumulated and leads to chronic illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes and obesity.
We see two problems with the information above. First thing is, the foods that are pro-inflammatory are easily accessible and we are exposed to them every single day; making it almost impossible to avoid them entirely. This highlights the importance of public education in acknowledging the fact that we are what we eat. The second problem is that many people are blinded into equating no pain with health. Having no pain does not mean you are healthy; the deadly inflammatory processes that lead to a myriad of chronic conditions is just one of many examples.
Common Pro-Inflammatory Foods
Trans-Fats: or trans-unsaturated fatty acids are considered to be the worst type of fat you can eat. Some meat and dairy products naturally contain trans-fats but most of them are artificially created through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil. They are most commonly found in fried foods, fast foods and commercial baked goods.
Cooking Oil: commercial vegetable cooking oils have very high omega-6 fatty acids and low omega-3 levels. This imbalance between the two types of fatty acids promotes inflammatory processes in our bodies. Healthier alternatives would be extra virgin olive oil or any other forms of oils with a more favourable omega-3 to omega-6 ratios, such as Macadamia oils.
White Sugar and Sweets: are also pro-inflammatory agents readily found in all sorts of foods. A can soda contains at least 30 grammes of sugar. That's 10 sugar cubes in a single gulp! Healthier alternatives to sweeteners are honey or stevia.
Alcohol: is not only known to cause liver damage, but they can also disrupt your body systems and cause inflammation. Unfortunately, there are no "healthier" alternatives to drinking; moderate and sensible consumption is advised.
Food Additives: such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) triggers an inflammatory response. They are used as flavour enhancers and are most common in Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisines.
Lower Inflammation Naturally
Eat A Healthy Diet: Low-fat protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates and moderate amounts of fat that are low in both Omega-6 and saturated fats are known to be effective. Adding deeply pigmented vegetables are always a good option as well as taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Yearly Cleanse: detoxing or cleansing programs are generally a good idea. These programs should be done a couple of times a year. Detoxifying your body also has added health benefits in improving fatigue, allergies, bloating, menstrual and mental problems.
Good Quality Sleep: although it sounds rudimentary, restless nights are not only known to cause fatigue and loss of productivity, but also exacerbates any underlying symptoms of inflammation.
Be On Top Of It
The gain of optimal health and the deterioration of health, never happens overnight. Health is an accumulation of your daily actions and habits that lead to a predictable outcome. Be conscious, read the labels and do the research; otherwise you might be buying foods that will kill you slowly but surely.