It may not sound like it, but in a healthy body inflammation is actually a good thing that protects and heals.
However, if chronic inflammation persists in the body it can damage healthy tissue and lead to other serious conditions like obesity, hypertension, cancer and even heart disease.
Not all foods are created equal and studies show that certain foods can make an already bad situation worse.
Stop aggravating your body and start lowering your risk of inflammation by cutting back on these five foods.
1. Vegetable oils
Oils like soy, sunflower, corn, cottonseed and mixed vegetable are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and consuming too many increases your risk of inflammation.
Oils used in cooking are classified based on the leading type of fatty acid each contains: Polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats.
Try extra virgin olive oil, which is full of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for you. This is a polyunsaturated fat that has a wealth of health benefits.
2. Processed cheeses
A diet high in processed cheeses has high sodium and high saturated fat. That is likely to increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
A high intake of saturated fat can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems. Skip processed cheeses, like American cheese, and go with all-natural, hard cheeses. These typically have more flavor and less sodium, a win-win.
3. Pre-seasoned foods and seasonings
Most commercial brand seasonings are high in sodium and it’s been said that a high sodium-to-potassium ratio in your diet can create a negative inflammatory response.
Fresh is best, so season your foods with fresh or dried herbs like sage, basil and thyme.
4. Sugar-added cereals
Foods high in sugar are inflammation’s playground! Instead of having a sugary cereal for breakfast, go for one that’s low-sugar, and high-fiber.
An even better option is steel-cut oatmeal.
5. Fatty meats
If you have a diet high in saturated animal fats like burgers, bacon, hot dogs and ribs, try incorporating more omega-3 superfoods like salmon, tuna, beans and nuts.
As with most things, moderation is key.
You don’t have to give up your favorite foods completely, or all at once.
As they say, when you know better, you do better. In this case, you’ll FEEL better, too.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Food center for more articles and tips.