What Is a List of Inflammatory Foods?

anti-inflammatory foods
Here is a list of the eight inflammatory foods to avoid to reduce inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet consists of foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Inflammation is often triggered to protect our health when the immune system notices a foreign substance in the body. Although intermittent inflammation can be protective, chronic inflammation has been linked to many serious illnesses, potentially leading to heart disease

Consuming certain foods such as sugar, trans fat and alcohol in higher quantities has been directly linked as a predisposing factor for causing various diseases in the body. An anti-inflammatory diet is the best way to reduce inflammation, specifically chronic inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory foods contain antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutritional benefits. Examples of an anti-inflammatory diet include:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli)
  • Fatty fish and tuna
  • Whole grains
  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Blueberries

Below is a list of eight inflammatory foods to eliminate from your diet to reduce inflammation.

8 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid

Added sugar

A diet high in added sugar and high fructose, such as candy, pastries, desserts and sweet snacks and beverages, such as soft drinks, punches and fruit drinks, drive inflammation that can lead to diseases.

These can increase the levels of pro-inflammatory messengers called cytokines and suppress the effectiveness of white blood cells, weakening the immune system and making you more susceptible to infectious diseases. They may counteract the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

Consuming a lot of fructose has been linked to:

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oils have a high concentration of inflammatory fat and omega-6 fatty acid and a low concentration of anti-inflammatory fat and omega-3 fatty acid. When consumed in high amounts, these oils can promote inflammation and cause damage to the arteries leading to heart disease. The risk is especially high with reused oils.

Fried and processed foods

Fried and processed foods contain high levels of inflammatory advanced glycation end products that increase inflammation in the body. These are compounds that form when products are cooked at high temperatures, pasteurized, dried, smoked, fried or grilled.

Refined carbs

Refined carbs have a higher glycemic index, increase blood sugar more rapidly than low glycemic index foods and promote inflammation that may lead to disease.

Refined carbohydrates are products produced by removing the fiber content from the food. Fiber promotes fullness, controls blood sugar levels and feeds normal flora bacteria in the gut. Refined carbs can encourage the growth of bad gut bacteria that increase the risk of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.

Red meat

Common red meats, such as beef, lamb and pork, contain a molecule called Neu5Gc. Upon ingestion of this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies—an immune response that may trigger chronic inflammation. Repeated consumption of red meat is associated with the risk of colon cancer and heart disease.

Alcohol and tobacco

Regular consumption of alcohol and tobacco causes irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx (voice box) and liver. Over time, chronic inflammation promotes tumor growth and gives rise to cancer at the sites of repeated irritation.

Artificial food additives

Artificial food additives, such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate, reportedly trigger inflammatory responses, especially in people who already have inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.


Many studies have reported that excess dairy use may incite inflammation in the body.

Dairy products are considered common allergens that cause lactose intolerance in susceptible individuals. These trigger inflammatory responses and destroy most of the normal flora in the gut.

Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and butter, are said to aggravate inflammation in people with conditions such as:

Although more studies are required to support the above statement.


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