Foods that cause inflammation and how to adjust your diet to avoid them

Inflammation is a normal part of protection of our body against factors that affect health such as bacteria, viruses and toxins. But the immune system is complex and its components are sometimes triggered. for things they shouldn’t have, including some types of food.

“Diet plays a much bigger role in what happens inside our bodies from what people assume,” says Dr. Charles Saint Andre, endocrinologist at Houston Methodist Hospital.

The result of often making unhealthy food choices is very obvious, weight gain. What we are not always aware of is that being overweight or obese is associated with increased inflammation in the organism.

The story of how our eating habits can lead us the inflammation no longer stops there. “An unbalanced diet means eating a lot of processed foods they contain substances that directly activate inflammatory processes’. adds Dr. Andre we.

This is less noticeable than weight gain, but it is very harmful according to with Dr. Andre.

What foods cause inflammation?

Five types of foods that cause inflammation are:

  1. red and processed meat, including bacon, sausages, cured meats andquellas used for sandwiches at lunch
  2. refined grains, including white bread, white rice, pasta and cerealbreakfast
  3. Snacks including chips, cookies and cakes
  4. Soda and sugary drinks
  5. fried foods

What all these mentioned foods have in common is sugargregates, saturated or trans fatand with the exception of red meat, everything They are considered processed foods.

In addition, these anti-inflammatory foods are often cmixed with alcohol. When we mix refined grains, sugar acompany or with soda, then alcoholic drinks will be double harmful

Why do processed foods cause inflammation?

“Cells in our bodies absorb and react to processed foods different than natural foods,” says Dr. Saint Andre.

Your body is programmed to metabolize and use the nutrients, vitamins and minerals than vegetables, fruits and whole grains provide. Actually they are necessary to perform the actions required to exist.

Refined forms of sugar, fat and grains packaged in foods accused is another story. We don’t need them. Also you the body does not always recognize what is in them, especially when consume in large quantities.

“Foods that are high in fat, sugar and other refined carbohydrates they are essentially toxic to our body and cause a large number direct and indirect inflammatory processes”, warns the specialist at the hospital Houston Methodist.

For example, refined vegetable oils added to processed foods can reduce the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats, which should always be balanced.

What are Omega 6 and Omega 53 and what are they for?

Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are essential because the body does not use them. it can produce itself, but requires them to survive. For its part, which Foods high in Omega 6 are generally healthier, It is also true that if they are consumed in excess and balanced with Omega 3 will also be a general increased risk of inflammatory diseases.

Experts believe that the ideal Omega 6 – Omega 3 ratio should be about 2:1 to prevent cardiovascular diseases and to a 5:1 ratio still useful in preventing disease. This is the opposite 10:1 ratio seen in the typical American diet so Dr. Saint Andre recommends increasing consumption of Omega 3 and avoiding too much Omega 6.

“This Omega6-Omega 3 imbalance activates anti-inflammatory agents lcalled cytokines, which contribute to the accumulation of fat in the arteries which manifests itself in a chronic inflammatory condition called atherosclerosis due to oxidative stress,” explains Dr. Saint Andre.

On the other hand, we have added sugar and refined grains, which both are possibly found in many processed foods and will give you spikes unwanted blood sugar.

“Having high blood sugar alone activates pro-inflammatory pathways,” adds Dr. Saint Andre we. “On the other hand, frequent sugar cravings can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, a disease that is also associated with inflammation.

Finally, a diet based on processed foods over natural is inherently imbalanced, hypercaloric and obesity-promoting.

“As our weight increases, the number of cells increases of fat”explains Dr Saint Andre. “These cells secrete many substances and hormones that put the body into an inflammatory state.

The fact is that these five food groups can directly activate anti-inflammatory substances and indirectly contribute to weight gain, which it also leads to inflammation in the body.

How bad is it all?

Many people do not realize the subtle signs of eating anti-inflammatory foods. The consequences of persistent inflammation lead to different symptoms from annoying to debilitating, including:

  • chronic fatigue
  • recurrent infections
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as reflux, constipation or diarrhoea
  • Depression and anxiety

“The other thing about living in a constant state of inflammation is that it comes in oxidative stress that occurs when the body does not get rid of it waste materials, which accumulate in a toxic way in our organisms”, confirms the Houston Methodist Hospital expert.


This becomes a vicious cycle because oxidative stress itself causes same, increased inflammation. The damage that can be caused by inflammation and oxidative stress results a picture of very serious health problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Cancer
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease

This explains why nutritionists and doctors encourage the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants, to fight oxidative stress and better carry a anti-inflammatory diet.

How to adjust your diet to reduce inflammation

“The most important thing is to limit pro-inflammatory foods: soda, carbohydrates refined, processed and packaged foods, Dr. Saint Andre points out.

Ideally, create our diet based on naturally sourced foods of carbohydrates and fats are also accompanied by protein and fiber and that include: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and seeds, lots of fish fat and olive oil.

“These foods help us stabilize insulin and promote good pOmega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, reduces the risk of inflammation and we prevent weight gain,” says Dr. Saint Andre finally.

Houston Methodist Hospital is located in the Texas Medical Center, cranked 10 years in a row as number one in the state in Texas and in the city of Houston by the prestigious magazine US News & World Report. In 2021 and 2022, Newsweek magazine listed Houston Methodist within from the list of 100 best hospitals in the world. Houston Hospital Methodist is recognized worldwide for its cutting-edge medical research, for care and concern for their patients and for their highly specialized fields in: Oncology, cardiology and heart surgery; Diabetes and Endocrinology; Gastronomy and gastrointestinal surgery; Geriatrics; Nephrology; neurology and Neurosurgery; Orthopedics and sports medicine; Pulmonology and transplants; ANOTHERotolaryngology and gynecology. Additionally, there is Houston Methodist Hospital also recognized worldwide for his leadership in research on COVID-19.19.

Houston Methodist Hospital has a famous wellness area where first level studies and observations are made. Thus, a is obtained a complete and comprehensive picture of each person’s physical and health status and can build programs through a multidisciplinary team of experts accurate and personalized future health.

For more information see:

Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services | Houston Methodist


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