6 Inflammatory Foods You Should Remove From Your Diet

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6 Inflammatory Foods You Should Remove From Your Diet

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For anyone suffering from any form of Autoimmune Disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic fatigue or a general low sense of wellbeing, it’s an excellent idea to begin to follow an anti-inflammatory way of eating. 

While many people believe that following an anti-inflammatory diet cures disease itself, it can also be thought that following a gentle and anti-inflammatory diet simply removes the stress off the body, allowing the body freedom to heal disease itself and thrive to its optimum potential.


Inflammation in the body exacerbates any form of disease and typically stems from the digestive tract and gut. The microbiome within the gut works to create balance and health within the body. Our gut system also provides hormones such as serotonin to our brain, which help to control our emotions. When our bodies are inflamed, we can experience fatigue, anxiety, stress, a low sense of self and even depression.

Today the majority of people eat inflammatory foods in every single meal. Many government dietary guidelines fail to provide adequate detail to explain what foods are inflammatory to the body or how a food should be prepared to ease the inflammatory properties in that food to lesson the damage.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet is not about taking a lot of foods out of the diet. A better way of viewing it is that we add so many anti-inflammatory, healing foods in to the diet that the inflammatory foods no longer have a place.  It’s this mindset that leads to lifelong change much more than the idea of dieting and deprivation that we have seen for years doesn’t work.

1. Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, rye, oats and some other grains and is becoming well recognised as being the number one most inflammatory food found in our diets today. Many people consume gluten at every single meal in the form of breads, cakes, biscuits or pasta. Common symptoms of a gluten intolerance can be fatigue, anxiety, mood swings and digestive upset.

Remove all grains from the diet for a period of 30 days and gauge how well you feel. Switch it out with cooked quinoa or rice soaked overnight before cooking.

2. Processed Sugars

In 1822 Americans consumed around 2 tsp of sugar a day. We are now consuming upwards and over 33 teaspoons a day hidden in a variety of places. There is processed sugar in nearly every single packaged food to be found in the supermarket today. From tomato sauce, to store bought coleslaw and frozen meat pies and sausage rolls.

Any word on the ingredients panel that ends in ‘OSE’ (fructose, sucrose, dextrose, lactose. etc) is a sugar.  Make sure you read the list of ingredients in everything you buy until you understand what is natural and sugar free. Make your own food from scratch where possible. Sweeten with maple syrup or molasses where possible.

3. Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogen is created by adding hydrogen to vegetable or seed oils (often healthy in their natural state) to prolong the life of the oil and keep it from going rancid on its own and also within processed foods. Margarine is also a hydrogenated oil. Hydrogenation readjusts the molecular structure of the natural oil, creating an almost synthetic substance that our body no longer knows how to process properly.

Our heart has to pump harder to get the chemical substance eliminated from the body, deposits build up and hydrogenated oils are know known to contribute to heart disease, inflammation and cancer.

Switch to using olive oil for baking or low-heat cooking, coconut oil for high heat cooking and safflower oil for frying every now and again.

4. Dairy products

Dairy products contain lactose a naturally occurring milk sugar. Humans can find difficult to process lactose after we are weaned ourselves as we lack the intestinal enzyme lactase, which digests the lactose. Nearly 90% of people who are lactose intolerant are unaware of it.

Remove dairy from the diet and switch to homemade almond milk or organic rice milk being careful to steer clear of the added chemical carageneen.

5. Alcohol 

While some alcoholic beverages, such as red wine, have been documented to having a positive effect on our health when consumed in small quantities, we are consuming alcohol at a much larger rate today. So much so that drinking may well be known as the Australian’s National pastime. We are also reaching for alcohol mixed with drinks based on processed sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Drinking too much alcohol forces the liver to work overtime and can damage the lining of the intestinal tract.

Drink plain water, tea or mineral water and allow your liver a rest.

6. Chemicals

Artificial flavours, additives, preservatives and colourings in our food are wreaking havoc on inflammation in our bodies. We were never built for processing such a load of pollution and we burden and stress the body by consuming too many chemicals in processed foods today.

There are a number of additives in food marketed to children, such as red food colouring and yellow food colouring, that add to the propensity for children to exhibit attention related or hyperactivity disorders.

Read the ingredients panels thoroughly, don’t buy foods that have ‘numbers’ in them or make your food from scratch using whole foods.

Once you have removed these from your diet for a 30 day period you will have a very good chance of understanding exactly how well you can feel on an anti-inflammatory diet. A general rule to live by is less processed, less packaged and more the types of foods your Grandma would have recognised and eaten.


6 Inflammatory Foods You Should Remove From Your Diet was last modified: February 6th, 2015 by Alice Nicholls

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