Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process.
Some foods, like sugar, can also cause inflammation in the body, which is normal. However, eating too many inflammatory foods may cause chronic low-grade inflammation. This can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and allergies.
Too Much Added Sugar - Linked to Inflammation
Several studies have shown that a diet high in added sugar leads to obesity, insulin resistance, increased gut permeability and low-grade inflammation.
A study of 29 healthy people found that consuming only 40 grams of added sugar from just one 375-ml can of soda per day led to an increase in inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and LDL cholesterol. These people tended to gain more weight, too.
Another study in overweight and obese people found that consuming one can of regular soda daily for six months led to increased levels of uric acid, a trigger for inflammation and insulin resistance.
Drinking sugary drinks can spike inflammation levels. Moreover, this effect can last for a considerable amount of time.
In addition to added sugar, eating too many refined carbohydrates has also been linked to increased inflammation in humans. In one study, eating just 50 grams of refined carbs in the form of white bread resulted in higher blood sugar levels and an increase in the inflammatory marker Nf-kB.
One study found that replacing processed foods with whole, unprocessed foods improved insulin resistance, improved cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure, all of which are related to inflammation.
Another study found that reducing fructose consumption improved inflammatory blood markers by almost 30%.
BUT Natural Sugar Is Not Linked to Inflammation…
It’s important to note that there is a difference between added sugar and natural sugar. Added sugar is removed from its original source and added to foods and drinks to serve as a sweetener or increase shelf life.
Added sugar is found mostly in processed foods and drinks, though table sugar is also considered an added sugar. Other common forms include high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sucrose, fructose, glucose and corn sugar.
Natural sugar has not been linked to inflammation. In fact, many foods containing natural sugars, such as fruits and vegetables, may be anti-inflammatory. Natural sugars include those naturally occurring in foods. Examples include fructose in fruit and lactose in milk and dairy products.
Natural sugar is usually consumed within whole foods. Thus, it is accompanied by other nutrients, such as protein and fiber, which cause natural sugars to be absorbed slowly. The steady absorption of natural sugar prevents blood sugar spikes. A diet high in whole foods like fruit, vegetables and whole grains can have other health benefits, too. There is no need to limit or avoid whole foods.
Lifestyle recommendations to Reduce Inflammation
GOOD NEWS - certain lifestyle changes, such as reducing your intake of sugary and processed foods, can lead to lower inflammation levels in the body.
Reduce or avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. High stress levels have also been associated with chronic low-grade inflammation – do activities that aid in relaxation like moderate exercise. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce belly fat and inflammatory markers in humans.
Below are some simple tips to help reduce inflammation:
Limit processed foods and drinks: By reducing or eliminating these products, you’ll naturally exclude key sources of added sugar like soda, cakes, cookies and candy, as well as white bread, pasta and rice.
Choose whole-grain carbs: These include oats, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa and barley. They have lots of fiber and antioxidants, which can help control blood sugar and protect against inflammation.
Read food labels: If you are unsure about certain products, get into the habit of reading food labels. Look out for ingredients like sucrose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose and dextrose.
Eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods: Fill your plate with foods rich in antioxidants, which naturally help counteract inflammation. These include nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish and olive oil.
Eat more fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which can protect against and reduce inflammation in the body.
AllOVER Capsules to reduce cravings for sweets and unhealthy foods
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