Toxic Foods to Avoid BY Joe Tatta December 3, 2015
The Greeks in ancient times called inflammation the “internal fire”. Many physicians still describe the inflammatory process in this way. Think of it as a switch that we can turn on and off as a result of our lifestyle choices. The inflammation process is a necessary, naturally occurring process by the body for the purpose of cellular repair. It is when the inflammatory process is chronic that cellular damage and tissues nearby can be damaged and start the disease process. Let’s examine this process and what to avoid, in particular what foods are the most toxic ones to avoid.
What You Should Do to Avoid Inflammation
The inflammation switch can be turned on by a number of different things. “Microbial invasion” (Harmful invaders like bacteria, fungus, mold, parasites, etc.) is one obvious way. Physical injury is another. Poor nutrition can also turn this switch on and keep it on which allows for chronic, low-grade inflammation to occur. There are many markers of inflammation that can be directly measured to determine what the inflammation status is of a person. High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (HS-CRP), interleukin-6 and homocysteine levels are among the most widely used. A traditional Mediterranean diet that provides a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats as well as a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and supplies plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, has shown tremendous anti-inflammatory benefits when compared to the standard American diet. That is typically the main issue seen in the very un-balanced ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. I’ve covered this before here.
Diets high in carbohydrates and definitely SUGAR, omega 6 fats (vegetable oils-soybean, canola, safflower), some saturated fats and trans fats (commonly found in baked goods and packaged foods like cookies, cakes and crackers), not only provide too little antioxidants but also flip that inflammation switch on, especially sugar. This is most likely due to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while at the same time a reduction in anti-inflammatory cytokines. You’ll want to consume plenty of the “stable” fats that protect our cells from inflammation. I’ve covered that here. You’ll definitely want to avoid the following toxic foods:
Avoid the pro-inflammatory foods above and give your body what it needs to reverse the damage done by chronic low-grade inflammation.
Speaking of giving your body what it needs, it begins with the food you buy!
Joe Tatta, DPT, CCN