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10 Foods that Trigger Inflammation


Top Foods that Trigger Inflammation

A healthful diet is an excellent way to help fight inflammation in the body. And given that inflammation is counter-productive for people combatting the effects of chronic lymphedema, it can be helpful for patients to adhere to an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.

While embracing inflammation-fighting foods and a more healthful lifestyle are certainly important steps toward regaining control over inflammation, it’s also helpful to eliminate pro-inflammatory foods from the diet. These are foods that are generally associated with an increased level of inflammation in the body.

So what foods should you avoid in your pursuit of reduced inflammation?

  1. Trans Fats are Toxic

  2. Perhaps the worst culprit of all is a class of “foods” known as artificial trans-unsaturated fatty acids. Also known as trans fats, these synthetic chemicals (sometimes identified as partially hydrogenated oils in food labeling) are laboratory-created, shelf-stable fats that are typically solid at room temperature. They are highly unlikely to spoil. In the past, hydrogenated shortening in a can, (for example, Crisco) exemplified this synthetic food.

    Created like Frankenstein’s monster, in a laboratory, when they were first invented these substances were hailed as a better alternative to more natural, plant-derived cooking oils, which tend to spoil and go rancid after spending too much time on store shelves, or following exposure to light.

    Widely introduced in the U.S. in the 1920s—and used in everything from margarine, to packaged baked goods, to deep-fried foods—trans fats all but flooded the market for decades, in a sort of perverse, ill-advised experiment. It was an experiment that exposed millions of unsuspecting people to an artificial nutrient that had never been rigorously tested for safety. As it turns out, consumption of trans fats may have accounted for the heart disease epidemic that peaked in the 1960s. While saturated fat has often been blamed for elevated cardiovascular disease risk, it now seems far more likely that consumption of inflammation-producing trans fats was the real culprit.

    In 2003 the World Health Organization recommended that people reduce their consumption of these questionable substances to less than 1% of the diet. By 2013 the United States Food and Drug Administration finally took steps to pressure food manufacturers to reduce or eliminate these substances from the food supply. Despite the fact that we have known now for decades that these chemicals are extremely harmful—essentially toxic—food makers are still allowed to include them. In fact, FDA set guidelines in 2015 that require food makers to eliminate all trans fats from processed foods by 2018. But it’s still possible to encounter them in the food supply.

    People suffering from lymphedema should rigorously avoid any exposure to these Franken-foods. Instead, choose extra virgin olive oil, which is

  3. Simple Carbohydrates

  4. Simple carbohydrates are foods that are readily, quickly broken down in the body. When they do so, they flood the bloodstream with sugar molecules. The body responds by releasing insulin, which is then followed by a blood-sugar crash, triggering more hunger, and more overeating. Too much sugar in the blood at once can be harmful to blood vessels, and may encourage both cardiovascular disease and the development of type 2 diabetes.

    Sources of simple carbs include highly processed goods, such as white flour, pasta, cornstarch, or baked goods, such as bagels, white bread, white rice, cake, cookies, etc. Sugar itself is the simplest of simple carbs. Some experts view added sugar in the diet as a real danger to health. Instead, choose complex carbohydrates. Available in things like whole grains, complex carbs release their payload of sugar slowly, allowing the body to adjust, and keep both insulin levels and blood-sugar levels relatively steady. This avoids triggering inflammation and keeps appetite in check.

  5. Mammal Meat

  6. Intriguing research is emerging that suggests that meat from fur-bearing creatures is essentially capable of provoking an allergic-like response in humans. Allergies are manifestations of inflammation, so if true, this finding suggests that anyone wishing to reduce inflammation should consider eliminating mammal meat from the diet. This includes beef, pork, rabbit, bison, etc. Meat from poultry does not have this effect. And fish is generally considered to be an anti-inflammatory foods, due to the presence of beneficial anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in certain species of fish.

    In any event, research has consistently shown that higher consumption of red and processed meats is clearly linked to elevated cardiovascular disease, risk, so it’s best to curtail your consumption of these foods.

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  1. As a 4th generation Homeopath, Certified Reflexologist & Massage Therapist and a Lymphedema II patient with Cellulitis, Lipedema (and a 40 years running blood clotting disorder or two) I consult with a Chinese Medical Practitioner and a Western Medicine NP when necessary. I disagree with several of the points given in this article or at least the do or die tone of it. Meat and it’s blood are very important in supporting the cardiovascular system and most fish contains mercury which messes greatly with hormones, among other things. And poultry unless absolutely organic from conception to slaughter has been proven time and time again to be cancerous. Nothing stops a flare for me faster than protein…any damn kind of protein….in particular, a hard boiled egg, a spoonful of peanut butter with turmeric or a piece of BEEF or ELK or DEER Jerky or a cup of yogurt with chia seeds, rice pudding made with milk, white rice, SUGAR and the appropriate spices to help inflammation and pain or oatmeal with the same additives. Anyway…this site is very helpful and informative although it is not the be all and end all since each individual is different and unique in their lifestyles and willingness to put forth the effort to live normally.

  2. There is no evidence that lymphedema is an inflammatory process. It is a lymph flow issue. Evidence based studies from Stanford and Duke physicians have shown the ketogenic diet to be effective as it burns fat and fat deposits are a real issue with lymph impairment.

  3. The “research” article you linked to is indeed from the Harvard website, but it is an opinion piece and not a report of research. Further, Dr. Frank Hu is a professor in the Nutrition and Epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Epidemiology is observational research and a lower form of evidence. There are many higher level research projects that have been published in peer reviewed journals that show that a diet very low in carbohydrate and high in fat (yes, even animal-sourced fats) results in very healthy outcomes. Here is a resource for randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and other citations in the growing body of evidence that a healthy diet can include meat: https://www.neslazeno.cz/references/

  4. I suffer with Lymphedema and cellutus in both legs and some of these statements I don’t agree with and some are good,I do some gluten no white flour sugar potatoes and I do eat a lot of green veggies but my legs hurt day and night..

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