9 Foods That Cause Inflammation

Reviewed: February 16, 2014
By eHealthIQ
9 Foods That Cause Inflammation

Food is a leading cause of inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can cause bone and joint problems, sinus problems as well as a weakened immune system. Avoiding foods that cause inflammation may be difficult, and your needs may vary. Here are nine foods that cause inflammation and ways to avoid that food.


Dairy is a number-one culprit of inflammation in the body. It can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea and acne. It is often the cause of joint problems too. Avoiding dairy is easy with plant-based replacements. These foods can actually reduce inflammation that is caused by other foods you may consume.

High-fat Meat

High-fat meat is a huge contributor to inflammation. The saturated fats and cholesterol make the body work harder. The human body isn’t designed to digest fats in the quantities that a majority of meat products contain. Processed meats also contain higher levels of sulfites and nitrites that are dangerous and bad for your body.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are created by the heating of foods to levels high enough to fry a deep-fried dish. Trans fats are rich and found in a number of baked goods, chips, fried foods and more. They are also hidden under the label “partially hydrogenated oils.” Look for foods without extra oil or trans fats added.

White Sugar

White sugar is to blame for advanced aging as well as inflammation. Avoiding sugars can be hard. Don’t be afraid of fruit sugars though. Try to eliminate processed sweets, junk food, sodas and juices from concentrate. Eliminating high-fructose corn syrup is also a good idea.

Iodized Salt

Iodized salt is the most common additive and preservative. Sea salt is a better choice. Iodized salt causes bloating and excess weight gain that can make you appear puffier and swollen. When you eliminate it, you will probably lose a pant size.


Alcohol is great in moderation, but moderation means fewer than two drinks per day. It is a load on the liver, and that can contribute to even more inflammation. Dehydration paired with alcohol is a disaster on your body. Drink fewer alcoholic beverages or abstain from alcohol altogether.

White Bread

White bread is a simple sugar, and it breaks down quickly in the body with little nutritional benefit. For a better option, choose sprouted breads that are packed with whole grains and fiber. This will help you digest and reduce inflammation at the same time.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

This fatty acid is common and found in all foods containing fats. The imbalance of this fatty acid is the problem though. It’s important to avoid it in high quantities. You want to balance it out with a one-to-one ration with omega-3 fatty acids for reduced inflammation.


This food additive has been shown to cause inflammation in mice, and it is likely that it causes inflammation in humans too. It’s in a lot of foods, but you can avoid it by choosing MSG-free options when buying spices and pre-made foods.

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