Thanksgiving Foods that Cause Inflammation

Posted on November 21st, 2019 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

5 Foods That Cause Inflammation

When we’re sick or injured, inflammation can be a good thing — think of it as your body’s winter jacket. Inflammation can, in this case, help your body heal from injuries or illnesses. However, chronic inflammation can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The foods we choose can have a major effect on your health. While you’re showing gratitude and enjoying time with family this Thanksgiving, think about avoiding these fall foods:

1. Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Whether in a sugary dessert or hidden in a highly-processed food, sugar is one of the top foods that increase inflammation. Uric acid drives inflammation and insulin resistance has been found in individuals who drink soda and other sugary drinks. Try to avoid:

  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Soft drinks
  • Cookies
  • Sweet pastries

2. Vegetable and Seed Oils

You may be thinking — it has the word vegetable in the title, how can it be bad? This one tricks many patients; however, certain oils such as soybean oil promote inflammation due to their omega-6 fatty acid content. Most foods are good in moderation, including omega-6 rich foods, but too much can cause inflammation. Try to avoid:

  • Vegetable and seed oils used in cooking
  • Processed foods

3. Refined Carbohydrates

Carbs are an essential part of a healthy diet, but only when they are high in fiber and unprocessed. Refined carbs can raise your blood sugar levels and increase inflammation, leading you vulnerable to developing further health conditions down the road. Try to avoid:

  • Bread
  • Some cereals (check the nutritional labels)
  • Processed foods that include added flour or sugar

4. Excessive Alcohol Intake

What’s the harm in one glass in a cheer to good health during Thanksgiving dinner? Just be mindful that heavy alcohol consumption can lead to a ‘leaky gut’ — which drives inflammation throughout your body. Try to avoid:

  • Having more than two standard drinks per day for men
  • Having more than one standard drink per day for women

5. Artificial Trans Fats

We saved the worst for last in this case. Artificial trans fats are actually the unhealthiest fats you can consume, and they’re in many foods that we may enjoy for the holidays. In addition to causing inflammation, these fats can cause a multitude of other health concerns, such as high cholesterol. Try to avoid:

  • Fried foods
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Margarine
  • Packaged cakes
  • All processed foods

Trans fats do naturally occur in many other foods, and these are not unhealthy. Foods such as dairy and meat are safe to eat — so long as the milk is pasteurized, and your meat is unprocessed.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, be sure to check the labels on the food that you’re serving for these highly-inflammatory foods. If you’re having Thanksgiving dinner at a friend or family member’s home, ask your host if the food they’re preparing is high in any of the above-mentioned ingredients. 

Chronic inflammation can lead to a reduction in bone density, and can even increase the risk of bone fracture in women, making it important to be mindful of what you put in your body. From all of us at Orthopaedic Speciality Group, we hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.