No, we’re not talking about a miracle cure here. If you want to prevent inflammation before it strikes, it’s surprisingly easy to beat bloating by watching the foods you eat on a daily basis. To do so, be sure you’re reading labels at the store as well as conducting your own experiments.
While not all inflammatory foods will cause bloating, there are still a few that you should stay away from (or at least limit your intake). Ready to banish bloat? For the uninitiated, here are five inflammatory foods to skip this season!
- Soda and Juice
This goes without saying, but both soda and juice are filled to the brim with sugar.
As if that’s not bad enough, registered dietitian Sarah Mirkin shares that, “simple sugars, especially when eaten alone, will trigger blood sugar spikes leading to chronic inflammation by increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines.”
So, if you thought that fruit juice was the perfect substitute for soda, you’d be dead wrong. Even juice concentrates loaded with natural sugar can cause you to bloat. Solution: dilute fruit juice with water!
- Processed Carbs
Here’s the thing.
It’s not a shocker that processed carbs are a significant cause of bloating. In fact, eating too many carbs can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, triggering massive inflammation. Yes, that includes whole-grain wheat as well.
To balance the bloat, pair carbs with healthy fats and proteins. Our general rule of thumb is that the more fiber you eat, the better. For example, try combining yogurt and nuts with fruit next time you’re feeling “hangry.”
- Trans-Fatty Acids
Unsurprisingly, trans fats are a big no-no when it comes to anti-inflammatory foods. According to Mirkin, “trans fats are chemically altered fats that trigger inflammation and should be avoided as much as possible to prevent heart disease and most other disease conditions.”
Don’t know where to start? To begin, cut out any foods or ingredients with partially hydrogenated oils or hydrogenated oils. Sadly, trans fats are still present in fast food, despite the fact the FDA says they are no longer “generally recognized as safe.” Yuck!
- Alcohol, Beer, and Wine
If you’ve ever had a few too many glasses of wine at night, you might notice how bloated you feel the next day. Why is that? Because research shows that alcohol is directly connected to inflammation.
It gets worse: even drinking a little bit can result in an inflamed immune system. Can’t skip drinking completely? We totally understand.
Remember: moderation is key!
- Red Meat
You might be wondering: how can red meat possibly be inflammatory?
We’re glad you asked. Mirkin continues to explain that, “eating red meats will cause CRP (C-reactive protein) levels to increase in your blood, which is an indicating marker of inflammation and heart disease risk.”
To lower CRP levels like no other, stick to healthier proteins such as:
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