The Ultimate Guide to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat

If you're looking to reduce inflammation in your body, an anti-inflammatory diet is the way to go. This type of diet focuses on eating foods that are known to reduce inflammation, such as plenty of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and spices. It is also important to limit or avoid processed foods, red meat, and alcohol. Any nutrition expert will tell you that the best way to reduce inflammation is to consume anti-inflammatory foods. These include a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (such as beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices.

While the jury is still out on solanaceous vegetables and their impact on inflammation, it's best to limit their consumption. Added sugars are a major contributor to inflammation in the body. Americans consume excessive amounts of added sugars, which increases the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Added sugar can be found in many unexpected places, such as salad dressings, condiments, and savory snacks. High-carbohydrate foods like pasta, white rice, bread, and other products made from flour or refined grains have a greater impact on blood sugar levels. Research has linked these types of foods to increased inflammation and an increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions. The Food and Drug Administration considers all artificial sweeteners to be relatively safe; however, most of those seen on restaurant tables and in food products are synthetic sweet-tasting chemicals such as aspartame and saccharin.

To reduce inflammation it is important to avoid or minimize sugary foods and beverages, processed meat, excess alcohol, and foods high in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Unlike food allergies where symptoms usually appear quickly, symptoms caused by food intolerance may take longer to manifest. To reduce inflammation it is important to incorporate more natural anti-inflammatory foods into your diet while avoiding or reducing foods that are known to promote inflammation. Ready-to-eat meals and takeout foods should be avoided due to their high levels of unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates.