Step 1: Take Inflammatory Foods Out of Your Diet, Part 2
Sugar is universally accepted as a toxin for our body. It’s found in nearly every human-made food, from cereal and yogurt to luncheon meat and wheat bread to ketchup, marinades, and salad dressings. Most sugars are made from refined sugarcane and sugarbeets, which creates white crystals that strip the vitamins, minerals, and fibers from the original sugar cane or sugar beet.
Sugar is very pervasive in our food supply and can be found in 80% of prepared foods in your supermarket with the average American consuming 66 pounds of sugar every year! This constant bombardment of sugar in our body can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
Although many Americans are aware that eating excess sugar can create weight gain and cause diabetes, sugar can be a factor in many other diseases as well!
Instead of purchasing white sugar, buy local raw honey that contains antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Avoid commercial honey as it is heavily processed. Up to 80% of honey sold in stores contains zero pollen and is devoid of other nutrients as well, which you don’t want to add to your diet.
Green leaf stevia and grade A or B maple syrup and dates are also good alternatives to regular sugar as these all have added sugars. However, the sugars from stevia, maple syrup, and dates are natural and unprocessed. Because these are more natural sweeteners, they contain essential nutrients.
Hydrogenated Oils as a Dietary Inflammatory
Hydrogenated oils such as canola, corn, and vegetable oils are the oils used in most households and many restaurants and processed foods. These are not the right choice for health-conscious individuals as over 90% of canola and vegetable oils are made from GMO plants. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. These foods are not natural and can contain genes from different foods, causing inflammation in the body.
Secondly, many vegetable oils are used in partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils are liquid fats that have been injected with hydrogen gas at high temperatures to make them solid at room temperature. This process makes these food products shelf-stable, but in doing so, these hydrogenated oils produce trans fats that have been proven to be hazardous to your health.
Lastly, vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oils are also dangerous because they’re too high in omega-6 fatty acids and are unbalanced with Omega-3 and nine fatty acids, which can create inflammation and lead to leaky gut syndrome.
Make sure to make healthy oil choices when you are shopping in the supermarket. Look for unrefined and unprocessed options such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, and flaxseed oil.
Processed and Artificial Foods Which Cause Inflammation
Artificial sweeteners and the promise of “zero calories” and “zero sugar” is hard to resist until you know how unhealthy these choices are for your body.
Zero-calorie and zero sugar foods have artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose in them and are not a better choice. People usually think about soda, diet soda specifically, when they think about artificial sweeteners, but they can also be found in toothpaste and mouthwash, children’s chewable vitamins, chewing gum, sports drinks, flavored teas, salad dressings, frozen desserts, yogurt, breakfast cereals, processed snack foods, and processed meats.
These sugar substitutes are toxic and can have uncomfortable and dangerous side effects, such as headaches and migraines, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk for T2DM. Since these chemical-based, artificial sugar substitutes are artificial, the body doesn’t know what to do with them once ingested. One such sugar substitute, sucralose, travels through our digestive system undigested and kills our good bacteria in our gut, harming the intestinal wall.