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These are the four Foods That Induce Inflammation, and Here’s What Harvard’s Gut Doctor Eats Instead


Inflammation, a natural response that aids in healing, can become problematic when chronic. This chronic inflammation can lead to various discomforts like joint stiffness, muscle pain, and digestive issues. While some inflammation is caused by uncontrollable factors, emerging research suggests that diet plays a substantial role in either promoting or mitigating inflammation. Here are four foods that contribute to inflammation, along with healthier alternatives:

  1. Fatty Meats: Beef, pork, and lamb contain saturated fats that can trigger inflammation by disrupting gut bacteria and decreasing anti-inflammatory compounds. Opt for leaner white meats like chicken and turkey or fish high in omega-3 fatty acids that possess anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Ultra-Processed Foods: Processed foods laden with additives, saturated fats, and added sugars can fuel inflammation. Choose whole foods rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain options that preserve anti-inflammatory properties.
  3. Sugary Drinks: Sugary beverages like soda are linked to diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular issues, all of which contribute to chronic inflammation. Opt for alternatives like oolong, black, and green tea rich in inflammation-inhibiting polyphenols or coffee, which has shown anti-inflammatory effects.
  4. Coconut and Palm Oil: These oils, often found in processed foods, contain high levels of saturated fats that can disrupt gut health and promote inflammation. Instead, use healthier oils like extra virgin olive oil, which contains anti-inflammatory substances, or flaxseed oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

By making conscious choices to avoid these pro-inflammatory foods and incorporating their healthier counterparts, individuals can potentially reduce chronic inflammation and its associated discomforts.

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