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What foods cause inflammation?

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Quick Answer

Inflammation-causing foods include processed and fast foods high in omega-6 fatty acids, saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates, red meat and full-fat dairy foods, according to WebMD. Foods that contain sugar, aspartame and monosodium glutamate are known to cause inflammation, reports the Arthritis Foundation.

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Full Answer

Sugars that have been processed, including those found in fructose and sucrose, cause the body to release inflammation-causing substances called cytokines, reports the Arthritis Foundation. The gluten in wheat, rye and barley products and the casein found in dairy and whey products, are common allergens that may contribute to an inflammatory state. The widely used food additive that chemically enhances flavors, monosodium glutamate, or MSG, can trigger chronic inflammation and damage the liver. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, is also a neurotoxin and is found in more than 4,000 products. Individuals who are sensitive to aspartame experience an immune reaction that triggers an inflammatory response.

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause inflammation because it weakens the liver, explains the Arthritis Foundation. Processed, refined, white flour carbohydrates and other high-glycemic index foods, such as potatoes, are known to stimulate inflammation. The body requires a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. An excess of omega-6 fatty acids, found in corn, peanut, soy and safflower oils as well as mayonnaise, triggers the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body.

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