Who doesn’t like french fries or potato chips? But before you take that bite, beware—those fried delectables are saturated in trans fats. Trans fats are oils that have undergone the process of hydrogenation either to preserve shelf life or due to exposure to high temperatures as in the case of fried food. While they taste great, studies have shown they significantly contribute to vascular inflammation.
While tasty and high in protein, meat carries with it advanced glycation end products (AGE). These are harmful compounds that are formed when protein or fat undergo a process called glycation, where they combine with sugar in the bloodstream. AGEs have also been found to accumulate in meats that have been exposed to high temperatures like those that have been grilled. As good as that BBQ tastes, the AGE found in the meat may be causing inflammation according to studies.
All you pasta lovers out there may want to think twice before getting that second helping of noodles. According to research out of Queen’s University, Ontario, processed carbohydrates like those found in refined flours may create an inflammatory microbiota in the upper gastrointestinal tract. This insight came about while studying the diets of ancestral hominids, who maintained a relatively low carbohydrate diet, consisting mainly of potatoes and fruits. The carbohydrates in our ancestors diets also tended to be less processed, than those found in our foods today.
Vegetable and Seed Oils
Surprising to some, vegetables sources can also contribute to inflammation. However, before you toss out those carrot sticks, note that this is only referring to oils derived from vegetables and seeds such as corn, soy, or sunflower oil. These oils are referred to as poly-unsaturated fats and until recently were considered a heart healthy alternative to traditional fats derived from milk and animal products. This is due to their ability to reduce cholesterol. However, recent research has shown that cholesterol can be beneficial if sugar intake is curbed. Vegetable seed oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, not the healthier Omega-3 fatty acids found in other oils such as olive oil. Research suggests that high intake of Omega-6 fatty acids can actually increase chronic inflammation.
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