15 Food That Can Cause Inflammation

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: July 15, 2023

15 Food That Can Cause Inflammation

This article targets everything about Inflammation, its types, causes, foods causing Inflammation, and more.


There is a lot of news from the past few years we hear about inflammation, how it's the cause of a lot of pain and discomfort, how inflammation can be part of so many illnesses and diseases. At the same time, inflammation can be a good thing since it is your body's natural response to trying to protect itself. It is a physical condition in which a part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, or often gets painful due to injury from the outside of the body or infection that runs within the body. 

Since Everyone cannot handle Inflammation, It can be very uncomfortable, especially if one is not injured or sick. At last, It can keep you away from enjoying a happy, healthy lifestyle. Here is the article where you can learn why is inflammation harmful? Is inflammation good or bad always? And also 15 Foods that Cause Inflammation.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation (from Latin: inflammatio) is a protective reaction involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators when bodily tissues are exposed to hazardous stimuli such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. The proper motive of inflammation is to clear out necrotic cells and tissues destroyed by the original insult and the inflammatory process and starts healing the tissue.

Heat in and on the body, pain, redness, swelling, and loss of function are the five cardinal signs of Inflammation (Latin words: calor, dolor, rubor, tumor, and functio laesa). Inflammation is a generic reaction. Thus, inflammation itself classifies as an innate immunity mechanism instead of adaptive immunity, which works differently for each pathogen.

In simpler words, when a body encounters the entrance of any offending agent like viruses, toxins, bacteria, or body suffering an injury, it activates the immune system. So, then the immune system sends out its responders: inflammatory cells and cytokines, which are the substances that stimulate more inflammatory cells to protect its body.

These cells start an inflammatory response to trap bacteria, viruses, and other offending agents and heal the body's injured tissue. As I said, the results can be in 5 ways: In pain, swelling, bruising or redness, heat. But, the inflammation affects the body system, which one cannot see also.

Types of Inflammation

Inflammation can attack a body in various forms. All these different forms make inflammation classified into two types:

  • Acute Inflammation

Acute inflammation is the first response from the body to harmful stimuli. It's achieved by increasing the migration of plasma and white blood corpuscles, particularly granulocytes, from the blood into the injured tissues. A particular series of biochemical events involving the local vascular system, the immune system and diverse cells inside the wounded tissue is propagated and matured by sequence through the inflammatory response. In other words, Acute inflammation is the response to sudden body damage. For example, an accident like cutting your finger. So, to heal the cut, your body, through the immune system, sends the inflammatory cells to the injury. And then, the cells start the healing process. Acute inflammation might result in flushed skin at the injury place, Tenderness, pain etc.

  • Chronic Inflammation

Chronic Inflammation lasts for more than a few months and sometimes a few years. Diabetes, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are hazardous conditions under chronic inflammation. It is also called prolonged information, which leads to a progressive shift in different types of cells present at the place of inflammation and later characterised by simultaneous collapsing and healing of the tissue through the inflammatory process.

15 Foods That Cause Inflammation

Many factors may help inflammation attack the human body, like obesity, smoking, stress, insufficient and poor diet, etc. Here are 15 foods that cause inflammation, and one must stay away from consuming excess levels of the below-mentioned food items.


Table Sugar also called Sucrose, and High Fructose Corn syrups, are highly associated with causing inflammation in the human body, ultimately leading to disease. Sugar is made up of 50% Glucose and 50% Fructose. And High Fructose Corn Syrup is made up of 60% Fructose and 40% Glucose. 

We are paying attention to this because fructose and a higher level of fructose consumption in your body have been linked to many issues like Fatty Liver Diseases, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, weight gain, chronic kidney disease, heart diseases. So, to avoid fructose, you need to avoid things like candies, soda, cakes, breakfast cereals and other sugary items.

Why do Sugars cause Inflammation?

Sugar enters your bloodstream when you digest something. Insulin then transports the sugar to your cells, providing energy. When you overeat sugar at once, though, insulin seeks to store it in your fat cells, which causes them to become more prominent. According to the study, this can lead to weight gain or insulin resistance, linked to other metabolic disorders.

Excess of sugar weakens the immune system and makes the body more susceptible to infectious diseases by reducing the efficacy of our white blood cells' germ-killing ability.


Use natural sweeteners sparingly, such as Stevia, honey, or blackstrap molasses. Natural sugars in fresh fruit, providing vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, are safe to consume.

Trans Fat

Trans fats are one of the unhealthiest food people consume daily. Unlike other natural fats, which come from plants and animals, Trans fats are artificially created in an industrial process that usually adds hydrogen to the food products. Essentially that doesn't help your body in any other way. 

Studies have shown that the increased levels of trans fat in the diet can cause inflammation in your fat tissues (adipose tissue). Heavy consumption of trans fat foods leads to heart disease and arthritis. Trans fat allows baked foods and pastries to stay on the shelf for a more extended period and not go bad. Foods to avoid high on trans-fat or French fries, prepackaged baked items like cakes, muffins, cookies, doughnuts, and anything that says partially hydrogenated oils on the label. As a result, consuming fewer than one gramme of trans fat per day is advised.

Why Trans Fats cause Inflammation

"Trans fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) while reducing the good cholesterol (HDL)." According to research, both acts can put you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.

How to Limit Trans Fats

Food makers have gotten inventive with labelling since trans fats are the latest bad guys on the block. Even though many foods labels claim 'no trans-fat' or 'trans-fat-free,' a product can have half a gramme or less of trans fat per serving. This is where it becomes complicated because if you take more than one serving, you've quickly over the daily limit of one gramme of trans fat."


Natural Peanut Butter acts as a perfect substitute for trans-fat products.

Refined Carbs

Refined carbs essentially take a nutrient-rich food and strip it of its nutrients, then take the other piece that has been stripped and give it to you like a different product. In other words, you get the food where all the good stuff like minerals, vitamins, and fibre are taken out, which people must consume. Foods high in refined carbs are bread, pizza, pasta, chips, cookies, and other processed sugar and flour products.

Why Refined Carbs cause Inflammation

Refined carbs have a high glycemic index, which causes blood and sugar levels. According to research, refined carbohydrates have been linked to inflammation in the body. It acts Like additional sugars in which nothing can slow down their breakdown. They can immediately enter your immune system and cause an increase in blood and sugar levels. In addition, high blood sugar triggers an inflammatory response."


Replace refined carbs with 100 per cent whole-grain alternatives like quinoa, oats, and brown rice instead of altogether shunning them. According to research, the whole grain alternatives will take longer to digest so that they will not be able to raise the blood and sugar levels as quickly compared to the refined carbs. After you consume whole-grain alternatives, they assist you in maintaining a proper and constant equilibrium in your body, which means less inflammation."

Also, include high-fibre items on your plate, such as vegetables and fruits. "They are nutrient-dense, vitamin-dense, and mineral-dense."

Processed Meats

Most processed meats are associated with heart diseases, obesity, cancer in the stomach and colon. Because it's how the processed meats are made and the temperature they are cooked causes a high rate of inflammation. Processed meat includes bacon, chicken sausages, deli meats. But not all of them are bad; the way they are processed is bad.

Even more vital is the association between processed meat consumption and cancer. Processed meat has been identified as a convincing cause of colon and rectum malignancies and the oesophagus and lungs, according to a 2007 report given by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. 

Smoked, cured, salted, or chemically preserved animal products are considered processed meat.

Why Processed Meats cause Inflammation

Increased consumption of these meats is linked to cancer, heart disease, and stroke, all linked to inflammation.

How to Eat Less Processed Meat

  • Once or twice a week, go vegetarian.
  • Make vegetables, fruits, and fibre-rich carbs the main events, rather than meat, which should be treated as a side dish.


It's a good idea to not overcook your meat and to use moist heat cooking methods like stewing and boiling instead of high-temperature dry heat methods like grilling and frying to reduce the creation of heat-generated food pollutants.

Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavour-enhancing additive added to food. Basically, it is a food additive that triggers two different types of inflammation and can cause issues in the liver. Foods high in MSG include prepackaged food, store boat dressings, fast food, and deli meats. There is a high chance of having an excess of MSG when you go out to have your food. So, to reduce the level of MSG in your body, it's better to ask or check the sign that shows you that no MSG is added on the labels.


In addition to limiting your intake of processed foods, instead of relying on food additives, flavour your dishes with anti-inflammatory herbs, spices, or natural sweeteners.

FeedLot Raised Meat

Commercially produced meats are fed a substantial diet in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but less in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, including grains and seed crops such as soybeans and corn. All these animals grow excess fat and have high saturated fats due to their small and cramped living conditions. Worse, they are injected with hormones and administered antibiotics to help them grow quicker and avoid becoming sick. The majority, if not all, of the beef, pig, and poultry sold in stores and restaurants comes from feedlot farms.


Free-Range Organic Animals can be used as substitutes fed a natural diet of grasses instead of grains and hormones with higher levels of omega-3 lipids. They are leaner and contain less saturated fat because they have more room to explore.


The oesophagus, larynx (voice box), and liver have all been reported to be irritated and inflamed by excessive alcohol use. Chronic inflammation increases tumour growth and leads to cancer at uncomfortable locations over time.

While a moderate amount of alcohol consumption can have some actual health benefits, having too much alcohol, especially regularly, can cause many inflammatory issues.

Why Alcohol causes Inflammation

Higher level of alcohol consumption differs for both men and women. It works For men who have more than two drinks a day and women who have more than one drink a day. The problem with excessive alcohol is that it causes your liver to have difficulty removing those toxins from your body. The liver is responsible for removing all different toxins from your body. So, the more you stress it for the alcohol, the more it will be noted for other things. It cannot do a good job of removing all those toxins from your body, which will cause inflammation. 


There are no substitutes for some people that give the same satisfaction as alcohol, but the easy way to reduce inflammation is to reduce your alcohol consumption. Not everyone may like it, But people may try Green Tea, Mint Flavoured Water, and Mojitos as substitutes.

Vegetable Oils and Seed Oils

While our bodies require,/need a certain amount of omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, which are contained in vegetable oils and seed oils, too much omega-6 fatty acids can cause an inflammatory response. And it occurs quickly as most people consume foods high in vegetable oils and seed oils.

Many homes and restaurants use vegetable cooking oils that are heavy in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fats. A diet that promotes inflammation with a highly imbalanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio breeds inflammatory diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Try to avoid Cottonseed, grape seed, safflower, corn, and sunflower oils are polyunsaturated oils commonly used in processed goods.


We consume more omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed oil, which helps achieve the balance with omega-6 fatty acids. Extra virgin olive oil or macadamia oil can also act as substitutes. 


Gluten is tough to consume for people who are sensitive to joint pain. We may then have to set off autoimmune response for the people with coeliac disease, which causes many discomforts and damages small intestines. Gluten also leads to inflammation and a lot of joint pain. The most prominent example of gluten products is store-bought bread.

This, according to experts, could be one of the reasons for the surge in gluten sensitivity.


Consider making the following gluten-free substitutions to avoid this inflammatory food:

  • Burgers should be served in lettuce wraps.
  • As a pizza base, use cauliflower crust.
  • Instead of bread, make avocado toast with sliced sweet potato.

RED Meat

Red meat contains a chemical called Neu5Gc that humans can not naturally manufacture. After eating this chemical, the body creates anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, provoking a chronic inflammatory response. Cancer and heart disease have been related to this low-grade, lingering inflammation. Beef, lamb, and pork are the most common red meats.


You need not eliminate red meat, but the same cannot be said for processed meat. There is no such thing as safely processed beef. Replace red meat with organic vegetables, chicken, and fish for most of your meals, and keep red meat as a weekly treat. If you must consume red meat, pick lean cuts from grass-fed animals wherever possible.


Aspartame Is an added sweetener that contains no nutritional value or calories, so it's often used in foods and drinks that are sugar-free. The problem with aspartame is that many people's bodies react very negatively to it and treat it like a foreign substance, and they try to attack it with their autoimmune system. Then, that causes an inflammatory response.

Foods marketed as sugar-free as a healthy option, like diet sodas or sugar-free candies or sugar-free drinks, can cause many individuals' pretty big inflammatory responses.


So, to avoid that, you can find substitutes that contain no added sweeteners or no artificial sugars.


Some recent studies have shown that the case prevalent in milk and dairy products can cause an inflammatory response and a Gastrointestinal issue and a lot of people. It means it can cause a lot of bloating and discomfort in your stomach. 


So if after consuming caseins, you find that you have that type of response after finishing caseins, try looking for foods that contain no Caseins that aren't daily related and are plant-based alternatives.

Saturated Fats

According to my research, A person taking a high level of saturated fats may get triggered in white adipose tissue, the fat tissue with inflammation. White tissue is the fat tissue that keeps energy and runs the body rather than burns energy like the other brown fat cells do. And as the fat cells get bigger and bigger with greater intakes of saturated fat, the cells release pro-inflammatory agents that promote systematic inflammation and fight the pathogens from saturated fats.

Excess saturated fats may also lead to so many heart diseases.


The substitution for saturated fats is nothing but to reduce the intake of the same. There is no problem in consuming a limited amount.

Dairy Products

Milk is a frequent allergy that can cause inflammatory reactions such as IBS, skin rashes, hives, acne, and difficulty breathing. Milk is difficult to digest for up to 60% of the world's population. Everyone should avoid milk and dairy products such as butter and cheese. Milk is found in desserts, crackers, cream sauces, and boxed cereals.


Coconut or almond milk can be used as a substitute. Try kefir or plain yoghurt for individuals who aren't allergic to milk.

Allergies based on the body

Are There Any Foods To Which You May Be Sensitive?

This question needs to be answered by everyone to check once or twice what they consume. It must be reasonable and healthy.

Many people are sensitive to particular meals but are entirely ignorant of them. Unlike food allergies, where symptoms appear quickly, food intolerance symptoms may take longer to appear. As a result, when signs of food intolerance arise, they are frequently dismissed as mild complaints like fatigue and headaches. Long-term exposure to irritable foods, on the other hand, can induce inflammation and lead to chronic disease.

They can be found in Gluten, milk, almonds, eggs, and nightshade vegetables are common dietary allergies. Contrary to popular opinion, you can develop an allergy to the foods you eat frequently.


Instead of focusing on all of the meals you cannot consume, consider all of the items you are permitted to consume. According to Coates. "Pay attention to adding a lot of rich colour to your meal in the form of various fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and fatty fish, as well as leaner protein sources like beans, quinoa, eggs, and chicken."

According to me, in my family and friends circle, we usually don't eat nearly as many vegetables as we should and compared to other types and cuisines of food. These are the foods that will help you feel your best by providing you with a lot of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Fill half of your plate with some green vegetables and fruits, then stick to the fundamental limits of 4 grams of saturated fats and added sugars as per serving. If you keep consistent, these minor improvements can have a significant impact over time without overwhelming you."




Written by
Resurchify is an information portal for the people pursuing research. We bring to you a varied list of research gatherings like conferences, journals, meetings, symposiums, etc across multiple areas. Along with that, we also share a huge chunk of details of these events.

Check out other articles written by Resurchify . Protection Status