By Mike Westerdal, RKC, CPTSports Nutrition Certified
Ask yourself the following question and mark down how many of them you respond “yes” to:
Do you feel stiff when you get up from sitting?
Are any of your joints sore when you fully move them?
Do your hands feel stiff?
Do any of your joints feel swollen?
Do you have unexplained nasal congestion?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, there is a very good chance that there is a fire inside of you and you have signs of chronic inflammation.
According to Yahoo Health many scientists now believe that most chronic diseases that we fear most including heart disease, cancer and alzheimer’s are all caused by chronic inflammation.
Environmental variables such as stress, smoking, certain chemicals or substances and certain foods have all been shown to support the onset of chronic inflammation. These are all factors we can—for the most part—reduce or eliminate from our lives (e.g., learn to manage stress, don’t smoke, reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, etc.). And of these, diet is the single most important controllable factor in regards to whether or not an individual experiences chronic inflammation.
Food is the most important element because this is of course how our bodies obtain the nutrients necessary to support life. Food also sets the stage for the functioning of the body’s metabolic systems. Healthy diets support healthy metabolic system functioning and likewise, unhealthy diets result in unhealthy metabolic system functioning—and the onset of illness, disease and conditions caused by chronic inflammation.
Top 3 Deceptive Foods
That Inflame Your Body Causing Chronic Inflammation & Painful Joints
Man-made trans fats and hydrogenated oils, otherwise known as Franken-Fats, are laden with artificial ingredients and they are the ones to be avoided—not the naturally-occurring fats. They are some of the most chemically altered foods you can consume.
It is these kinds of “Fake” fats that you need to be afraid of because they are the culprits creating chronic inflammation in your body.
Touted as the “healthier” alternative to butter because it is made from vegetable oil instead of animal or dairy products, Margarine has made its way into every grocery store in the country.
Unfortunately, it is comprised of hydrogenated oils and it’s very high in trans fat versus good old fashioned butter which consists of sweet cream and salt. In most varieties of margarine you will find up to 15 ingredients and usually only 2-3 in REAL butter.
For coffee lovers and enthusiasts everywhere, nondairy creamers have become an integral part of the day. Over time, however, they will also add a considerable amount of trans fat to your diet.
Don’t be fooled by the “low-fat” and “non-fat” varieties since they still have partially hydrogenated oils as the second or third ingredient listed.
It’s these kind of foods that are the real ‘ninjas’ in the food war that’s inflaming your body on a regular basis. They sneak their way in quietly leaving you susceptible and vulnerable to attack.
If you drink a lot of coffee and typically use products like this to flavor it, you can be contributing to chronic inflammation and pain without even knowing it.
Popcorn has been around for years and was always considered a healthy snack alternative compared to sugary things like cake, cookies and ice cream. Sure, popcorn or “popped” corn is something natural and by itself can be healthy, however, that’s not how most people consume it anymore.
The only thing scarier than the movie you’re watching is the bowl of popcorn on your lap! Now super convenient microwave popcorn has been loaded with gooey toppings like processed cheese and caramel flavors.
There’s no telling what has been added to what was once a smart decision (and we’re not even talking about toxic bag lining). Microwave popcorn is loaded with sneaky trans-fats which are much thicker and harder for your heart to move through your arteries. These trans-fats are like eating sludge. Your body can’t digest it leaving it to rot in your gut.
The Good News & Bad News
The bad news is, there are a lot of foods disguised as “health foods” that you are probably eating on a daily basis that are contributing to chronic inflammation in your body leading to a multitude of health issues.
The good news is that the damage can be reversed with a few simple food substitutions that are covered in Part 2 of this article.