What’s the worst snack for inflammation?

Here’s what to avoid — and what to eat instead

Chronic inflammation can contribute to many health conditions, from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to digestive issues. And, not surprisingly, your diet plays a major role when it comes to inflammation, which is why it’s important to know which foods to avoid — as well as which ones can help.

If you are currently suffering from inflammation, the good news is that changing your eating habits can make a huge difference and help improve your overall health.

The worst inflammatory snack

Experts agree that our most common indulgences tend to work against us.

So, what’s the worst snack for inflammation? The short answer: anything that combines sugar and vegetable oil. High-fructose snacks like candy, pastries, sweet cereal, and cookies should be avoided, explains Jason Sane, registered dietitian and director of wellness at OHM Fitness. The combination of fructose and vegetable oils is the perfect storm for storing fat and inflammation. Not only do these foods stimulate inflammation, but they also tend to make you crave more, leading to overeating.

A study on lipids in the journal Fats in health and disease It was found that fructose had the worst effect on CRP (C-reactive protein), which is the cleanest marker of inflammation. Vegetable oils like soybean oil are full of unsaturated fats that fuel inflammation.

Related: How to Reduce Inflammation in the Body, According to Doctors

Examples of these types of snacks include granola bars, flavored yogurt, packaged fruits, and dried fruits. As you can see, many of these foods He appears Healthy, but the amount of hidden sugar is actually quite high, functional nutritionist Pooja Mahatani Says.

Sugar can signal the pancreas to release insulin, a hormone responsible for escorting glucose (or sugar) into the cell. Once glucose enters the cell, the body can convert it into energy.

However, too much sugar throughout the day can overwhelm the pancreas and disrupt this process. Dr. Mahtani adds that over time, excess sugar consumption can activate multiple inflammatory pathways in the body and lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and weight gain.

Processed meats such as pepperoni, bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, and sausage should also be avoided.

Both red and processed types of meat are high in saturated fat, which can increase inflammation of adipose tissue. Processed meats also contain preservatives, added salt, and added sugar. Sarah Webky, RDN/LDhe explains.

One study linked processed meat to an increased bodily inflammatory response, as well as an increased risk of colon cancer. Processed meat is also closely linked to insulin resistance – which leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Understand the different types of carbohydrates

There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates reach the bloodstream quickly and are found in fruits, sugars, sweets, and dairy products.

Foods that contain complex carbohydrates usually contain more important nutrients — including starches, fiber and B vitamins — than foods that contain simple carbohydrates, says Sani. There is a time and place for both. Fruit forms are simple sugar but contain nutrients and fiber that can replace the sugar.

Related: The 6 Carbs Nutritionists Want People To Eat More (Yes, Really!)

What do we eat instead

Skipping snacks may be your best bet.

I try to encourage people to eat more filling meals and avoid snacks. When you need to snack, try hard-boiled eggs, berries and other processed protein snacks with less than 10g of sugar. Snacks should be smaller forms of meals that fuel the body and regulate blood sugar. If reducing inflammation and body fat is the goal, it is safe to say that avoiding or significantly reducing simple sugars and high-fructose foods is beneficial.”

We need carbohydrates to fuel our bodies/energy. But it’s the complex carbohydrates (starches and fiber) that our bodies benefit from.

Whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods will be your best bet, Whipkey explains. What does that look like for snacks? Fruits are paired with nut butter and avocado or guacamole on whole grain toast, veggies and hummus dip.

To keep blood sugar levels steady, always pair carbs with protein and fat. Protein and fat reduce elevated blood sugar as well as insulin secretion.

Dr. Mahtani provides some examples of snacks that help stabilize blood sugar:

  • Boiled eggs with hummus

  • Apple with almond butter

  • Grain free crackers with cheese

  • Turkey and avocado roll up

  • Mixed nuts and berries

  • Greek yogurt (unflavored) with fruits

“Not only do these snacks help relieve inflammation, but they also help you stay full for longer,” says Dr. Mahtani. “I would call this a win!”

Next up: Does dairy cause inflammation? Here’s the scoop on whether or not you should give up yogurt and ice cream

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