Top 9 Inflammatory Foods To Avoid Like The Plague

In 2004, nearly twelve million people died from cardiovascular disease as noted by the World Health Organization. Every year, eight million people will pass away from some form of cancer. Both diseases are common to chronic inflammation.

Lifestyle changes can modify the outcome of risk for everyone. Making health changes not only improve daily living but also decrease the risk of death. Every bite of food counts and adds to either anti-inflammatory agents, or inflammatory agents within the body.

Avoid the Following Top Nine Inflammatory Foods

1. Excessive Sugars

Avoid sugary foods in the diet including sodas, desserts, candies, and snacks. Ingredients in food items which contain sugar include some of the following: fructose, dextrose, sucrose, sorghum syrup, golden syrup, and corn syrup.

Consuming high amounts of sugar leads to tooth decay and adds to increased risk for developing chronic disease, obesity, and inflammatory challenges. Choose naturally sweet foods like dates, kiwis, figs, and tangerines to “cure” a sweet tooth.

2. Cooking Oils

Many cooking oils used in homes and restaurants contain omega-6 fatty acids (safflower, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, grape seed). A diet high in these fatty acids is not good for health. Omega-3 foods are much better for the body which include fish oil, fresh tuna, haddock, nuts, and olive oil. Choose macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil, or other omega-3 rich oils for cooking.

3. Trans Fatty Acids

Trans fatty acids increase levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood stream and they also lower levels of “good” cholesterol. These fatty acids increase inflammation within the body which promotes disease. Avoid deep fried foods, fast food items, baked goods (commercial), margarines, and shortenings. Choose alternative products which contain no trans fatty acids.

4. Dairy Products

Dairy products contain allergens which can “trigger” an inflammatory response within the body. Symptoms can include upset stomach, rashes, constipation, diarrhea, acne, and breathing challenges. Foods (such as cookies, cakes, crackers, cereals) can also contain “hidden” dairy products. Consider choosing kefir as well as unsweetened yogurt for dairy choices. Each of these products are much easier on the stomach and less likely to create inflammation.

5. Processed Meats

Consuming processed meats increases inflammation within the body. Medical research links cancer to the intake of processed meats, especially of the colon and rectum. Other cancers may possibly occur with the consumption of these foods including lung cancer and esophageal cancer. Processed meats include lunch meats, hot dogs, smoked meats, chemically preserved meats, ham, sausage, and salami. There is no “safe” quantity of processed meat which can be consumed.

6. High Consumption of Alcohol

High consumption of alcohol is related to irritation (inflammation) of the esophagus, voice box, and liver. Tumors can grow over time with continued consumption of alcohol including beers, liquors, wines, and ciders. Filtered water is rewarding and refreshing for the body. Consider trying jasmine green tea which is naturally anti-inflammatory and indeed an anti-aging refreshment.

7. Refined Grains & Flours

Many grains consumed today come refined – white rice, white bread, white flour, pasta, pastries, biscuits, noodles, and more. These products are not only refined but undergo a chemical process to “enhance” the look and flavor of the item.

Refined sugars and grains hold a higher glycemic index which increases blood sugar levels. They are also related to the onset of a number of degenerative diseases including cancers, diabetes, and coronary diseases. It is best to choose grains which are minimally processed. Consider producing your own flour with a grain mill as another option.

8. Food Additives

Food additives are artificial and not natural for consumption. This can include aspartame, monosodium glutamate, artificial food coloring, and artificial food additives. Many of these ingredients are “triggers” for inflammatory response. Read labels carefully when purchasing packaged food products. Include anti-inflammatory herbs in cooking of fresh foods for added flavor without added artificial ingredients.

9. Other Food Sensitivities

What foods are you sensitive to? These foods open the door to increased inflammation and physical pain as the body is working to fight the “trigger.” Food allergies are common and should be considered. Eventually, constant consumption of specific foods can lead to chronic disease over time.

Common food sensitivities include milk products, eggs, nuts, gluten products, and nightshade vegetables. Food allergies can also develop over time even though the foods have not “triggered” inflammation in the body at an earlier time.

If you suspect a specific food in the diet, then remove the food from your daily eating plan for two weeks. Determine how you feel during this time timeframe. Slowly introduce the food back into the diet at the end of two weeks. If you notice a difference immediately in how you feel, you are probably sensitive to the food item.



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  1. Paula says:

    I stopped dairy products and have noticed improvement in my skin. Acne and psoriasis is gone!
    Also, no red meat or processed meats or foods.

  2. Susan idika says:

    This very educative. I have been suffering from chronic inflammation for years. Tips received from your write up is quiet helpful

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