Foods That Cause Inflammation

If you find yourself constantly battling inflammation, these nine foods could be to blame.

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Steer Clear of These Foods

Inflammation is the root of a variety of issues from bloating to joint pain to more serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's if it persists long-term. If you find yourself constantly battling inflammation, the foods you eat may be to blame. Check your diet for these nine inflammation-causing foods, and find out what you should be eating instead.

White Bread

Many Americans overdo it on refined carbohydrates like white bread, which can add many "empty calories" to our diet. Too many calories over time, leads to weight gain and a variety of chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease, which all trigger inflammation.

French Fries

Eating fries and other foods high in saturated fat can trigger inflammation in fat tissue, which is an indicator for heart disease, and can also worsen the inflammation associated with arthritis.

Regular Soda

Added sugar is the inflammation-triggering culprit in soda. Women with higher inflammatory markers were found to eat more sugar-sweetened soft drinks compared to women who did not have high inflammatory markers, according to a study published in American Society for Clinical Nutrition that examined the eating pattern of women through the Nurses’ Health Study. Bottom line, stick with sparkling water instead.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are made up entirely of processed meat, filled with saturated fat, which can lead to conditions like heart disease which is associated with excess inflammation. If you’re looking for something to eat at your next cookout, stick with a grilled chicken sandwich or burger made with lean ground beef.

Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings are made with oils like safflower, sunflower, and vegetable oil, which are rich in omega-6. Omega-6 fats can be found in food and are needed for normal growth and development. However, overdoing it can cause the body to produce inflammatory chemicals. You’re better off whipping up your own salad dressing using omega-3 filled olive or canola oil.

Ice Cream

Although full fat dairy can fit into a healthy eating pattern, too much of it can backfire on the body. Full fat ice cream is brimming with artery clogging saturated fat, which is associated with inflammation.


Pig fat may be back in style, but it’s also brimming with saturated fat and can lead to inflammation-related disease like heart disease. If you’re jonsing for lard, enjoy it on special occasions but steer clear of consuming it regularly.


Drinking one too many, regularly, has been shown to cause inflammation of the liver. The 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommends a maximum of 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. One drink is defined as 12-fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid-ounces of wine, or 1.5-fluid ounces of 80-proof liquor like rum or vodka. If you’re kicking back with 3 or 4 drinks several times a week, it’s probably a good idea to scale back.


Whether it’s potato, nut, or legume-based chips, these babies are sprinkled with salt to make them taste delicious. Too much sodium can lead to swelling of your hands or feet, or just make your body bloated.