Depending on what you eat, food can increase or decrease inflammation. Food triggers chronic low-level inflammation in four ways.
1. Toxin exposure includes exotoxins and endotoxins. Air, water, and soil pollutants can be a source of exotoxins through environmental exposure. Other sources are consuming large amounts of highly processed foods, and processed animal foods containing hormones and antibiotic residues in the foods eaten. From a nutritional standpoint, the digestive tract is the site for endotoxin production. Consumption of an excessively large meal high in animal foods can result in low-level inflammation.
2. High blood sugars result in protein glycation which triggers inflammation.
3. Consumption of a combination of a high-fat (with 40-50 percent of total calories being supplied by fat) low-antioxidant diet increases oxidative stress which triggers inflammation.
4. Immune-mediated adverse food reactions such as food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities trigger chronic low-level inflammation.
Food can help to combat inflammation. Antioxidant-rich whole plant foods tend to decrease levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. Foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in omega-3 fats tend to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Adiponectin, a protein that is produced by fat cells, has anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing properties. High fiber foods increase circulating levels of adiponectin. Identifying and avoiding foods that result in adverse food reactions can help decrease inflammation.
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