Eight Foods That Are Making You Fat!
Author: Adam MacDougall
Date Posted:24 September 2018
So why is it that you still can’t deflate that spare tire hanging around your tummy? Consider this: your body might be fighting against your weight loss efforts.
The culprit? Chronic, low-grade inflammation.
You can think of chronic inflammation like your home security system. Before you leave your house every morning and when you’re ready to settle in for the night, you click a couple of buttons and turn the alarm on. In doing so, you’re securing your home and protecting yourself from invaders.
Your body’s inflammation response works in a similar fashion. Your immune system is the home security system, and inflammation is the alarm. An alarm—or inflammation—is triggered whenever the system detects an invader. In your body’s case, that invader can be anything from a bruised knee to an allergic reaction to pollen. In a functioning system, your immune system will eventually disarm the alarm.
That’s not the case with chronic, low-grade inflammation. You see, on top of sporadic inflammatory culprits, such as injuries or illnesses, there’s a more insidious perpetrator that’s likely triggering your alarm every day: food.
Research shows that a significant contributor to chronic inflammation comes from what we eat, and you’ll soon find that many of the following inflammatory foods have a place in your diet. When you eat them daily, you’ll always be turning on your body’s alarm system. Because your immune system alarm is never disarmed, over time, this incessant inflammatory response can lead to weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issues, and a host of diseases, from diabetes to obesity to cancer.
If your weight-loss efforts have plateaued before you’ve reached your body goals, make sure you’ve kicked these pesky foods to the curb.
Common Culprits: Soft drink, snack bars, lollies, baked sweets, coffee drinks
Bet you could’ve guessed this one. According to a review in the Journal of Endocrinology, when we overeat glucose-containing sugar, the excess glucose our body can’t process quickly enough can increase levels of pro-inflammatory messengers called cytokines. And that’s not all. Sugar also suppresses the effectiveness of our white blood cells’ germ-killing ability, weakening our immune system and making us more susceptible to infectious diseases.
A simple swap is subbing out unhealthy high-glycemic foods (which spike and crash blood sugar) for low GI alternatives, like whole grains and foods with healthy fats, protein, and fibres. A study in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that on an equal calorie diet, overweight participants who ate a low-GI diet reduced levels of the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein whereas participants on a high GI diet did not. Sugar isn’t only added to apparent products like chocolate bars and Soft drinks.
2. VEGETABLE OIL
Common Culprits: Mayonnaise, salad dressings, barbecue sauce, crackers, bread, potato chips
Once we became aware of the artery-clogging ill effects of trans fats, manufacturers switched to injecting their products with or frying their foods in vegetable oils such as soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, or palm oil—which wasn’t much better. That’s because these vegetable oils have a high concentration of the inflammatory fat, omega-6, and are low in the anti-inflammatory fat, omega-3.
3. FRIED FOOD
Common Culprits: Fried foods like french fries, fried chicken, fish sticks, chicken tenders, onion rings
Another issue with these vegetable-oil-fried and processed foods is that they contain high levels of inflammatory advanced glycation end products (AGEs), compounds that form when products are cooked at high temperatures, pasteurised, dried, smoked, fried, or grilled. Researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that when people cut out processed and fried foods that have high levels of AGEs, markers of inflammation in their body diminished.
Common Culprits: Pizza, white bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels, flour tortillas, breakfast cereals, bagels
Refined wheat flours have been stripped of their slow-digesting fibre and nutrients, which means your body can break down the foods made from this ingredient very quickly. The faster your body digests glucose-containing foods, like these carbs, the sooner your blood sugar levels can spike, which also spikes your insulin levels—a compound associated with a pro-inflammatory response.
A Journal of Nutrition study found that a diet high in refined grains showed a higher concentration of the inflammatory marker, PAI-1, in the blood. On the other hand, a diet rich in whole grains resulted in a lower level of the same marker as well as one of the most well-known inflammatory biomarkers, C-reactive protein (CRP).
5. ARTIFICIAL ADDITIVE
Common Culprits: Breakfast cereals, processed foods containing fruit, lollies, ice cream Artificial means not found naturally in nature. And that means your body usually doesn’t have a way to process it. Ingredients like artificial coloring—which are made from petroleum (oil)—have been implicated in a host of health issues, from disrupting hormone function to causing hyperactivity in children, to tumour production in animal studies.
And a meta-analysis in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that our immune system attempts to defend the body from these synthetic colourants, which activates the inflammatory cascade. Another study by researchers at Georgia State University found that additives like emulsifying agents used to thicken foods can disrupt the bacterial makeup of the gut, leading to inflammation and weight gain in animals. The evidence in humans is sparse, but your best bet would still be to steer clear of these ingredients and stick to their natural counterparts.
6. SATURATED FATS
Common Culprits: Burgers, pizza, lollies, chip
We may have just absolved saturated fats of their connection to heart disease, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods just yet. That’s because multiple studies have connected saturated fats with triggering white adipose tissue (fat tissue) inflammation. This white tissue is the type of fat that stores energy, rather than burns energy like brown fat cells do.
And as your fat cells get bigger with higher intakes of saturated fats, they actually release pro-inflammatory agents that promote systemic inflammation, according to a review in the journal Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy.
7. PROCESSED MEATS
Common Culprits: Bacon, hot dogs, bologna, sausage, jerky
Processed meats are the worst of both worlds. They’re typically made from red meats high in saturated fats, and they contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), inflammatory compounds that are created when these processed meats are dried, smoked, pasteurized, and cooked at high temperatures.
Not to mention the fact that these sometimes “mystery meats” are injected with a slurry of preservatives, colourings, and artificial flavourings that also register as foreign attackers to our immune system.
8. FAST FOOD
Common Culprits: You know…
Even if you don’t know how to pronounce it, you should know what phthalates (thāl-ates) are. That’s because many of us are unknowingly eating this class of endocrine-disrupting chemical toxins. Similar to BPA, phthalates are used in plastic food and beverage packaging—and they’re not staying there.
Just this year, a study made headlines for its finding that people who often ate fast food had dose-dependent higher levels of phthalate metabolites than infrequent eaters. Bad news for all-day-breakfast lovers since a separate study published in Environmental Science & Technology found phthalates to be associated with the CRP marker of inflammation, and another study in Environmental Health connected higher exposure to phthalates with metabolic syndrome, a disease also commonly associated with increased levels of inflammation.
*Source Eat This Not That
Ready to reduce your sugar cravings? Ready to live a healthy life? The Man Shake is a great place to start.