Can your dinner lead to your demise? People who eat foods that spur inflammation, such as those high in fat and sugar, have a greater risk of dying sooner than folks who stick with fruits and vegetables, finds new research from the University of South Carolina.
Chronic low-grade inflammation can bring on cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or even death, says study author Susan Steck, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. The study found that people with diets most associated with inflammation were four times more likely to die of gastrointestinal tract cancers.
Watch out for these common, inflammation-causing offenders:
Vegetable oil: Although they're unsaturated, corn and safflower oils are made up largely of omega-6 fatty acids and are tied to inflammation and an increased risk of coronary artery disease, report University of Toronto researchers. Reach for omega-3-rich canola and olive oils instead.
Red meat: Consuming a meal packed with saturated fat reduces the anti-inflammatory potential of “good” HDL cholesterol and impairs blood vessel function, contributing to high blood pressure and heart disease, according to Australian researchers. There’s no need to entirely eliminate steak, but keep your portion to 3 ounces—the size of a deck of cards—and choose lean cuts that contain the words “round,” “loin,” or “sirloin.”
Refined grains: Downing cookies, breads, crackers, and other packaged foods boost levels of an inflammatory protein, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), that’s associated with developing type-2 diabetes, finds research by the University of Toronto.
Chinese food: When Japanese researchers injected the food additive MSG into mice, it caused the rodents to develop significant inflammation, obesity, liver disease, and type-2 diabetes. The FDA has deemed MSG safe, but a study at the University of North Carolina found that people who consume the most—about 5 grams per day—are 33 percent more likely to become overweight compared to those who eat the least. An occasional Kung Pao chicken is fine, but read ingredient labels. MSG also lurks in salad dressings, sauces, canned broth and soups, and deli meats.
Soft drinks: In a Swiss study, young men who downed the equivalent of about two daily cans of Coke saw levels of c-reactive protein—a sign of inflammation that’s been correlated with heart disease, heart attack, and stroke—climb by as much as 109 percent in 3 weeks. Swap your soda habit for sparkling water with a squeeze of citrus.
Source: Men's Health
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