Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Recently, many studies have suggested incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet to prevent and reduce this risk. This is because inflammation and heart disease go hand in hand. Most forms of heart disease, like hypertension and stroke, are worsened by chronic inflammation.
Inflammation occurs naturally in your body and can be considered good or bad. It’s your body’s way of fighting off infection and protecting itself when you are sick. When fatty acids and plaque buildup in your arteries your body perceives this as foreign and inflammation may occur as a response. However, long-lasting inflammation (often caused by our diet) is associated with many not-so-great health conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. The foods you consume can have a significant impact on inflammation and your heart health so we’re sharing how to reduce inflammation in the body fast and which foods to avoid.
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
If you’re looking to prevent and reduce heart disease it’s time to decrease inflammation in your body! One way you can do so is by altering what you eat and incorporating a heart-healthy diet into your lifestyle. Here’s a list of inflammatory foods to avoid:
Sugar is in virtually everything and extremely hard to avoid. While it may taste good, consuming more than the recommended daily amount can have some negative effects on your heart health. A diet rich in sugar has been associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, inflammation, heart attack, and even stroke. Because it’s found in almost everything (and sometimes disguised as different names like fructose, corn syrup and maltodextrin), it’s hard to avoid but try to limit your intake of sugary treats like candy, soda, and cookies to lower your levels of inflammation.
One of the least healthy foods you can consume are those that contain artificial trans-fat. These include favorite foods like french fries, microwave popcorn and frozen pizza. Naturally occurring trans-fat is found in fatty parts of meat and some dairy products and is no cause for concern, but artificial ones may lead to inflammation and increased risk for heart disease.
Processed foods like chips, crackers, cookies, cereal, bacon and sausage contain high amounts of unhealthy fats that can cause inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Diet
If you’re wondering how to reduce inflammation in your body fast you’ll need to focus your diet on anti-inflammatory foods that minimize heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Some of our favorite anti-inflammatory foods include olive oil, garlic, potatoes, oily fish, nuts, berries, dark chocolate and dark leafy greens.
At AMS Cardiology we make it our mission to provide our patients with preventative and interventional cardiology services and smart tips, like inflammatory foods to avoid, to ensure you’re always feeling your best. Inflammation and heart disease can be managed when you consider scheduling an appointment with the best cardiologists in the greater Philadelphia area. Speak with one of our physicians today and together you can pick out a diet that’s right for you and your heart.