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Inflammation. You’ve no doubt come across this nutrition buzzword. And like many people, you may not fully understand what that means or why it’s such a hot topic. So, before embarking on the worst eating habits that cause inflammation and can accelerate aginglet’s see what inflammation really is.

Whether you get stung by a bee or burn your hand on the stove, your body has an immune response that fends off toxins, pathogens, and infections, causing short-term inflammation in the process.

The dark side of inflammation is when it becomes chronic and simmers in the background, the swelling and warmth never subsiding because your body continues to send inflammatory cells to fight even when there isn’t. has no invaders.

This type of long-term, low-grade inflammation can damage tissues and joints. “You may even notice your skin aging faster when you’re constantly inflamed because inflammation can break down collagen and elastin, which are responsible for keeping your skin young and supple,” explains Dr Rene Armentaa surgeon with Renew bariatrics.

According to a study published in natural medicine. These inflammatory diseases and disorders are associated with aging.

Eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties is part of a two-pronged approach to avoiding diseases associated with aging. The other is to give up the following worst types of eating habits that can trigger inflammation and accelerate aging.


This is an unhealthy habit that you will want to break to avoid chronic inflammation. “Fruits like berries and oranges and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale provide the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants we need to help keep our immune systems healthy and strong, which is essential , especially with age,” said a member of the medical review board. Amy Goodson, MS, RDdietitian and author The Sports Nutrition Handbook. “Only 1 in 10 people eat the recommended amounts, which means 90% of us can do a better job.”

woman eating fries

The high temperatures needed to fry foods can create harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that build up in the body as we age.

“Foods such as cooked red meat and refined carbohydrates like white bread contain AGEs,” says Johna Burdeos, Dt.P.Owner of Dietitian Johna. “Eating too much of these foods can lead to cell damage and inflammation, which can accelerate the aging process and increase the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. visible signs of weakened skin elasticity, such as wrinkles, puffiness and acne.”

RELATED: The 11 Worst Foods That Damage Your Skin, Say Dermatologists

junk food

Processed meats like deli meats, bacon, hot dogs, and junk foods like candies, cookies, sugary drinks, potato chips, ice cream, and fast foods aren’t the healthiest foods to eat. Research suggests these ultra-processed foods, the hallmark of the so-called Western diet, can upset the delicate balance of healthy and unhealthy microbes in the gut or microbiome.

“When processed foods alter the bacteria that live in our gut, it triggers an altered immune response leading to chronic inflammation,” explains Kathryn Piper, RDN, LDof The anti-aging dietitian. “Diabetes, heart disease and dementia have been linked to chronic inflammation.”

Woman eats cereal

The cure for an unhealthy microbiome is to avoid ultra-processed foods and make a habit of getting more dietary fiber, ideally 25-38 grams per day from foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and legumes, Goodson says.

“Very few people eat enough fiber, but if you want to age gracefully with positive gut health and healthy cholesterol, fiber is key,” says Goodson. “Set your sights on getting 4-6 grams of fiber at every meal and snack throughout the day.”

Group of party people - men and women - drinking beer in a pub or bar

Drinking alcohol can increase inflammation in your body, and excessive alcohol consumption definitely increases your risk of chronic low-grade inflammation among other health risks, Piper says.

“If you drink, limit your intake to less than one recommended alcoholic drink per day for women and less than 2 drinks per day for men,” she says.

RELATED: Lifestyle habits that slow aging, from a 100-year-old neurologist

pour milk into oats

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains, which means it appears in bread, pizza crust, pasta, baked goods, and cereals. Although many people digest gluten without difficulty, people who are sensitive to gluten (a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity) are experiencing a different type of immune response that causes an inflammatory effect, according to a 2020 study in Gastroenterology.

“If someone has gut issues, has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, or has had unexplained chronic symptoms that put them on the path to an autoimmune disease or other serious diagnosis, then gluten-free will probably help,” says Jenny Levine Finkecertified coach in integrative nutrition and author of Dear Gluten, it’s not me, it’s you.

In a 2022 study published in Nutrition advice, researchers found that a gluten-free diet can “improve” autoimmune symptoms in 64.7% of people with non-celiac autoimmune disease. To find out where you stand with gluten, ask your doctor or dietitian about what is good for you as an individual.