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There seems to be some sort of love/hate relationship with inflammation. At its most basic, inflammation is a necessary part of our body’s natural responses. When our body suffers an injury, it uses inflammation as way to communicate the problem of our immune system.

Although we need certain levels of inflammation, it can also exist at very unhealthy levels in our bodies. Chronic inflammationthat lasts more than several months, is directly linked to health problems like Diabetes and heart disease.

It can be caused by a number of things like injury, age, body mass, and diet. Keep reading to learn more about the worst eating habits that can cause inflammation, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat As You Age, Dietitians Say.


If you still cook with margarine, you might want to reconsider. Many types of margarine contain trans fats, which are known to cause systemic inflammation. And while you can now find some in trans-fat-free stores, it’s important to read the labels to be sure.

A study of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that trans fats have a strong link to inflammation in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. This study found that although there was an increased risk factor for women with a higher BMI, the inflammatory effects of trans fats still applied at all BMI levels.


Eating highly processed carbs like white bread on a regular basis can also lead to a number of unwanted health issues. According to a study found in Inflammation mediatorsprocessed carbohydrates and refined sugar can increase our risk of systemic inflammation.

This is because when we eat carbohydrates with higher amounts of added sugar, it rapidly raises blood sugar levels in our body. When our body works to process these sugars, it responds with inflammation.

RELATED: America’s Best and Worst Bread of 2021 – Ranked!

man eating leftover pizza as a late night snack

Some people may not realize that inflammation can be caused by more than the types of foods you eat. If you eat dinner late or snack before bed, you may experience increased inflammation.

A study published in PLOS A found a relationship between eating larger meals in the evening and increased inflammatory levels. Not only that, but it was also discovered that our CRP levels (a natural biomarker of inflammation and other chronic diseases) increases with the number of calories consumed after 5 p.m.

RELATED: Eating Habits to Avoid Before Bedtime

slices of different cuts of red meat on a wooden cutting board

There are natural compounds called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) that are found in certain foods when large amounts of heat are added. For example, you can find high levels of AGEs in some oils, butter, margarine, mayonnaise and red meat.

Consuming too much EFA has been linked to causing inflammation in the body and one of the food groups with the highest AGE levels is red meat. The AGE levels of a food are also directly affected by the cooking mode, with things like broiling, broiling, and pan-frying being linked to increased levels of AGE. Cooking meat, especially red meat, with these methods can have inflammatory effects.

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