Top 10 Inflammatory Foods To Avoid

I stumbled upon this website the other day called and I think it’s fantastic! I have been looking for a comprehensive list of foods to give to my patients that outline the most inflammatory foods. This is a great resource! Click here to check it out.

Think about the word “inflammatory.” Foods that are inflammatory are literally setting fire to the body, causing pain and disease. In Chinese medicine we call this fire “toxic heat” which can lead to things like arthritis and gout, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, digestive disorders, heart disease, heartburn, asthma, skin rashes, cancer, the list goes on.

The top 10 inflammatory foods to avoid are:

1) Sugar. Sugar comes in many forms and hides in many foods. Read labels! Look out for and avoid cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, maltose, sucrose, sorghum syrup, and beet sugar.

2) Common cooking oils such as vegetable, soy, canola, and sunflower oil are not good for you. Replace your oils with higher quality ones like olive oil, walnut, almond, sesame, coconut or avocado oil. Read the labels to know which ones can be used to cook with high heat.

3) Trans fats. Found in most processed foods and commercial baked goods, margarine, partially hydrogenated oil, vegetable shortening, fast food, and deep fried foods. (I can almost feel my arteries closing up just talking about it!)

4) Dairy products. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I told someone to ease up on the dairy products… myself included! (Why is dairy so yummy??) Alas, humans are not meant to digest cow milk. Period. We are not baby cows.

This fact is becoming more and more widely recognized and people are starting to understand that people who can digest milk are actually the exception to the rule and not the other way around. You are dairy intolerant unless proven otherwise.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful milk substitutions available these days such as hemp, almond, hazelnut, oat, and soy. My favorite is hemp milk. 🙂

5) Feedlot-raised meat. Animals that are raised inhumanely and fed unhealthy food, hormones and antibiotics are not good for us to consume on many levels. Instead choose organic, free-range, grass-fed meat.

6) Red and processed meat. Limit your red meat intake to once or twice a week, make sure it is grass-fed, and choose lean cuts. Avoid processed meat altogether such as salami, ham and sausage.

7) Alcohol. Too much alcohol causes an excess of Damp Heat in the body, as we say in Chinese medicine. However, a little alcohol can be beneficial, particularly red wine. Alcohol gets your Qi and Blood moving and in small amounts can be gently warming. Just make sure to limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink a day.

8 ) Refined grains. Unless you can see the grain in its original state, it’s refined. Unfortunately, most grains that we consume are refined, even if they’re called “whole grain.” Refined grains includes things like white rice, bread, pasta, pastries, cereals, and all flour.

9) Artificial food additives. Only packaged foods contain artificial food additives like aspartame and MSG. Read labels carefully and stick with whole foods whenever you can.

10) Your specific food sensitivity, allergy or intolerance. One of the services I provide for my patients is food intolerance testing. Everyone’s body is different and it’s invaluable to find out what YOUR body has an inflammatory response to. I have seen (and experienced) wonderful results when my patients eliminate their primary food intolerance.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where we’ll talk about the top 10 anti-inflammatory foods to eat! Yum yum.

Take action!

Choose two of these foods to eliminate from your diet this week. (You can do it!) What will be the hardest one for you to avoid? See how you feel after a few days and let me know by leaving a comment below.

Pass along this list to your friends and family by using the fancy share buttons. 🙂

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