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Why Avoid Sugar When Possible?

Americans eat 152 LB of sugar per person per year. Do you really need that much sugar in your diet?

Fast Protein only has 2gr natural sugar. No added sugar. Avoid Inflammation in your body by following a healthy diet. We hope this article helps in having a healthy and happy lifestyle. 

What is inflammation?

Inflammation can present itself in many unpleasant forms, including pain, redness, and swelling. By definition, inflammation is triggered as a result of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. White blood cells produce substances that are designed to protect from potential threats, like bacteria and viruses, according to WebMD. When these chemicals are released, symptoms like warmth and pain can occur.

However, auto-immune diseases like fibromyalgia also trigger the same reactions, even without any threat. Many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s have all been linked to chronic inflammation, reports Harvard Health.

Inflammation can also affect internal organs like the heart and lungs, possibly causing other symptoms such as shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and fluid retention, says WebMD. Serious complications can also occur with inflammation of certain organs, such as the kidneys (kidney failure).

Identifying sources of inflammation in common foods

Following an anti-inflammatory diet, or at least avoiding some of the most common triggers, is one of the most effective ways to combat inflammation, says Harvard Health. Many foods have actually been shown to cause inflammation, and are best avoided altogether or limited.

One of the biggest causes of inflammation is sugar. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers. It is important to read all food labels to check ingredients as well as the amount of sugar in each serving, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It’s not always just the obvious desserts, sugary sodas, and candies to avoid. Some fruit juices, snack bars, yogurt, cereals, and other seemingly healthy foods can be deceiving, packing a whopping amount of inflammatory-inducing hidden sugars. According to Livestrong, one 12-ounce can of coke contains 9.75 teaspoons of sugar, which equates to 39 grams of sugar. That's more than the American Heart Association recommends that adults get in an entire day! Further, watch for all the various names sugar may be listed under, including fructose or sucrose.

Another possibly surprising source of inflammation is over-consumption of some fatty acids. While Omega 6 fatty acids are essential for normal growth and development, the excess can actually lead to inflammation, says the Arthritis Foundation. Omega 6 is commonly found in corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut, and vegetable oils, so be mindful of overall consumption.

High-glycemic index foods should also be limited, as they cause inflammation levels to soar. Unfortunately, that covers a wide and broad range of foods that contain refined carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, white rice, crackers, many kinds of cereal, white potatoes, French fries, and pastries.

Harvard Health and the Arthritis Foundation also suggest other inflammatory foods to avoid or limit, including:

  • Saturated fats (like pizza and cheese)
  • Trans fats (like margarine and other hydrogenated oils)
  • Fried foods (like donuts, chips)
  • Red meat (burgers, steaks)
  • Processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • Foods containing gluten 
  • Alcohol, sugary soda, sugary juice
  • Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame
  • Additives (such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), soy sauce, fast foods, prepared soups, and soup mixes, salad dressings, and deli meats)

Following an anti-inflammatory diet

Indulging in favorite foods that are known to cause inflammation should be a treat, not a regular occurrence. Instead, following an inflammatory diet is recommended by Harvard Health to help manage and avoid symptoms.

The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as one of the best overall diets for not only its anti-inflammatory benefits but also for promoting overall health and well-being. This diet primarily consists of unprocessed, whole foods, including plenty of:

  • Fruits (especially strawberries, blueberries, blackberry, raspberry)
  • Vegetables (especially spinach)
  • Nuts (like almonds and walnuts)
  • Fish (like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines)
  • Healthy oils in extreme moderation (not processed oils)
  • Whole grains (in moderation)

Some foods are also specifically known for being naturally high in antioxidants, such as blueberries and leafy greens, which can help keep inflammation down as well. Coffee may even help protect against inflammation, says Harvard Health.

Others ways to help manage inflammation

Along with diet, following a healthy and holistic lifestyle can also help manage inflammation. While it may be difficult and painful to exercise and stay active, in the long-term it can be very effective against inflammation.

Research published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity found that even a 20-minute exercise session can be sufficient to elicit an anti-inflammatory cellular response. From the study, this minimal amount was enough to help suppress the production of inflammation-causing chemicals in the body.

Finding ways to cope with stress is another important part of managing inflammation. Various studies have shown that chronic psychological stress and inflammatory response are closely linked. Activities like swimming, yoga, meditation, hiking, and breathing exercises can help reduce the effects of stress and thus help minimize the inflammation response.

We highly recommend reducing your sugar intake. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons). One way to do that is by consuming Fast Protein on-the-go whey protein, healthy diet, and exercise. 

* Disclaimer: This article is my own opinion on the subject and represents my personal observation and research at above-mentioned credible sources. 

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