In a small 2005 study, people who ate a high-sugar diet for 10 weeks had significantly elevated blood levels of haptoglobin—an inflammatory marker in high concentrations that are often associated with diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and obesity— compared with controls.
- Eat More Fish
Eat fish at least three times a week, especially ones that contain healthy fats such as, salmon, mackerel, herring, sole, flounder, and anchovies. Be careful of fish that are high in mercury.
- Eat healthy snacks twice a day
If you’re a snacker, aim for fruit, plain or unsweetened Greek-style yogurt, celery sticks, carrots, or nuts like pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.
- Avoid processed foods and refined sugars
This includes any food that contains high-fructose corn syrup or is high in sodium, which contributes to inflammation throughout the body. Avoid refined sugars whenever possible and artificial sweeteners altogether. The dangers of excess fructose have been widely cited and include increased insulin resistance (which can lead to type-2 diabetes), raised uric acid levels, raised blood pressure, increased risk of fatty liver disease, and more.
- Cut out trans fats
In 2006, the FDA required food manufacturers to identify trans fats on nutrition labels, and for good reason — studies show that people who eat foods high in trans fats have higher levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker for inflammation in the body.
A good rule of thumb is to always read labels and steer clear of products that contain the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated oils.” Vegetable shortenings, select margarine, crackers, and cookies are just a few examples of foods that might contain trans fats.