8 Foods Linked to Inflammation
What's in them: Refined carbs and added sugars that send your blood sugar soaring
The science: When your blood sugar spikes, your body releases pro-inflammatory substances, and consuming foods high in the glycemic index (like refined carbs and sugars) leads to quick increases in blood sugar. (Instant oatmeal has a "glycemic load" of 21. Anything above 20 is considered high. Surprises like barbecue sauce's 11 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons puts it high in the index too.) In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers measured the c-reactive protein (or CRP, a marker of inflammation) levels in 244 apparently healthy women and examined their daily diets. CRP levels were almost two times higher in women eating the most high-GI foods than those eating the fewest. Another AJCN study found that women eating the most high-GI foods were three times more likely to die from an inflammatory health problem.
One more thing: Other foods that are high in the glycemic index include pretzels, rice cakes, white rice and any and all sugar-sweetened drinks. (You can find a thorough list of foods and their GI information here.)