Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

Lose Fat, Get Energy, Just Say NO to Inflammatory Foods

We have all tried so many ways to eat right, and we hope we are making the right decisions. We have to keep an eye out on which foods must be controlled in the household, which foods you should not be eating too much of, and which ones should not even be in your refrigerator! These are choices that will help your family live better and be healthier. In this informative article Patricia Piedra of will be talking about the dangers of inflammatory foods, which foods to avoid and which foods you should be eating instead. Read and learn, que disfrute!  –  Joey Olivo


Have you ever wondered why you feel so crappy, bloated or tired after you eat processed foods?? Well it’s not just in your mind it is real and here is why you feel that way…. Your body rejects these foods because they cause inflammation which lead to deadly diseases!

According to the World Health Organization, 12.9 million people worldwide died from some form of cardiovascular disease in 2004. Each year, the World Cancer Research Fund estimates that some eight million people died from cancer. Heart disease and cancer are the deadly manifestation of chronic inflammation. These diseases are expected to remain as the leading causes of death in developed countries for many years to come.

Studies have shown that the risk of heart disease and cancer can be changed by our lifestyle choices which include the food we choose to eat each day. With every bite we take, we are balancing the pro- or anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. To restore this balance you must start incorporating more natural anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and start cutting down on foods which are known to promote inflammation. Most typical diets of Hispanics are very generally pretty healthy. It is when these processed foods get mixed into our diet too much that they affect the body. Below are the culprits that must be cut out or reduced in your diet.  You must be aware of these inflammatory foods.

Culprit #1 Sugars: Sugar has been a hot topic lately, and is one of the inflammatory sources Latinos rely on the most. Getting candy from the local bodega as a kid all the way to adding sugar into your morning café con leche are one thing. But when you start realizing how much sugar is in the regular packaged foods you eat everyday, you will see how this food creeps into our diets. Look at the supposedly “healthy” yogurt containers and you will find they have 12-20gs of sugar! Not only does sugar intake cause tooth decay, but it has been linked to increased risks of obesity, inflammation and chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

English: Sugar cubes. Français : Cubes de sucr...

Found in Soft drinks, punches and even fruit juice drinks, who would have thought?! Drinking a can of Coke is as good as sucking down ten sugar cubes!

Ingredients list to avoid: corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, golden syrup, maltose, sorghum syrup and sucrose are only some of the names used.

Best choices: Go for natural sweeteners like stevia, honey and natural sugars found in fresh fruits and raw dried fruits with no added sugars such as Dates, figs and berries. Fruits have natural sugar but also supply you with vitamins, antioxidants and fibers.

CULPRIT #2 Dairy: Did you know as much as 60% of the world’s population cannot digest milk? Milk is also a common allergen that can trigger inflammatory responses, such as stomach distress, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives and breathing difficulties in susceptible people.

You find them in all dairy products; even hidden in breads, cookies, crackers, cakes, cream sauces and boxed cereals.

Best choices: Unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, if your lactose intolerant and unsweetened Greek yogurt are great options which are all easier on the stomach and digestible!

CULPRIT #3 Red Meat & Processed Meat and Feedlot-Raised Meat:  I know how much we love red meat, but there is some news we all have to know. Eating red meat once or twice a week is enough to get the sufficient benefits of it. Other than that, there is a strong link between over consumption of processed meat and cancer. In the 2007 report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, processed meat has been stated as a convincing cause of cancers of the colon and rectum, and possibly of the esophagus and lungs too. Processed meat includes animal products that have been smoked, cured, salted or chemically preserved. Commercially produced meats are fed with grains like soy beans and corn, a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Due to the small and tight living environment, these animals also gain excess fat and end up with high saturated fats. Worse, to make them grow faster and prevent them from getting sick, they are also injected with hormones and fed with antibiotics.

You find them in all: beef, pork and poultry at supermarkets and restaurants.

red meat in our kitchen (for the first time?) ...

Best choices to use: Organic, free-range animals that are fed a natural diet such as grasses instead of grains and hormones contain more omega-3 fats also known as “Grassfed”. Replace the bulk of your red meat with organic vegetables, poultry and fish, and relegate red meat to a weekly treat. When you do eat red meat, remember to choose lean cuts and preferably, that of grass-fed animals.

CULPRIT #4 Alcohol: Regular high consumption of alcohol has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx (voice box) and liver. Over time, the chronic inflammation promotes tumor growth and gives rise to cancer at the sites of repeated irritation.

You find them in Beers, ciders, liquors, liqueurs, and wines.

Best choices: spring water or green tea

CULPRIT #5 Artificial Food Additives: Aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) reportedly trigger inflammatory responses, especially in people who are already suffering from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

You find them in packaged foods and Chinese food so make sure you have the option to ask for no MSG.  

Best choices: Limit the consumption of processed foods, use anti-inflammatory herbs, spices or natural sweeteners to add flavor to your dishes instead of relying on food additives.

The bottom line, stick to non-inflammatory food choices. Most importantly make sure you get a ton of fresh whole foods and make sure you read the labels carefully as well as weighing your risks! This post is dedicated to my aunt who began her battle against breast cancer, I know we can beat this and the right foods are the key!



Patricia Piedra is a holistic Nutritionist, Personal trainer and Micronutrient Specialist (CMS)  from the Calton Institute of Lifestyle Medicine. She owns and operates where she focus holistic nutrition & fitness. Her mission is to help her clients a well balanced whole foods diet with non inflammatory foods that you can incorporate into daily life. It is not the just NOW DIET PLAN a lifestyle change to not only maintain weight but to be be healthy and combat diseases such as an autoimmunity, diabetes etc. The core of her program is to teach others the importance of “Rich Foods vs Poor Foods” to make healthy choices and not starve.  This year Patricia plans to participate in the 2014 NPC Bikini Competition. Patty has run multiple races  5miles-half marathons with the NYRR, placed 10th in 2012, “Battle of the Islands” CrossFit competition and has competed in multiple 42-65 mile bicycle races. 
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Lose Fat, Get Energy, Just Say NO to Inflammatory Foods