Autoimmune disorders can affect all other aspects of one’s life and make a person completely miserable thanks to diarrhea, eczema, depression, insomnia, acne, and other digestive issues that it comes with. Fortunately, there is a solution to this huge problem, and it all has to do with food. Many people think that autoimmune disorders like Crohn's or Rheumatoid Arthritis are random issues that sprang out of nowhere or a curse from evil spirits (or karma from a past life), but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
How can food cause autoimmune disorders? It comes from inflammation. The food we eat affects us more than you know. If you are eating foods you are intolerant to then guess what happens? Your body reacts to it (in different ways depending on the food and the person) causing things like flare-ups in the form of dandruff, eczema, diarrhea, gas, lethargy, depression, etc which all come from inflammation. If long-term inflammation persists then problems like leaky gut or IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which is a kind of chronic gut inflammation where your immune system attacks cells in your own gut) can show up.
So, in today’s blog, I am going to share with you the top 5 foods that cause inflammation and thus can create autoimmune disorders like IBD (including Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis) and other autoimmune disorders.
By far the most common inflammation-causing food on the planet is wheat. This is due to the fact that most wheat is genetically modified AND contains gluten (which is known to damage the gut lining and cause inflammation). Wheat is such a prevalent food item in almost every western country (although places like Germany have banned the sale and distribution of GMO corn into their country). So, avoiding takes persistence and patience.
Another huge problem with wheat is that it (along with all grains) contains phytates that block the uptake of nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, etc. So, if you eat these foods then, no matter how many vitamins & nutrients it has, you won't absorb them because they are literally getting blocked by the phytates, causing deficiencies if persisted over a long period of time.
Wheat is in almost all baked items, desserts, pizza, bread, pasta, and even some candies (like Twizzlers - I know, right) so avoiding it is difficult but very possible because many places now have bread, pasta, and desserts made from rice and other gluten-free grains (just make sure to avoid the gluten-free versions that have corn).
Now I must warn you that the first three days to three weeks of avoiding wheat is very difficult for most people because wheat (and dairy) both have effects similar to heroin or other opiates. So, it is possible to become dependent on them to feel good. This is why people say things like “I can’t live without bread or cheese” because they literally feel “addicted” to them like drugs. Check out this article on how these foods cause addiction in most people.
This is mainly due to the way it is made and the type of genetic processing that goes into making this grain. Almost all the corn made in the west is genetically modified (although places like Mexico have banned the sale and distribution of GMO corn into their country). If you wonder why that is a problem here is why. When that food is genetically modified, they make it in a way that combines a pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide into the actual plant.
So, the plant itself is a pest killer. At a micro-level what do you think it’s killing within your body when you eat it? That’s right, it kills the cells and healthy bacteria in your gut that you need, resulting in a leaky gut or other problems. These cells and bacteria are needed to absorb and assimilate your food, if that doesn’t happen then you will be severely deficient in vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and even macronutrients.
If you eat something that causes inflammation then instead of your gut creating the neurotransmitter serotonin it makes kynurenine (which creates inflammation) causing you to not feel the serotonin resulting in depression and anxiety (all from eating the wrong food).
So, stay away from GMO corn if you want to avoid autoimmune issues and gut problems, and stay away from ALL corn until you heal your gut or test for intolerances.
Another genetically modified food that causes problems is soy. This food (just like wheat and corn) is made as a pest killer PLUS food through genetic means by Monsanto (now owned by the poison company Bayer). This is not natural or normal and when you eat this type of GMO soy your gut pays the price just like when you consume corn or wheat.
The problem with soy is that it’s in literally almost all pre-packaged and premade foods, as well as most fast food. Soybean oil is the number one most common oil used nowadays that gets used in almost all dressings, marinades, and baked goods.
Soy is especially harmful to the hormonal system because it is estrogen-mimicking which can cause “man tits” in men, and in women can wreak havoc on your immune system. In addition, processed soy itself has basically no nutritional value whatsoever, so it is void of any benefits at all.
So, stay away from soy if you want to avoid inflammation, man boobs, hormonal issues, and eating useless calories.
Dairy is amazing food when it is NOT pasteurized (which is a process of heating it up then quickly cooling it down to kill bacteria) or homogenized (which is used to prevent the NATURAL separation of fat). Now, why would that be a bad thing? Because, milk has vitamins and enzymes that are needed to help a person digest it, which when not present can cause indigestion and thus intolerance. Most people who drink milk end up farting or getting acne. This is a sign of intolerance and not normal at all and if this occurs then one should not continue use.
However, most people who consume RAW dairy have little (if any) of those bad side effects because raw dairy still has all those enzymes and healthy bacteria present that helps digestion and assimilation of the milk. You can find raw dairy in certain farmer’s markets (which they are required by law to sell for “animal consumption” only - I know it is definitely BS), but it’s still possible to find.
Another issue with dairy is that the cows themselves are fed things like soy, corn, and wheat to fatten them up faster (imagine what eating that corn, wheat, and soy will do to you). When those animals eat those foods then you end up with those foods in your system and we have already talked about why that is a problem so if you can find organic cows, grass-fed cows, or (best of all) pasture-raised cows then you will avoid most of those problematic foods and thus their side effects.
Hydrogenated oils include soybean oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil, and any other industrial seed oils.
These are by far the most inflammation-causing foods on the planet. Most of these “oils” are much closer to plastic than actual oil in their chemical structure. Most of these oils are inflammatory because they are higher in omega-6 fats and lower in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are associated with anti-inflammatory properties (check out this study here for more info) while a diet high in omega 6 fats is associated with inflammation. An appropriate ratio of omega-3 to omega 6 fats is the highest of 1:3 ratio (a 1:1 ratio is ideal). However, most of these oils can go as high as a 1:50 ratio! Talk about inflammation!
The problem with these oils is not just the fact that they are higher in omega-6 and low in omega-3 but the fact that they turn rancid at a way faster rate than most other fats. By the time they get to you they are spoiled and not good for eating because of how unstable they are. So, in addition to being highly inflammatory, they are also old and rancid - what a load of junk, right?
So, stay away from these oils at all costs if you wish to avoid the inflammation that causes autoimmune disorders and pain. By the way, Ben Greenfield (the world’s number one personal trainer) said the only foods he will absolutely NEVER eat are these oils, so that should be a good sign to avoid them forever if you can.
It might be difficult to avoid at restaurants because most restaurants use these oils in all their meals because they are cheaper. However, many restaurants are willing to use olive oil to cook the food if you ask them. The oils you should use instead are coconut oil, expeller-pressed coconut oil, red palm oil, palm oil, olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, and most nut oils.
In conclusion, if you wish to quell inflammation and reduce symptoms of autoimmune disorders then you should eliminate wheat, corn, soy, dairy, and hydrogenated oils from your diet and then after 30 days introduce one food at a time until you figure out what foods are causing your flare-ups and symptoms. It’s basically an elimination and the reintroduction after 30 days.
I know eliminating these foods can seem impossible, but it is not. All you have to do is EXPAND your diet with more vegetables as your side and to cook and prepare your foods at home instead of buying pre-packaged foods or eating out at restaurants. You can still have all your favorite foods but you might have to just be willing to make them yourself or get creative with your meals.