Do carbs cause inflammation in the body? The easy answer is yes. And if you’re a fan of pizza, tacos, and sandwiches — yes, please! — this can put a real crimp in your mealtime enjoyment.
But, like so many aspects of health, it’s a bit more complicated than that. (We also have a delicious solution for you. Read on.)
These Carbs Cause Inflammation
In fact, not all carbs cause inflammation in the body. Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients in our diets, joining fat and protein. It’s impossible, and unhealthy, to cut out carbs altogether.
Instead, health experts recommend avoiding refined carbs, also known as “bad carbs.” Bad carbs include:
- White bread, including bagels, croissants, and baguettes
- Pastries, cookies, other baked goods
- Table sugar
- Sugary drinks, like soda and fruit juice
- Candy and chocolate (although dark chocolate has fewer carbs than milk chocolate)
- Ice cream
- French fries, potato chips
These Carbs Do Not Cause Inflammation
Just as there are bad carbs, there are also good carbs. (Sometimes you’ll hear carbs divided into “refined” versus “whole” or “simple” versus “complex.”) Good carbs, which are loaded with nutrients and fiber, can be found in these foods:
- Whole fruits
- Whole grains
- Tubers, like white and sweet potatoes
Get the majority of your carb calories from the second list, and you’ll be doing your health a favor.
Why It Matters That Carbs Cause Inflammation
Although it might sound benign, inflammation is a powerful biological force — sometimes good, sometimes damaging.
When inflammation protects against infection or injury, such as when you get a sprain or a cut, it’s a positive response.
But chronic, low-level inflammation is dangerous. This is the case with not only autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, but also more common ailments like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and possibly even depression.
Scientists have yet to find an effective cure-all for chronic inflammation, but the consensus is that a diet packed with good carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein can go a long way toward staving off the harmful type of inflammation.
Our Solution to the Carb Conundrum Is …
Once we understood the health hazards of consuming bad carbs, we rolled up our sleeves and set to work on a solution. We wanted the flaky, chewy, crisp crusts and breads we’d known and loved — but without the dangers of refined carbs.
We chopped, baked, and taste-tested until we got it right. The result was crispy, crunchy bread-like alternatives that don’t contribute to inflammation: Plantpower™ Cauliflower Pizza Crusts and Plantpower™ Cauliflower Sandwich Thins.
With ingredients like fresh cauliflower, whole eggs, pure nutritional yeast, and vegetarian parmesan cheese, these not-bread options keep their distance from the bad carbs list. In fact, they’re full of good carbs. And they’re low carb too; our Pizza Crusts and Sandwich Thins have only 1g net carbs per serving.
Use our Plantpower™ products to make healthy versions of the old standbys: pepperoni pizza, tacos, lasagna, quiche, toast – even pancakes. You won’t miss your favorite high-carb foods, and your body will thank you for dousing the flames of inflammation. A healthier (and yummier) future is your reward!
- Good carbs, Bad Carbs—How to Make the Right Choices, by Chris Gunnars. Healthline.com. Sections 2 and 6. August 18, 2016.
- The Carbohydrates in Chocolate by Melodie Anne. Woman.thenest.com.
- Is Inflammation Good for You or Bad for You? By Katherine Hobson, July 21, 20017. NPR.org.
- Understanding Inflammation by Michael Anft. John Hopkins Health Review Spring/Summer 2016 Vol 3, issue 1.