Processed Carbohydrates and Chronic Inflammation

Shaun Waso
Inflammation | Low Carb


Welcome to our article on the effects of over consumption of highly processed carbohydrates on blood glucose levels and the subsequent rise in chronic inflammation. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to reach for convenience foods that are often laden with refined sugars and processed grains. However, the consequences of such dietary choices can have a profound impact on our metabolic health. In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between elevated blood glucose, chronic inflammation, and the resulting metabolic issues. Moreover, we’ll provide practical tips on how to combat inflammation through diet, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness. So, let’s dive in!

The Blood Glucose Roller Coaster:

When we consume highly processed carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and grains, our blood glucose levels experience a sharp spike. This rapid increase triggers the release of insulin, a hormone that helps transport glucose into our cells. However, frequent consumption of processed carbs can lead to insulin resistance, where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin’s signals. This phenomenon ultimately results in consistently elevated blood glucose levels.

The Inflammatory Domino Effect:

Prolonged elevation of blood glucose levels sets the stage for chronic inflammation. Multiple studies have demonstrated the link between high blood glucose and increased levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Chronic inflammation, in turn, plays a central role in the development of various metabolic health issues, including obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Scientific Studies Backing the Claims:

  1. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2019) examined the association between elevated blood glucose levels and chronic inflammation. The results revealed a positive correlation between higher blood glucose concentrations and increased levels of inflammatory markers, indicating the inflammatory consequences of prolonged elevated blood glucose. Study link here.
  2. Another study, published in Diabetes Care (2021), investigated the effects of a high-carbohydrate diet on inflammatory markers and metabolic health. The findings indicated that a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates led to significantly higher levels of inflammatory markers, highlighting the role of dietary choices in promoting chronic inflammation. Study link here.

Combating Inflammation: A Multi-Faceted Approach

  1. Embrace a Low Carbohydrate Diet: To lower inflammation, opt for a diet that prioritizes whole, unprocessed foods. Include ample amounts of lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-rich vegetables while minimizing processed carbohydrates. Choose complex carbohydrates like quinoa, sweet potatoes, and legumes over refined grains and sugary treats.
  2. Engage in Moderate Exercise: Regular physical activity helps regulate blood glucose levels and reduces inflammation. Incorporate activities you enjoy, such as brisk walks, cycling, or dancing, into your routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.
  3. Prioritize Restful Sleep: Inadequate sleep disrupts hormonal balance, increases inflammation, and affects glucose metabolism. Establish a bedtime routine, create a peaceful sleep environment, and aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
  4. Practice Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques: Chronic stress contributes to inflammation. Engage in activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.


By understanding the detrimental effects of over consumption of highly processed carbohydrates on blood glucose levels and chronic inflammation, we can take proactive steps toward improving our metabolic health. A combination of dietary changes, moderate exercise, quality sleep, and mindfulness practices can significantly reduce inflammation and mitigate the risk of metabolic issues. Remember, small changes add up, so start making healthier choices today for a brighter and inflammation-free tomorrow.

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