Health One Family Medicine

5 Foods That May Weaken Your Immune System 

We all consume unhealthy foods, but some of them may be seriously impairing our body’s capacity to fight off viruses and bacteria. In fact, foods with high-fat content, additives, highly processed carbohydrates, and added sugars should be avoided at all costs.

So, whether it is now, during the pandemic, or in the future, the foods listed below may prevent your immune system from performing its job and increase your chances of getting sick more often. Here are foods that weaken your immune system:


A common food item that all of us love to munch on is candies. However, little do you know that the added sugar found in these delightful treats wreaks havoc on your immune system. Eating more sugar than you actually need can hinder your immune system’s ability to attack bacteria.

After consuming sugar, this effect happens quickly and persists for several hours. Eating sugary foods frequently throughout the day depresses your immune system. Ultimately, following a high-sugar diet over time can also kill gut flora, which further suppresses the immune system.


All types of sugar can harm the immune system, but soda can be the greatest offender. It is crammed with artificial colors and added sugars that can harm the gastrointestinal lining.

Furthermore, phosphorus is usually found in carbonated beverages, which may cause calcium loss from your immune cell. In the end, low calcium equates to decreased immunity because calcium is crucial for the immune system’s cell activation.


Regular alcohol consumption disrupts the proper operation of the adaptive immune response in all components. Alcohol also elevates blood sugar, insulin, and the stress hormone cortisol, all of which negatively affect immunological function.

Not to mention, consuming alcohol and beer can increase your risk of weight gain. And the more you weigh, the higher your chances of developing chronic health diseases such as diabetes.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs have become a part and parcel of the American culture. We love to eat them during football games, baseball, and other sporting events. However, hot dogs, especially ones made from processed meat, can weaken your immune system.

High intakes of cured and processed meats, such as bacon, salami, cold cuts, and hot dogs have been related to adverse health effects, such as an increased risk for some cancers.

During production or cooking, dangerous substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons might be released from the meat and enter your gastric system. Not to mention, processed meats are also high in salt, nitrates, and other additives that may cause oxidative stress.

Red Meat

Red meat and other high-acid diets may make your immune system less effective. Your body’s entire pH load will become acidic if you eat a highly acidic diet. Minerals like bicarbonate, potassium, calcium, and magnesium decrease when that acid load is high, negatively affecting your health.

Furthermore, red meat is also highly inflammatory since it contains omega-6 fatty acids. Of course, that doesn’t mean you give up eating red meat. Instead, control your intake and only consume it two or three times weekly to maintain a balanced diet.

Wrapping Up

You can live a healthy lifestyle by eliminating or just decreasing foods that may weaken your immune system. This equates to avoiding foods such as processed meats, fried items, and beverages with a lot of added sugar or salt. These can weaken your immune system and make you prone to bacteria, viruses, and illnesses.

Remember to regularly visit your primary care provider for a routine annual physical and stay up to date with your health. To get in touch with a provider at Health One Family Medicine visit or call (469)262-5762.

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