During my last blog I presented the idea that relief from pain and discomfort starts with prevention. In other words it is much better to act before you are in pain to prevent pain. We reviewed how inflammation is a cause of pain; it is also a cause of discomfort from excessive weight (Obesity), heart conditions, stroke, disbetes, MS, Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, Allergies including Asthma and Food Intolerances, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ana Fibromyalgia, and a whole lot more negative conditions.
I introduced the concept of internal inflammation, inflammation that is inside your body AKA the Invisible thief of Life’s vitality. We discussed how many people suffer with the misconception that we must live with some form of internal inflammation daily and just think it as a normal part of life. This belief, we learned, is very far from the truth.
In part 1 we listed some steps the help you reduce inflammation. In this article I will list some foods that are linked to obesity and thus can cause internal inflammation in the form of diseases and death.
- Sugar: Sugar is everywhere. Try to limit your intake of processed foods, desserts and snacks with excess sugar. Opt for fruit instead. (NOTE: Learn to read “Nutrition Labels” (The subject of our next blog).
- Common Cooking Oils: Safflower, soy, sunflower, corn, vegetable and cottonseed. These oils promote inflammation and are made with inexpensive and sometimes harmful ingredients.
- Trans Fats:Trans fats are the bad guys; they increase bad cholesterol, promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin. Trans Fats are added to some foods to promote the taste. Trans Fats are found in most fried foods, fast foods, commercially baked goods, such as some peanut butters, and foods containing partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable oil. Avoid the Bad Guys.
- Dairy: While kefir and some yogurts are acceptable, dairy is hard on the body. Milk is a common allergen that can trigger inflammation, stomach problems, skin rashes, hives and even breathing difficulties.
- Feedlot-Raised Meat: Animals who are fed with grains like soy and corn contain high inflammation. This inflammation can be transferred to individuals who consume the meat. Feedlot-Raised animals also gain excess fat and are injected with hormones and antibiotics to increase their weight. Always opt for organic, free-range meats that have been fed natural diets.
- Red and Processed Meat: Red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5GC. (Check out the video below on Neu5GC).
- Once you ingest this compound, your body develops antibodies which may trigger constant inflammatory responses. Reduce red meat consumption and replace it with poultry and fish. You can eat lean cuts of red meat, once a week at most. If you can, find meat that comes from animals who have been grass fed, rather than grain fed.
- Alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol causes irritation and inflammation to numerous organs, which can lead to cancer. People who consume allot of alcohol don’t really care until the doctor gives them a prognosis of only a few months or years. Then, they become very concerned.
- Refined Grains: “Refined” products have no fiber and have a high glycemic index. They are everywhere: white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries… Try and replace with minimally processed grains.
- Artificial Food Additives: Aspartame and MSG are two common food additives that can trigger inflammation responses. Omit Aspartame, MSG and other harmful additives from your diet. NOTE: Learn how to read ingredient labels; the subject of another future blog.
- Listen to Your Body: Do you constantly have headaches or feel tired? Sometimes, you may develop an allergy to a food and not even know it. Coffee, certain vegetables, cheese… there might be a trigger you aren’t even aware of. Try and take a few foods out to see how you feel and slowly incorporate them back in to see if there might be a hidden culprit lurking in your diet! There will be a future article just on the subject of listening to your body and changing your life style for a better, more vibrant and healthier life.
While there are many other foods that can cause inflammation, these are the easiest to identify and to reduce or eliminate. Avoiding these types of foods can help to relieve the inflammation in the body.
In another blog, we address how an active life style can help you reduce and eliminate inflammation in your life and thus increase the quality and length of your life. For now, let us just address your diet and how you can be proactive; the person in charge of your health, wealth and happiness.