A new year offers us an opportunity to examine parts of our life that we wish to be different. For most of us, we look for ways to bring healthy habits into our life while eliminating (or reducing) the “less-than-healthy” choices. We encourage the adoption of vibrant lifestyle choices that bring balance and energy to our lives. We also believe that the best way to do this is to focus carefully on food.
The following recommendations are made to help reduce inflammation. As we’ve said many times before, inflammation is the root cause of disease. Consistently reducing the inflammation in your body is truly one of the most protective habits you can take on that will help improve overall health.
1. Sugar consumption
Of all the dietary culprits, refined sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup is likely the pinnacle molecule that destroys health. Sugar is pro-inflammatory. The average American eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar each day in the form of added sugar.
|Common sources of added sugar include: beverages/soda, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, and candy|
Do you drink soda? Diet soda? Do you consume fruit juices and fruit smoothies? Multiple studies show that these types of beverages will dramatically increase your risk for developing metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 2, and heart disease simply due to the continual exposure of inflammation from these beverages.
The case report below is a classic example of the inflammatory effects of excessive sugar consumption:
|Annual breast thermogram (2004)No thermal changes seen; annual imaging is advised||Annual breast thermogram (Dec 2007)Thermal changes in both breasts; client is At Risk for developing pathology. Clinical correlation is advised and repeat thermogram in three months.||Breast thermogram (March 2008) Thermal patterns were reported again as stable; client is At Low Risk for developing pathology. Annual imaging is advised.|
In the case study above, the only reported lifestyle changes she had made was increased sugar consumption during the holiday season (December 2007). After returning to her usual healthy diet, the thermal patterns did resolve.
2. Processed vegetable oils
If you have not yet viewed the outstanding YouTube video, The Oiling of America, we strongly encourage you to carve out time to do this.
In this two-hour video, Sally Fallon-Morell (president of the Weston A. Price Foundation) uncovers the truth about the damaging effects of using processed vegetable oils in lieu of “real” fats. Truly, you will be outraged at the “cover-up” of the scientific evidence related to processed fats, saturated fats, and health.
Saturated fats (mainly, animal fats) were once deemed deadly and portrayed as “a heart attack waiting to happen.” Avoiding coconut meat and coconut oil, also a saturated fat, was also recommended as these too, would surely send you to the hospital with the classic symptoms of a heart attack. As it turns out, the consumption of trans fats(created through a chemical process called partial hydrogenation) has shown to be far-more dangerous and unhealthy than consuming saturated fat. In fact, in 2013 the FDA stated that partially hydrogenated oils (which contain trans fats) are not “generally recognized as safe.” This statement is expected to lead to a ban on industrially produced trans fats from the American diet. (Finally! A good idea from the FDA)
|These foods likely contain partially hydrogenated oils/trans fats: some nut butters, crackers, cookies and other baked goods, snack items like potato chips, and salad dressings.|
Vegetable oil consumption also leads to a lopsided ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) creates a 1:20 or even up to 1:50 omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio. The ideal ratio of omega 3’s to omega 6’s is anywhere between 1:1 (ideal) and not more than 1:5. Look to add more omega-3’s to your diet through supplementation, such as Moxxor or through eating more wild-caught fish. Although some nuts are high in omega-3 fats, others are a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids. Use your discretion.
|Foods rich in Omega 3 fats: Chia seeds, walnuts, ground flax meal, legumes (navy, pinto, kidney beans), and some seafood.|
Soybean oil. Soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered. Be cautious of partially hydrogenated (genetically engineered) soybean oil. Any foods with soybean oils, like all trans fats, needs to be completely eliminated from your pantry and cupboards.
3. Wheat and grains
Wheat lectin, also known as wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is the portion of the wheat plant that is responsible for ill-effects related to inflammation in the GI system. All seeds of the grass-family (rice, spelt, rye, corn, oats, millet, teff, etc) contain these gut-damaging lectins leading to chronic inflammation. As we discussed in our December 2014 newsletter, wheat is exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. In essence, Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall, leading to chronic disease.
|Thermogram prior to strictly adhering to a gluten-free diet (left) and after. Client also has diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and her antibodies were VERY high. After 3 months with no gluten, her blood work showed her antibodies had decreased by 300 points and her abdominal image has greatly improved along with embedded temperatures showing a positive response to her dietary choices.|
4. Eggs and nutrient content
Eggs, like saturated fats, were regarded as unhealthy specifically due to their high cholesterol content and potentially leading to heart disease. According to a 2007 comparative study of nutrient content of eggs from caged chickens vs. free-range chickens and published in Mother Earth News, free-range chickens produced eggs that were higher in vitamin A, contained more omega-3 fatty acids, had three times more vitamin E and up to seven times more beta carotene. The egg yolk of free-range chickens that eat greens is usually bright yellow and sometimes orange in color. Cage-fed chickens fed grains will only produce pale-yellow yolks.
You are in control of your health. A diet that promotes health is…
- Low in sugar
- High in healthy fats, rich in Omega 3’s
- Low in grains
- All meat and protein sources (such as eggs) need to come from free-range, grass fed animals not exposed to harmful antibiotics.
- To bring balance to your fatty acid ratio, consider consuming either a rich omega-3 supplement or adding wild-caught fish to your diet.
If you already are aware of these good health practices, consider sending this email to a friend who has made a “resolution” to get healthy. She or he may not be aware of the inflammation they may be adding to their diet by following the typical Standard American Diet. . . and that would be sad!
Reducing inflammation is truly the best way to “get healthy” in 2015 and beyond.
Brenda and Lynda