Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wellness Wednesday: The Perils of Inflammatory Eating

Today's Workout:
5.5 mile run

Hello everyone and Happy Hump Day! I was perusing through RunToTheFinish's blog and Amanda's post for the day caught my attention. She wrote about anti-inflammatory eating, so I decided to write about the dangers of eating foods that cause inflammation in your body.

You're probably wondering what I mean by inflammation, after all, the inflammation we are familiar with is the one that is caused when you cut your finger and it turns red and swollen. Yes, that is inflammation, but there's also chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation affects your organs and internal structures. Basically, the production of immune cells (these are your "fighter" cells) never "shuts off," which may cause cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's, dementia, chronic pain in your body, etc.

So what causes chronic inflammation?
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • DIET**

Foods that cause inflammation:
  • Sugar and refined starch (Refined carbs, sucrose, lactose, white bread,...)
  • Vegetable oil (Corn, soybean, safflower,...)
  • Dairy products (The body doesn't process high levels of protein)
  • Red meat (Red meat produces Neu5gc which inflames the body)
  • Wheat, rye and barley (These products contain gluten which also inflames the body)
  • Processed corn  (Avoid high-fructose corn, corn starch and corn oil. These foods are highly toxic!)
  • Peanuts (They have a ton of allergens which your body recognizes as a foreign invader thus inflaming your body)
  • Artificial chemicals (Additives, preservatives, food coloring,...)

So what are the guidelines to follow?
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats.
  • Eat omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Avoid refined carbs such as, white bread, pasta and white rice.
  • Eat whole grains such as, brown rice and bulgar wheat.
  • Eat lean protein such as, chicken. Limit red meat and full-fat dairy products.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Consume spices that have an anti-inflammatory effect such as, turmeric, ginger, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, cayenne,...
Click here for a larger view 
If you look at the food pyramid you'll see that it emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fish, whole soy foods, and tells you how much of these foods to eat daily or weekly. You could even eat chocolate (make sure it's at least 70% cocoa) and drink red wine!
Do you eat an anti-inflammatory diet?
I'm grateful for Vaseline. It really
helped avoid chafing while I ran this morning.
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  1. Oooh interesting post! My diet is pretty inflammatory. I eat a good amount of dairy, peanuts (peanut butter), and some red meat. Though I do try to keep from eating too much refined carbs and added sugars, I still get it in my diet... so I'll have to be more aware and cut those foods out!

    1. I think that eating those foods in moderation should be ok. It's bad when one eats it all the time.

  2. I try to eat a mostly anti-inflammatory diet, but I do eat red meat once a week on avg, and I eat a Greek yogurt almost every day. Other than that my diet definitely resembles that pyramid.

    1. That's not bad at all! Variety and moderation is good!