Inflaming v. De-flaming Foods

We have all heard the saying, you are what you eat. For the most part, we have come to realize that this is very true. Very few people can truly say they eat a "perfect" diet. We generally know what is good for you and what is not. Certain foods do promote a chronic inflammatory condition that supports pain, other foods reduce this inflammatory condition. My 6 year old boy said it in a very innocent but somewhat true way the other day. "Daddy, basically everything that tastes good is bad for you, and everything that tastes bad is good for you, right"?

Well, what do you say to a 6 year old. Especially when you kind of agree with him.

My patients have been asking me over and over again for a copy of a handout in my office regarding the simple list of Pro-Inflammatory foods and the Anti-inflammatory foods. This list is taken from anabolic laboratories research publication Nutritional Foundation. So to save a few trees, here it is.

PRO-INFLAMMATORY FOODS (the bad foods)

-All grains and grain products: Including white bread, whole wheat bread, pasta cereal, pretzels, crackers and any other product made from grains or flours from grains. This also includes most desserts and packaged foods.

-Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats): found in margarine, deep fried foods (french fries, etc.) and most packaged foods.

-Seed and legume oils (inaccurately called vegetable oils) Corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and foods made with these oils like mayonnaise, tartar sauce, margarine, salad dressings and many packaged foods. These oils/foods contain extremely high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

-Soda and sugar

Dairy and soy: when consumed as staples.

Meat and eggs: from grain fed animals.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS (the good foods)

-All fruits and vegetables: eaten raw or lightly cooked.

-Red and Sweet Potatoes: eaten with protein such as eggs, fish, meat or fowl.

-Fresh fish: avoid farm raised tilapia, catfish, bass and bronzini. They have elevated levels of inflammatory omega 6 fatty-acids.

-Meat, chicken and eggs from grass fed animals. Eatwild.com is a website that lists producers of grass fed animals. Do the best you can to get lean cuts of regular meats otherwise.

-Wild game: including Deer, Elk, etc. Animals that feed on vegetation in the wild.

-Anti-inflammatory Omega-3 eggs and or egg whites.

-Raw nuts: such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts.

-Spices: ginger, tumeric, garlic, dill, oregano, coriander, fennel, red chili pepper, basil, rosemary. If you wish, you can add a little sea salt.

-Oils & Fats: moderate amounts of organic butter, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Butter from grass fed cows is also a healthier choice.

-Salad Dressing Choices: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, mustard along with spices.

-Beverages: water, organic green tea, and if you choose to drink alcohol, red wine and stout beer are the best choices.

Good luck with all that. It is not that bad really if you develop a habit of eating as close to this as you can. Very few can do it all and be perfect, welcome to the world of relativity.

Yours in Health

James D. McLelland D.C.
Chiroworksva.com and Physical Medicine

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