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A Touch of Wellbeing
A Wellness Blog for Busy People

Western Diet = INFLAMMATION!

Probably most of you know that our typical American diet high in white flour, refined sugar, sugary drinks, and loaded down with animal fats is causing lots of our health problems. But maybe you don’t know to what extent. It has to do with inflammation.

There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s natural response to an injury or assault, like a scrape or even a broken bone. But chronic inflammation is the type that does not “turn off”. It can last years. More and more health professionals agree that chronic inflammation may be at the root of many diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and maybe even obesity! There are many theories as to the cause of chronic inflammation, but probably lifestyle is the main culprit for the majority of people.

We know that whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like nuts, seeds, plant oils and avocados, plant proteins like legumes, tofu, edamame, and plant milks like soy, coconut and almond are foods to include daily. But the exciting news is that even when you are indulging in the processed, empty stuff, by including some wonderful anti-inflammatory foods, we can dull the inflammatory effect! Scientists are looking with great interest at berries, tomatoes, walnuts, spices, extra virgin olive oil, fish, tea and red wine.

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a study back in 2010 saying a strawberry beverage consumed with a high-fat meal blunted the inflammatory response of that meal. So does that mean (occasionally) a SMALL strawberry shake (made with lots of real strawberries and real ice cream please) along with that hamburger and French fries in on the agenda? You betcha! Just be sure the French fries are real potatoes and get your burger grilled, on a whole wheat bun loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, green chili, but skip the mayo, plastic cheese and bacon. Even better, split that meal with a friend. Yahoo! I am on my way now!

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