In the past year, I have seen growing interest concerning "anti-inflammatory diets" from both patients and medical doctors who refer patients for nutritional consultations.The two most common questions are: "What do you think about this new anti-inflammatory diet stuff?" and "When I looked it up, nobody seems to agree on exactly what it is." My standard reply is that I first heard the term more than 15 years ago and at that time it was a concept, rather than a specific diet. I explain that instead of getting hung up on Web definitions (such as all-organic, free range, all raw foods or GMO* free vegetarian), they should focus on the basic underlying themes that fuel inflammation (Table 1) and see if patients have any areas that need to be addressed.
| Table 1: Common Dietary |
Imbalances That Inflame
|Too many calories|
|Too much saturated fat|
|Too much sugar and refined carbs|
|High omega-6 to omega-3 ratio|
|High sodium to potassium ratio|
|Table 2: Sources of |
|Too much fast food|
|Too much fried food|
|Too much junk food|
|Too many soft drinks|
|Too many meals out|
|Too many servings per meal|
|Too much processed food|
|Too much high-fat animal food|
|Too many desserts|
|Too much alcohol|
Next time, we will continue to explore this topic, including looking at a pro/anti-inflammatory food list and how to apply the concepts of reducing inflammation in practical ways for normal, busy people.
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