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.
Click here for previous articles by G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN.