Diet-related Inflammation and Disease

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Dietary-related inflammation affects your entire body and contributes to many health problems, including osteoarthritis, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Avoiding inflammation-promoting foods and eating the right kinds of foods can help control inflammation and promote a healthier future.

1.Inflammation-promoting foods to avoid:

  • sodas, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners
  • sugary artificial juices
  • trans fats (hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, i.e., margarine, shortening)
  • vegetable and seed oil (canola, corn, soybean, safflower, cottonseed)
  • high glycemic carbs (white bread, pasta, sugar, white rice)
  • fried foods
  • feedlot meat and poultry (corn/grain fed=obese meat)
  • processed foods and meats
  • immoderate amounts of desserts and desserts with too much sugar and the wrong kinds of fats
  • immoderate amounts of alcohol
  • cheeses processed and made with the wrong kind of fat and engineered enzymes

2.Anti- inflammatory foods to eat:

  • pineapple
  • curry, ginger
  • hot pepper dishes
  • fresh fruits (bright colored)
  • fresh vegetables (dark colored are best)
  • legumes (plants with pods)
  • some types of fish (salmon)
  • sea vegetables, seaweed
  • grass-fed meat and poultry
  • dark color fruit juice (without excessive added sugar)
  • the right kind of oils, including olive, avocado, hazelnut, macadamia nut, sunflower-hybrid,
  • butter from grass-fed cows and coconut oil
  • natural less processed dairy, yogurt, milk, cheese

The hs-CRP Test:

This test  is a marker of dietary-related inflammation. This can be tested at the ProHealth Lab in Park City (, established by Thomas Rosenberg, MD (knee surgeon to Tiger Woods). Dr. Rosenberg and his team are strong promoters of an anti-inflammatory diet. Normal range of hs-CRP is less than 1, 1-3 is considered average risk, and greater than 3 is high risk for inflammatory-related disease such as heart disease and arthritis.

The Scepter Diet:

Deborah M. Westphal, RPh, BCNSP (Registered Pharmacist, Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist) of Salt Lake City has developed Scepter Nutrition for Elite Athletes ( She states that the right kind of oils, as listed above, in the right amounts, give your body energy and do not cause inflammation. She recommends that upward of 60% of calorie intake be from these good oils. The right oils, combined with the right balance of vegetables, fruit and lean protein provide energy and promote good health. That leaves very little room for sugar, high glycemic carbohydrates and bad oils, so total calorie intake should be kept at your personal target level. She provides meal examples on her website, including vegetarian and vegan versions. As dietary fat intake has decreased, obesity rates have increased in the U.S. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are the primary (74%) artery-clogging fats found in those who died from heart disease. Alfred J Amer Diabetic Assoc. 1995; Felton CV Lancet 1994

What Cooking Oils Are Good?

Olive oil is fine to cook with at sautéing temperatures, but is not good for the higher temperature cooking. Avocado, hazelnut and macadamia nut oils are healthy oils that are good for higher temperature cooking, as they have a high smoke point. Canola oil is made from the toxic rape seed plant and contains erucic acid that must be highly processed to get rid of it. Critics say the reason rape seed (canola) oil is popular with manufacturers is that it is cheap to grow and harvest, and because of its toxic nature, insects don’t bother it.

Omega 3 oils. Rosenberg and Westphal are fans of fish oil for the right kind of Omega 3 fatty acids to prevent inflammation, although the research information on the benefits of fish oil varies. Westphal also recommends pasture butter, grass fed meat and poultry. She cautions that flax seed oil can cause problems for up to 80% of people because it is a different kind of Omega 3 fatty acid molecule and different length chain (α-Linolenic ALA) than fish oil (EPA/DHA). Only 20% of people are able convert flax seed oil into a useful molecule. Flax seed oil can leave residue in the body that can cause problems even in those who can convert it and particularly people who cannot. She also recommends against hempseed oil.

The Question of Raw Milk vs. Processed Milk:

Pasteurization destroys beneficial lactic acid-producing bacteria, alters certain amino acids making protein nutrients less available, promotes rancidity and destroys vitamins. Homogenization coats the fat molecules to make them less digestible. Skim or low fat milk takes out vitamins A and D, so the body must use its own stores to absorb calcium and protein. Powdered milk, which has been processed with high temperatures that oxidize the cholesterol, is added back to give it bulk. Today’s milk is accused of causing everything from allergies to heart disease to cancer, but when Americans could buy real milk, these diseases were rare. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (

Read labels. These ingredients can be hard to avoid.

What About Soy?

Traditionally soy is eaten in small amounts of fermented tempe or tofu in mineral-rich broth. High levels of phytic acid in unfermented soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Soy milk is made from the byproducts of soybeans after being pressed for oil. Soy also contains protease inhibitors, which prevent digestion and cause cell proliferation in the pancreas; and saponins, which are soap-like suds that damage intestinal mucosa, causing “leaky gut” and oxalates. It binds with minerals, especially calcium, and high amounts can cause kidney stones. Fallon; M Merritt Acupuncture today 2011

Krista’s Personal Big Nots (not if I can help it):

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Soy products that are not traditionally fermented-made from the by-products of soy beans after being pressed for oil
  • Artificial sweeteners, which have a higher glycemic index than sugar
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (margarine, shortening, prepared foods with long shelf life). This is the only type of oil that significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Excessive added sugar
  • Artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins, and other unrecognizable chemicals such as sodium benzoate

Genetically Engineered Foods.

“GM (genetically modified) crops were widely introduced in 1996. Within nine years, the incidence of people in the U.S. with three or more chronic diseases nearly doubled from 7% to 13%. Visits to the ER due to allergies doubled from 1994 to 2002, and overall food-related illness doubled from 1994 to 2001, according to the CDC. You can avoid much of these by avoiding corn, soy, canola, cottonseed oils, sugar from sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, a small amount of zucchini and crook neck squash. Hu NEJM 1997; Weston A. Price Foundation; Jeffrey M. Smith, Seeds of Deception

Go Organic

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (Michael Pollan):

Eat food,

Not too much,

Mostly plants

80%/20% Rule:

80% try to do what is a healthy diet for you

20% don’t worry about it too much. Don’t let excessive concern take away the joy of food.

Mindful or Conscious Eating:

  • Be aware of what you eat
  • Give it your full attention, and savor the food.
  • Avoid distractions such as watching TV and reading while eating.
  • When your mind wanders and you stop tasting, it is time to stop eating.