Chronic inflammation, diet, and lifestyle

Date

We need food to live. Some «live to eat», and others «eat to live».
That said, there is a big group of people in between these two categories who eat on completely different terms.


«Big food», this huge industry, that plays speculatively on our taste preferences with highly
addictive and cheap processed food. Foods poor in nutrients, high is sugar, unhealthy fats
and additives that almost certainly will make us sick.
«We are what we eat» is a statement proven to be very accurate. Some other wise words are
“Let food be your medicine” and that’s what it’s all about for me.
We know well that certain foods inhibit inflammation, and we also know that inflammation
is involved in all diseases. There are however plenty natural foods that promotes
inflammation, so don’t let the food industry dictate you’re eating habits. Buy natural and
whole food’s and make time to make food the old-fashioned way.
A balanced diet is essential for good health, but most of us also need supplements in
addition. And that’s because even “healthy, and whole foods” are less nutritious today.
Pollution and pesticides are two of many important reasons. We know that fatty fish such as
farmed salmon has less omega-3s today than it did 50-60 years ago living freely, and we also
know that omega 3-s are extremely important to our health.

I would like to highlight two common and important factors in relation to inflammation:

  1. Blood sugar and insulin
    A high intake of easily digestible, and processed carbohydrates such as white bread,
    cakes, potatoes, rice, and pasta will make your blood sugar and insulin spike. We know
    that high blood sugar, and insulin over time is highly pro-inflammatory. A result of a high
    carb-diet is often obesity, and obesity is an inflammatory condition. Obesity is
    unfortunately a fast-growing situation worldwide. If we continue to keep highly
    addictive, and cheap processed foods available as it is today, this situation is not going to
    change.
  2. Omega-6 and omega-3
    An imbalance between the fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 3 are an important cause of
    inflammation in the body. Omega 6 and omega 3 are “essential” fatty acids, which means, the
    body can’t produce them on its own, so we must obtain them through diet, but in the right
    balance, 2-1. Too much omega 6 is problematic. Omega-6 is found in many foods, both whole and processed foods. Red meat and meat products (due to omega 6 enriched concentrates) is a common source.

 

Cereals and bread are another important source of omega 6, and we eat a lot of bread!
Oils such as soy- corn and sunflower oil is used in the production of margarines, another
processed food, witch unfortunately also often contain trans-fat. Trans fatty acids
increase inflammation and disrupts absorption of both omega 6 and 3 in the body.
Trans fat is a type of fat that is formed when processing vegetable oils, often called
hardened and hydrogenated vegetable oil. It has several adverse health effects. Store
bought cakes, buns, biscuits and certain types of bread, dried and processed soups and
sauces can contain large amounts of trans fat.
*Several studies confirm that a diet of fatty fish, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and
nuts prevent inflammation.

Most people have a much higher intake of omega 6 than omega 3, and that situation is as
explained known to promote inflammation. The right balance, 2-1 will decrease
inflammation. Two parts (unprocessed) omega 6, and one-part omega 3.
We find omega-3s primarily in foods from the sea, but also in nuts and flaxseeds. Nuts,
seeds, eggs, and avocado is some good source of omega 6.
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, eczema, heart disease or sarcoidosis will benefit
greatly from omega-3s. Omega 3 is also known to be favourable for blood sugar control.
*Avoid high carb processed foods and make your own meals with whole and unprocessed
foods. Good sources of omega-3 from diet are oily fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, trout,
and sardines. Best accompanied with supplement of cod liver oil.

 

Written by: Anna Ingwardo, Bachelor of Nutritional Physiology from Atlantis Medical College
in Oslo. Since 2008, she has worked as a nutritionist at Dr Fedon Lindberg’s clinic in Oslo. Anna is
particularly interested in functional medical principles and has immersed herself in the
treatment of digestive-related imbalances and ailments, food hypersensitivity and leaky gut.
She has also expertise in the treatment of other lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity /
overweight, insulin resistance / diabetes and other hormone-related imbalances in the body.
Anna is the co-author of 3 books dealing with obesity and digestion.
www.annaingwardo.no/

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