Want a Sure Way to Reduce Inflammation?
No problem. In fact, here’s three guaranteed methods to reduce inflammation. If you make these three changes in your lifestyle, you’ll not only see reduced inflammation, you’ll see reduced signs of aging.
Yes, diet alone can take years off your face and body, and help you feel younger as well. Chronic inflammation is the source of almost every serious health problem. The key to reducing inflammation is to remove pro-aging foods.
Shouldn’t Everyone Do This?
While everyone may want to look younger, feel healthier, and reduce inflammation, it doesn’t mean that they’re willing to do what’s necessary to get those results. It’s not easy to make lifestyle changes, particularly when the foods that age you the most are often among those you like best.
It’s Not Just Changing Habits
Sure, it’s hard to change your habits, particularly those you’ve had all your life. Those who go into making changes like this using the force of their willpower may underestimate the strength of the opposition. These are not just foods you may like. You’re addicted to them.
We’re not just talking psychological addiction here. Your brain has opiate receptors that react to certain foods in the same way as they would to heroin or morphine. These foods truly are, in the short term, addictive. While it’s an addiction you can beat in a week or two, it’s still challenging.
Still Up For the Challenge?
Okay let’s discuss the three foods you would cut out to reduce inflammation and aging. If you’re going to succeed in this lifestyle change, you’ll need to eliminate these foods entirely for 30 days, and plan to continue a lifestyle without them on an ongoing basis. An occasional cheat after the 30 days is fine, but if you consume these foods regularly, you’ll be facing inflammation, increased aging, and addiction again.
You can probably guess the first one.
Yes, sugar is addictive. It’s also one of the quickest ways to teach your body to gain unhealthy weight. The blood sugar surges caused each time you eat sugar create stress and cause your body to pump out insulin. This puts you at risk of developing insulin resistance and all of its consequences: belly fat, high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious diseases. Sugar is highly inflammatory, and increases oxidative stress which damages cells.
One form of sugar, fructose, has been proven to be connected to changes in skin collagen that can cause wrinkles. It is also linked to cancer, “bad” cholesterol, and liver damage.
Seed oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil (as well as margarine) are extremely high in Omega six fats.
There are a number of reasons that this is a problem.
First, most people have a higher ratio of omega-6 fats in their diet as compared to omega-3 fats. In modern countries, it is common for people to consume 20:1 omega-6 to omega-3. A good (healthy) ratio would be 1:1. This means, for good health, that they need to increase the number of omega-3 sources while reducing omega-6. Omega-3’s are called anti-inflammatory, because the high preponderance of omega six fats creates a state of chronic inflammation.
This isn’t to say you want to eat huge amounts of omega threes either. Consuming about 4% of your calories as omega threes, and an equal amount of omega sixes would probably be ideal. For most cooking, because seed oils break down under high heat, your best choice is coconut oil or avocado oil. Butter, ghee and olive oil can also be good choices at lower levels of heat, or used cold in spreads or dressings. Consumption of these healthier fats will create stronger cell membranes and reduce inflammation.
Seed oils contain polyunsaturated fats. Most vegetable and seed oils except for palm oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are high in PUFA (polyunsaturated fats). Omega-3 fats are a type of PUFA.
PUFAs are chemically unstable and easily become rancid or oxidized when exposed to heat, light, or oxygen. Inside our bodies, these PUFAS bond to proteins and sugars and create toxic byproducts such as AGES (advance glycation end-products). These AGES, as their name implies, caused numerous sorts of damage related to aging.
Wheat and Other Grains
Here’s another addictive food source.
“The gliadin protein of wheat, degraded in the gastrointestinal tract to small polypeptides that act as opiates called exorphins, cause addictive eating, food obsession, and incessant hunger; removal generates a withdrawal syndrome.”
– Dr William Davis
Wheat contains a form of starch called amylopectin A that is extremely fattening. It also contains an extremely inflammatory form of gluten which triggers a low-grade autoimmune reaction in many people. Recent research proves that even if you do not have celiac disease, you may have a sensitivity to gluten.
A gluten sensitivity can trigger autoimmune disorders, joint pain, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) and other digestive issues. Even if you’re not gluten sensitive, grains contain to anti-nutrients that you want to limit consumption of: lectins damage the lining of your intestines, which inhibits nutrient absorption and causes leaky gut. Leaky gut allows toxins to enter your bloodstream, where they create inflammation and promote aging throughout your body. Phytic acid reduces the nutrients you get from food.
Eliminating consumption of gluten containing grains, and reducing consumption of all grains will reduce inflammation significantly.