Health & Wellness: Diet Tips For an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

I came across this article on A Beautiful Mess that was very insightful. They have a running series with a  dietitian where they discuss hot-button health topics. Today, they discussed ten ways to implore an anti-inflammatory diet. This caught my attention because I do have lupus, an autoimmune disease with anti-inflammatory symptoms. Because of my family's health history, I am working toward leading an active and healthy lifestyle. It is not easy, I have to unlearn a lifetime's worth of habits. This anti-inflammatory diet seems doable. Read the first five tips below and click the link to get the rest!

  1. Work towards a healthy weight. Those who fall into an overweight or obese category have been found to have higher rates of inflammation and are at a higher risk for many of the diseases associated with it. (3) Following some of the suggestions below can help you work towards this goal.
  2. Cut back on calories. It has long been observed that those who eat a lower calorie diet long term live longer and have fewer diseases. One of the ideas behind this is they have reduced chronic inflammation. It must be said that many of these people were eating severely restricted calorie diets—like 30-40% reduction of total calories. What I would suggest is more mild (like 10% of total calorie intake) as severe restrictions can cause health concerns. (4) Dr. Valter Longo, whose research on longevity is fascinating, recommends in his new book reducing calories as simple sugars and protein. To replace these, he suggests turning to complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. (5)
  3. Cut the sugar. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; all the added sugar in our diet is not doing us any health favors. There is evidence that sugar plays a role in inflammatory diseases. (6, 7) As an exercise in mindfulness, I challenge you to eliminate anything that has added sugar (or artificial sweeteners for that matter) for one week. Read food labels and don’t choose anything that has the word sugar or one of its many psudeonyms. This exercise will open your mind to the unsettling fact that sugar is added to soooo many things and may help you choose an alternative without it.
  4. Keep your carbohydrates complex. Sources of carbohydrates should be mostly non-starchy vegetables like chickpeas, lentils, beans, and 100% whole grain bread and rice. I recommend focusing on veggies and legumes even more than the grains and rice. The flip side of this is to eat fewer simple carbohydrates, which includes sugar, refined grains, rice, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.
  5. Focus on healthy fats. Use olive oil as your main oil in cooking and salad dressings and eat 1 ounce of nuts like almonds or walnuts each day. Eat fish according to the guidelines below. Limit other vegetable oils like soybean and corn oils which are often found in pre-made packaged food. (5)

Read the rest of the article at A Beautiful

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