This 'Healthy' Recommendation Is a Slow Killer
During a recent visit to a general practitioner, who was guzzling diet soda, we overheard him giving some health advice. His advice was direct from several government health websites. Certainly not advocated by nutritionists or even most health professionals, yet this advice is dangerous.
We've all heard some of these dated recommendations which recommend you replace solid fats like butter with vegetable oils like corn, safflower or sunflower to reduce your risk of heart disease. They recommend non-fat breakfast cereals over eggs. They recommend margarine, which is a trans fat that raises your LDL (bad cholesterol), while lowering HDL (good cholesterol) over nutrient-rich, grass-fed butter. Not only will this dietary switch make you more likely to suffer heart problems and weight gain but it greatly increases your risk of dementia, too.
How so? The Inflammation Epidemic
The major killer diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer's all share a common symptom. This symptom is visible years before you’re diagnosed or become victim to one of these killer diseases. That symptom is inflammation.
The common external inflammation that we're all more familiar with, although painful, is a positive response to a physical injury. The redness and swelling play a role in healing. But low level, internal chronic inflammation is something else; it can be very destructive.
And that's what happens to all of us to some extent, particularly as we get older. Our immune system and other protective systems that should be controlling inflammation slowly deteriorate with age, environmental issues, stress and poor diets focused on sugars, refined fats (such as trans fats), refined carbohydrates (think of highly processed foods).
Instead of making us well, the internal immune response produces higher levels of inflammatory chemicals on an ongoing basis, with few symptoms we may not be aware of inflammatory conditions that are causing weight gain, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, immunity weakness, circulatory issues and susceptibility to illness. There are many causes for inflammation including chronic infections, stress, toxins, pesticides, heavy metals and allergies, but the way we eat is a major influence on our body's level of inflammation.
Vegetable oils like the ones some “experts” will tell you are healthy often are highly inflammatory comprised of trans fats, are rancid, and high in refined Omega 6 without the essential fatty acid balance provided with an omega 3 and 9 balance.
We need omega 6 fats in our diet. They perform important functions. BUT the average person eats 40 times more than we need for good health. And in the form of highly refined vegetable oils we're causing inflammation.
When healthy adults were given a toxin to promote inflammatory chemicals called cytokines in their bodies, the three major complaints reported due to this inflammation were anxiety, depression and memory problems. With time chronic inflammation causes actual structural damage, provoking the manufacture of the plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.
The Anti-Inflammation Diet
People who suffer from chronic inflammation can use anti-inflammatory drugs for long periods reducing the risk of heart disease and Alzheimers!
Unfortunately these same drugs also have the unwelcome side effect of gastrointestinal bleeding, which accounts for tens of thousand deaths each year - to name one of many side effects from further digestive issues to sexual dysfunction. A safer approach is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet – foods that reduce inflammation. These foods are also beneficial for overall health, weight loss and energy.
The typical Western diet promotes inflammation with its emphasis on refined fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates.
An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on eating vegetables, legumes, oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, culinary herbs and spices, butter or ghee, slow-cooked bone broths (e.g., grass-fed, slow-cooked Best of the Bone), eggs fermented foods and nuts. This diet is also nutritious, packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, and helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Surprisingly, saturated fats from fish, grass-fed animal products (butter, broth, some un-processed meats, eggs), and plant sources such as nuts, coconut and avocado are extremely healthy.
To reduce your risk of major diseases and improve the symptoms of any arthritic or inflammatory condition you already suffer, add these anti-inflammatory powerhouses to your diet and you'll notice a significant improvement:
- Fish: All species of fish and shellfish have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring are even better.
- Vegetables: onions, kale, spinach, turnip greens, sweet potato, chili peppers
- Healthy fats derived from animal products such as eggs, bone broths, grass-fed ghee, butter.
- Spices: ginger, turmeric, garlic, cayenne pepper, basil.
- Nuts (raw and unroasted): walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts
- Tropical Oils: Coconut, avocado, papaya leaf
- Fermented foods
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