There’s a number of culprits in the Standard American Diet (SAD) that cause adverse effects and symptoms. The really frustrating thing is that most Americans just brush these ailments under the rug. They say “oh I’m just getting old, that’s all”. Well, did you know that most symptoms of arthritis, IBS, reflux, or general fatigue can be overcome by eliminating inflammatory foods? Lets take it a step further, you’ve made some great lifestyle changes, and are working out regularly, but you have hit a plateau and your weight loss has halted….. Again, the inflammatory foods that are still in your diet are holding you hostage to reaching your goals. And you may not realize it but they could be zapping energy that you could be using in your workouts. So lets talk about what foods to avoid that cause the most inflammation.
Wheat today is not the wheat of our ancestors. It’s believed that just in the last 50 years the glutin content in wheat has went up 50%. The hybridized wheat that fills our country now is not processed well by the majority. When we eat this hybridized wheat now days(http://news.discovery.com/human/why-you-should-probably-stop-eating-wheat-121214.htm), and the amino acids in the wheat get to our small intestine and when not broken causes inflammation in the gut. Slowly over time that inflammation breaks down the lining of the intestine causing leaky gut, or intestine permeability(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intestinal_permeability). When you have “leaky gut” syndrome, the nutrients you take in don’t get processed properly and actually enter straight into your bloodstream causing many adverse effects. Bottom line- lose the wheat- lose the weight- and feel better.
Count through the day how many dairy products you may use. Milk in the cereal, half and half in the coffee, butter on the toast, and cheese on the eggs. That’s just breakfast! You get the point. Milk is rich in natural acids that can cause calcium deposits to build up and potentially cause arthritis and long-term inflammation. It also doesn’t necessarily keep our bones strong as we once believed. Most plant-based foods do a much better job (such as chard, kale, almonds, figs) and don’t contribute to chronic inflammation. The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase – the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned. Again, when things in the gut do not get fully and properly digested? Bingo you guessed it inflammation!!!
#3 Refined Sugar
People are eating more sugar in the twentieth century then any other time in human existence. Humans are also the most obese in history today too. Hmm….. Seeing any correlation? The most detrimental thing about sugar (to me) is the effect that it has on our insulin and blood. Causing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and insulin resistance. And you know what goes hand in hand with insulin resistance? Inflammation! When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells in the body are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar. Beta cells in the pancreas subsequently increase their production of insulin, further contributing to a high blood insulin level. This often remains undetected and can contribute to a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. The “sugar crash” is when the insulin being released is so large that it removes all the glucose from the blood stream, most likely stored in fat unless you just worked out, and your sugar levels drop lower than they were prior to eating the actual sugar! Then your body sends signals alerting you to eat again to raise glucose levels, and just like that your caught in a cycle of sugar cravings and crashes that are a recipe for weight gain and disease.
Bottom line: We’re imperfect humans. Following these guidelines 100% is almost impossible in this day and age with so much food in front of us constantly. I encourage everyone to be conscious of what food is going into your body. Read labels and be interested in what foods contain certain nutrients, or toxins for that matter. Don’t be afraid to try elimination diets to see if certain symptoms or ailments cease without a certain food. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose! Except maybe a few pounds right?!