Meats & Sweets
by Eileen Renders
Many people suffer from chronic systemic inflammation due to diets that are highly acidic. The major culprits are often too many sweets and too much meat. This is so, because sweets and meats are the most acidic foods we can ingest. These acids add to inflammation and can often cause indigestion as well.
Diseases such as bursitis, arthritis, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and gastritis can be aggravated by systemic inflammation. Other major diseases that plague us, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease have also been linked to chronic inflammation.
A good rule of thumb for avoiding acidic and inflammatory foods is simply remember “meats and sweets” and be very conscious of daily consumption of each.
Foods that have been found to trigger or compound systemic inflammation include:
So how do we fight systemic inflammation? “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of Nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
And, how do we get sufficient protein and satisfy our sweet tooth you ask? The fact is that once we realize what is not good for us, we can make changes to eliminate or decrease the negative.
Here is a short list of foods that can decrease inflammation and for those wanting to take that healthier step.
Changing one’s diet to adhere to manage inflammation is something that can be easier to accomplish and much more comfortable when taken in steps, rather than attempting to eliminate all of these food items cold turkey. Start with a food type that is easy to find. An example might be to substitute almond or soy milk for cow’s milk. And when comfortable with that change, move on to the next food category and select another substitute that is acceptable to the palate and so on.
Maybe you have noticed lately that many of your friends are switching to a cold brew coffee. Why? Besides having less caffeine, cold brew is much less acidic.
Finally, if you are not sure how to switch from white bread and gluten, consider the gluten-free products that are available in many of your local grocery stores, or visit your local health food store where they sell everything from gluten-free breads to gluten free cookies and muffins, which usually do not contain refined white sugar either.
The benefits of such changes can be enormous. Those who have been suffering systemic inflammation from a chronic disorder may suddenly find that their stomach has shrunken because the bloat is gone. They may lose a few pounds, have less pain, and become a “believer” so to speak. Without the pain caused by inflammation, life offers much more. The idea of walking, paddling a kayak, or even riding a bike becomes an option that previously just seemed, well, not a comfortable idea.
Artwork photos by AmerGe (Indonesia) “Food 11” and “Goulash in Bread” by PaSt1978 (Czech Republic) both from Deviantart.com.