Dietary Factors of Inflammation

Dietary Factors of Inflammation

Inflammation.  Lots of people are talking about eating a low inflammatory diet to reduce inflammation, but what does that mean?

The number one factor of inflammation in the diet is fat.

Actually, it is the conversion of fat by enzymes that determines what path they follow.  There are three paths fats can follow that determine how inflammatory they become.  Protaglandin 1 is a strong anti-inflammatory pathway.  Prostaglandin 2 is a strong inflammatory pathway.  And, prostaglandin 3 is a mild inflammatory pathway.

Foundational to having an appropriate inflammatory response is to have balance in the omega 6 to omega 3 fats in our diet.  The ratio should be no more than 5:1.  The standard American diet reflects a ratio of 25:1, very inflammatory.  Inflammation out of balance leads to pain.

Omega 6 fats support healthy skin, hair, bones, reproduction and metabolism. These are all important.  However, omega 6 fats tend to be more inflammatory.
Most omega 6 comes from vegetable oils.  Most of the vegetable oils processed for cooking have been processed improperly making them much more inflammatory.

The key to a healthy inflammatory response is to consume healthy fats.  You can get healthy omega 6 fats through free range chicken and eggs, cold pressed, organic, unrefined vegetable oils such as palm or grape seed oil, and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios. Eating these healthy versions of omega 6 will be less inflammatory than eating the poorly processed vegetable oil on the grocery store shelves or used in restaurants.

Omega 3 fats are largely anti-inflammatory in nature.
You can find healthy omega 3 fats in wild caught fish,  grass finished beef, nuts, leafy vegetables, and flaxseed oil.

The prostaglandin pathway the fats follow is determined not only by the source of the fat and by the enzyme that metabolizes the fat, but also by what effects the enzymes.  Sugar or stress can cause the enzymes that metabolize fats to push fats down the prostaglandin 2 pathway causing too much inflammation.

So, not only is it important to choose healthy fats, but it is equally important to drastically reduce sugar in the diet and to learn to relax.

Your diet can be perfect, but if you are stressed out all the time, you’ll still have problems.

Can ‘t seem to beat the stressed out feeling?  Make an appointment with me and I’ll help you figure out the best way to de-stress through diet and lifestyle.

To your health!