America’s Deadliest Diseases: How Your Diet May Put You at Risk
The food we eat may be the root to some of our nations most deadly health issues, according to the Wall Street Journal article “The New Science Behind America’s Deadliest Diseases.”
The article states that scientists have linked many diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s to a condition known as chronic inflammation, and though the foods we eat can contribute to the cause they may also be one of the best medicines.
Here are foods that are proponents of chronic inflammation: How many of these foods end up on your plate each day?
- Sugar: Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks, fruit drinks and punches are one of the major sources of dietary sugars that many have overlooked. Do you know that drinking a can of Coke is as good as sucking ten sugar cubes?
- Dairy: To lower your saturated fat intake, limit your consumption of whole and 2% milk; instead, opt for (organic) skim or 1% milk. Other ways to top your cereal include organic soy, almond, rice, hemp, hazelnut, or oat beverages.
- Refined carbohydrates: Refined grains and products made out of them are almost everywhere. The common ones are: white rice, white flour, white bread, noodles, pasta, biscuits and pastries. A prime example is boxed cereals which contain substantial amounts of added sugar
- Saturated fats: Feed-lot raised meat, lamb and pork. Opt for organic, naturally fed animals!
- Trans-fats: Deep fried foods, fast foods, commercial baked goods and those prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, vegetable oils, margarine and vegetable shortening.
- Alcohol: High consumption of alcohol has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx (voice box) and liver. Over time, chronic inflammation promotes tumor to grow and gives rise to cancer.
“Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and outside irritants. But when the irritants don’t let up, because of a diet of high-fat foods, too much body fat and smoking, for example, the immune system can spiral out of control and increase the risk for disease. Experts say when inflammation becomes chronic it can damage heart valves and brain cells, trigger strokes, and promote resistance to insulin, which leads to diabetes. It also is associated with the development of cancer,” according to findings in the Wall Street Journal article.
Here are some must eat foods that can reduce and fight chronic inflammation:
- Oily Fish: Foods that are rich in omega-3 are key: Salmon, ahi tuna, sardines and other oily fish
- Organic, free-range poultry and meat: Organic, free-range animals fed on a natural diet like grasses instead of grains and hormones contain more omega-3 fats, contain high amounts of protein and are lean. When you do eat red meat, choose lean cuts and limit to once a week.
- Nuts: Nuts have long been linked with less coronary heart disease than other high-calorie foods. on some walnuts, pistachios or almonds. But measure a one-ounce serving (about one-fourth cup) to keep calories in check.
- Berries: Cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates, .as well as deep red and purple fruits are loaded with antioxidants and free radical-fighting that are able to block the chemical pathways that create inflammation in the body as well as prevent cancer.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, asparagus, carrots and many other deep orange and dark green vegetables are loaded with phyto-nutrients to prevent against inflammation as well as cancer and other diseases.
- Oil and Spices: Olive oil, onion, turmeric, garlic and ginger have chemicals that act as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory –just like ibuprofen.
- Tea: All types (without sugar of course) have anti-inflammatory properties if you drink 4-5 cups a day.
Overall, a true anti-inflammatory diet is bright, colorful and fresh.
- Oatmeal sprinkled with strawberries, blueberries and cinnamon
- Mixed-Green salad loaded with fresh veggies, including broccoli, onions, a sprinkling of walnuts or almonds and fresh-cracked pepper and an olive or canola oil dressing
- Top your salad with grilled chicken
- A slice of whole-grain bread or crackers
- Unsweetened tea
- Cherries, walnuts
- Grilled salmon with rosemary
- Sliced fresh tomato drizzled with olive oil
- Sautéed spinach with leeks and ginger
- Brown rice
- Unsweetened tea
- Apple, sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon, cooked in the microwave or baked in the oven.
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