I am so intrigued by nutrition and how it affects us (and our families) now and how it will affect us in the future. There are many, many different philosophies, diets, debates, claims and studies that are contradictory in today’s society. Is meat great for us or will it cause heart disease? Are eggs a good source of protein or do we need to worry about cholesterol? Should we eat low fat or high, good fat? Is dairy good for us or does it make us sick?
I’ve been learning some great things through my program at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and I am excited to learn more and share with you all. One thing is certain regardless of what we all believe — the less inflammatory foods we can consume, the better off we are, and THAT is a fact. Inflammation can cause anything from weight gain to lowering your immune system (since 70 percent of our immune is in our gut) to heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and more.
So what are some of the worst offenders?
-First and foremost, as many of you may already know is hydrogenated oil. We need those out of the diet or at least kept to a minimum. But in addition, we also need to limit polyunsaturated vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy. They have a very high omega-6 content and very low omega-3 content and therefore, this imbalance encourages inflammation. A better choice is a good olive oil, for no to medium heat. For high heat, look to coconut oil, grass fed butter, or ghee.
–Commercial or grain fed meat– There is a lot of controversy lately over eating meat or going vegetarian. I think most of the concerns you hear about regarding meat, is about the grain fed meat filled with omega-6s. Feedlot raised animals are fed a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. They are fed GMO grains like soy beans and corn. These animals are also, they given hormones to encourage growth and then the antibiotics, to prevent or recover from illness. That is a lot of things that our bodies don’t need. Instead (ideally) try to stick with grass fed meat, organic chicken, and wild fish.
–Refined sugar– On top of the many reasons why sugar is not good for us, it is also reported that processed sugars and other high-glycemic starches increase inflammation, which causes physical pain, overheating, redness and swelling in addition to internal inflammation. The Dartmouth Medical School also found that sugar causes acne.. Try coconut palm sugar, sucanat (sugar cane), dark honey, pure maple (in limited quantities) or some stevia instead.
–Processed grains are similar to refined sugar in that they have a higher glycemic index than unprocessed grains and can increase inflammation. In addition they are filled with gluten, which can damage our gut and cause inflammation because our bodies have such a hard time digesting it. Try to stick to grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth, gluten free oats, and brown rice. Click here to how to best prepare these grains.
On another note, I finally found a great little kids book today about nutrition called Eat Healthy, Feel Great by Dr. Sears…
It is simple for the kids to comprehend and it really got my 5 year old’s attention. The kids asked questions and it gave me the opportunity to give my own examples while we were reading. Be sure to do the same so they fully understand and you can teach them what you believe in the process.
I know, probably too many pics of my kids, and not really even good ones, but I needed some pictures for today’s post!
Chris Colwell - Love this stuff Lan….also – what about Chia seeds? I know they are good for alot of things, but I swear it has helped me with inflamation, even when I thought I was already doing a good job of it.
landriav - Chia seeds are great for helping with inflammation since they contain a large amount of ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid) and Omega-3s. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get back on my chia too! 🙂 Hope your cookies turned out okay the other day!
Marla-Deen - I didn’t know you were doing the INS program! I’ve looked into it
often but never pulled the trigger! I enjoy getting all of their emails. Can’t wait to hear more from you!
Diana - I just found your blog last week and added it to my reader. I didn’t know you were in the INS program. I’ve been looking into the program, but haven’t wanted to spend the money yet. How do you like the program?
landriav - Thanks Diana and Marla Dean! So far, I love the program. If you are interested in it, I would recommend you read http://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Nutrition-Joshua-Rosenthal/dp/097952640X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364428569&sr=1-1&keywords=integrative+nutrition. It’s a good read and gives you a little of an idea about what Joshua teaches. I take it all with a grain of salt as I know some of the book is a little old, but most of it is true and very good. I am leaning a lot and can’t wait to learn even more! Thanks for commenting!
Gina W. - I really like your blog and thank you for the book recommendation! Looks like a must-have! 🙂
landriav - Sure! Thanks for commenting Gina!
Hannah - Yummy! I was liking the dish. One of my kids loved it and the other thought it was a little too spicy. I think I went overboard with the Dijon. I love the taste so much I didn’t measure it exactly. Thanks!
landriav - Hey there Hannah!! Glad you were liking, and licking the dish. Ha! Good to hear from you!! I did a talk tonight with the Springlake group and was hoping you’d be there! Hope you are doing well!
Hannah - oops..meant to say, I was licking the dish!