The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The “anti-inflammatory diet” is named to describe the metabolic effect the diet has on the body. It is not named for a person (The Atkin’s Diet) or for a time in history (The PaleoDiet), or a location in the United States (The South Beach Diet), or a place – sort of (The Zone Diet).

Any diet that removes sugar, flour, omega-6 oils, and trans-fats, and encourages the consumption of low glycemic index foods IS anti-inflammatory. And all of the aforementioned diets make these recommendations. So while they vary ever so slightly, they are all anti-inflammatory, which is why I call it the “anti-inflammatory diet.” I wrote a book about the anti-inflammatory diet and was the first to publish a paper in the scientific literature (2002) that described the diet as being pro- or anti-inflammatory (the diet-induced pro-inflammatory state).

In short, humans are genetically adapted to eat an anti-inflammatory diet; we are supposed to eat vegetation (fruits and vegetables) and animals that ate omega-3 containing vegetation. It is important to realize that omega-3 animal products are still available as wild game, grass/pasture fed meats, chicken and their omega-3 eggs.

Only a small percentage (perhaps 10%) of calories in the current modern diet come from fruits and vegetables and virtually no calories come from omega-3 animal products. The anti-inflammatory diet and related nutritional supplements are described in the DeFlaming Guidelines, which you can read and hear:

Important Anti-inflammatory Educational Information

“Deflaming” is the term we coined to describe the process of inflammation reduction. We can deflame with both diet and supplements.

Click here for the DeFlaming Guidelines, which will open as a PDF document that you can print. The Deflaming Guidelines provide the important details about how to reduce inflammation (deflame) with diet and nutritional supplements.

We also have an MP3 audio version of the Deflaming Guidelines available.

Part 1 describes deflaming with diet.

Part 2 describes deflaming with nutritional supplements.

Grain consumption is an emotional issue. Details are discussed in the DeFlaming Guidelines. In short, an attempt should be made to completely avoid refined grains and if whole grains are consumed, it is recommended that they are consumed in moderation and in condiment-sized portions. Grains should never replaced vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, and nuts.

Why Grains Inflame – The Details From the Experts

As mentioned in the Deflaming Guidelines PDF, whole grains (organic or non-organic) contain gluten, lectins, phytates, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, and promote an acidic pH, all of which are pro-inflammatory. The primary gluten grains are wheat (including spelt, kamut, triticale, and semolina), rye, and barley (including malt). All other grains may not contain gluten but do contain lectins, phytates, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, and an acidic pH.

These several pro-inflammatory factors outweigh the fiber benefits of whole grains, and we get significantly more fiber on a caloric basis from fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, we should try to avoid eating grains. If you would like a starchy food, potatoes are our best choice – sweet, red, white, etc., and yams.

The pro-inflammatory nature of grains are discussed in more detail in the attached articles:

Grain review, 1999

Lectins, 2000

Wheat lectins, heart disease, 2008

Gluten headaches, 2001

Gluten – neuro Illness, 2002

Celiac Review, 2007

A pro-inflammatory diet is typically associated with excess body fat. Approximately 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. This excess body fat serves as a metabolic factory that produces inflammation and disease. A good way to estimate how close you are to being at an appropriate weight for your height, is to determine your body mass index (BMI). 

If your BMI is high, it is likely because you have some excess body fat and need to DeFlame.

Body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. While it does not apply to all individuals, what we find is that it applies very nicely to those who know they need to lose excess body fat. BMI is a numerical value that lets us know if our body weight is appropriate.

Determine your BMI at: http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

Underweight =

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity = 30 or greater