The 10 Foods to Avoid to Reduce Inflammation and Insulin Resistance, Improve Symptoms or Reverse Major Inflammatory Diseases & Help Maintain Your Ideal Weight
The quidelines that we will use in determining which foods to avoid are simple. We will avoid all foods that tend to accelerate or speed-up the conversion of starches into simple blood sugars. We will avoid any food that contains high levels of long-chain 18 carbon saturated fats like fats from animal meats. We will avoid foods that contain high levels of long chain un-saturated fats with omega-6 configuration, usually from common non-olive vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil peanut oil, and safflower oil, etc. We will avoid most burned or overcooked foods and most foods that are mashed, powdered, or otherwise highly processed into easily digestible forms. Burning foods generates advanced glycation end products AGEs that stimulate the growth of tumors, reduce burning of fats, and block capillaries, raising blood pressure. Mashing or powdering or over-cooking food tends to make it digest more easily and raises blood sugar, which increases levels of insulin, cortisol stress hormone, and insulin-like growth factor one IGF-1, which stimulates the growth of tumors, increases their blood supply and prevents normal cell-death cycles. If we follow these guidelines, we can dramatically reduce symptoms of many degenerative diseases. This includes improvements in diabetes, blood pressure, slowing cancer growth, and even slowing or reversing athersclerosis and heart disease. These are the diseases that kill most Americans and other people eating the so-called Western Diet.
1. Avoid Fatty Meats -- All choice or prime cuts of meat, including most cuts of beef, veal pork, lamb, duck, goose, sausages, hamburger, hot-dogs, etc.
Why Avoid Fatty Meats? -- Animal fat is saturated fat that together with omega-6 vegetable oils help create the "arachidonic acid cascade", an avalanche of pro-inflammatory chemicals made in the body from those fats. These "inflammatory cytokines" are manufactured directly and immediately from saturated long-chain animal-derived fats and unsaturated long chain omega-6 vegetable-derived oils. They include cyclooxigenase-2 COX-2, Leukotriene B4, Thromboxane and Series-2 Prostaglandins PGE-2. Those pro-inflammatory chemicals or cytokines are directly involved in atherosclerosis or heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer's Disease, and most other degenerative diseases. Minimizing animal fats and vegetable oils with high levels of omega-6 is vital to establishing and maintaining your health.
2. Avoid Most Cooking & Salad Oils -- Containing saturated fats or polyunsaturated fats, trans fatty acid and partially hydrogenated oils -- including butter, all vegetable shortening, all margarines, all corn oils, safflower, peanut, and other vegetable cooking and salad oils, except for extra virgin olive oils, and only minimal amounts of canola or coconut oils.
3. Avoid All Grain-Fed Meat or Farm Raised Fish -- Avoid most red meats, especially any grain-fed farm animals, including most beef, pork, lamb, duck, goose, farm-raised salmon, tilapia, trout, catfish, perch, etc. Wild fish are okay, but may contain high levels of mercury and other pollutants.
4. Avoid All Fried Foods & Foods Cooked at High Temperatures -- Hamburgers, chicken, shrimp, french fries, onion rings - anything deep fried or pan fried, barbecued, charbroiled or grilled.
5. Avoid All Dairy Products -- Cows milk dairy products are now known to be associated with chronic inflammation. Avoid all Milk, cheeses, yogurt, milk powders and other products containing cream, butter, buttermilk, including cottage cheese and low or non-fat milk products, etc.
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6. Avoid All Whole Eggs due to their high cholesterol -- Any eggs that include the yolks - includes fresh and powdered eggs and any foods containing whole eggs - egg whites are okay.
7. Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) -- Today's American is eating very large amounts of fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive processed sugar that has replaced sucrose in most soft drinks, candies and processed foods. Today's increased levels of fructose are associated with development of the insulin resistance syndrome, formerly called the metabolic syndrome. This involves high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, high levels of fibrinogen clotting factors, obesity and ultimately diabetes mellitus.(1) Once these disease conditions exist, they are further complicated by advancing cardiovascular disease and diabetic complications such as peripheral neuropathy, kidney disease and diabetic retinopathy leading to blindness. Many of these conditions are developed after the formation of high levels of advanced glycation end-products or AGEs in those body systems. AGEs block circulation of blood into small veins and arteries, leading to loss of function, cell death and even amputation of limbs or loss of internal organs.(2) Read the label for corn syrup, fructose or HFCS - includes most soft drinks and sodas, candies and snacks sweetened with Corn Syrup, including many health food meal replacement bars and so-called diet drinks - any product containing fructose, except for small amounts of Agave Nectar Syrup used as a sweetener or flavoring, not a major food.
NOTE -- You may read seemingly contradictory studies showing that fructose actually helps improve glucose metabolism, or that it sometimes lowers cholesterol or triglycerides. Those studies demonstrate the role of dietary fructose as a catalyst of glucose metabolism. When consumed in very small quantities such as you might get from eating an apple or pear, or a few grapes, this simple sugar tends to catalyse or initiate certain metabolic reactions. However, when consumed in excessive amounts of more than a few grams at a time, fructose swamps the same catalytic reactions it would otherwise favor. This results in high levels of triglycerides, VLDL and other undesirable conditions. Fructose loaded foods should be avoided, especially by people who are already suffering from metabolic syndrome, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes. For more information, read this report: Fructose, Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Dyslipidemia, authored by Heather Basciano, University of Toronto, 2003.
8. Avoid Sugars and Sweets -- Honey, table sugar sucrose, dextrose, molasses, all syrups and other sweeteners - avoid all artificial sweeteners and foods with them, containing aspartame, saccharin or sucralose - substitute preferred Agave Nectar Syrup or Stevia liquid or powders.
9. Avoid Simple Carbohydrates or High Glycemic Index Foods -- Potatoes, any kind of rice, all corn, tapioca and other puddings, all breads, most cereal grains, pastries, pies, cakes, all pastas such as macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, crackers, tortillas and dip-chips, etc. For a 52-page list that compares the "official" relative impact of different foods on your system, download the free International Table of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values, 2002 PDF Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
10. Avoid Addictive Foods & Products -- No tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, chewing tobacco, no alcohol drinks and products - including beer, wine and whisky or liquors, and of course no other recreational drugs, legal or not.
More Information on Foods to Avoid
on the Level 1 Anti-Inflammatory Diet
11. Eliminate all HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP containing foods such as most popular canned or bottled soft drinks, most candy bars, many so-called health food meal replacement bars, and even many diet drinks from your diet. High fructose intake has been shown to contribute to high triglycerides, high VLDL cholesterol and many other health problems. It has been repeatedly found by many scientists to be associated with the development of heart disease, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance and finally diabetes. After becoming insulin resistant, you may also develop many cancers, Alzheimer's, depression, and the other conditions associated with the "metabolic syndrome x" or "insulin resistance syndrome". Stay away from high fructose! Read all the labels of foods and processed drinks or beverages. If you see HFCS or HFS or Corn Syrup... stay away! It can raise your cholesterol, eventually make you fat and much more... even possibly kill you!
How High Fructose Corn Syrup in Foods Can Kill You
What is Fructose? - Fructose is one of the 3 "simple sugars"; which are fructose, galactose and glucose. Galactose is the simple version of the final produce of digestion of milk sugar (lactose). Glucose is the final product of the breakdown of all starches and most other carbohydrates, and is also called "blood sugar" since your body uses glucose in your blood to feed all your tissues. When your body's cells do get the glucose from your blood, they further break it down into fructose - inside the cells themselves, then they process the fructose down into something called Pyruvate and finally ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is used to give you energy. Whew! However, it's important to realize that your body was not designed to handle much dietary fructose. When you eat lots of fructose, your body does not "react" or "monitor" the amount you are eating! When you eat sugar or starch, your body monitors the levels of glucose in your blood. As the glucose levels rise, your pancreas gland releases more insulin. Then the insulin causes your muscle cells to absorb and "burn" the glucose for energy. The rising insulin levels create a sensation of "satiety" and tell you that you aren't hungry anymore. Voila - you stop eating! And, the starches or sugars you ate containing glucose are metabolized and burned up.
It is possible to over-eat starches and sweet sugary foods containing glucose, even though your body tells you that you've had enough. At least theoretically, so-called over eating can develop for some people. But, it's not easy. You have to really work at it. If you ate and ate and ate, lots and lots of high sugar foods containing sucrose, or dextrose, or maltose, or even alcohol, or lots of simple starches like potato, rice, tapioca, bread, pasta, and so on... then you could possibly, eventually stuff so much glucose down into your cells that you couldn't use any more. Or if you ate slightly less and didn't exercise at all, then you'd also have a problem. In the old days, most scientists believed that people got obese or fat simply from overeating and not exercising enough. Now we know better. There is an easier way to get fat...
HIGH FATS and HIGH SUGARS, or with HIGH FRUCTOSE IN THE DIET - When consumed together, both fats and simple starches and sugars will quickly make you fat, and even create insulin resistance! Eating high fats from grain-fed animals (beef, pork, chicken, etc.) and eating most vegetable oils like corn oil, safflower oil (except olive oils, and fish oils), along with simple carbohydrates will produce "metabolic syndrome x" or "insulin resistance syndrome" in many people, if not in fact most people. Eat ice cream... lots of sugar, lots of dairy fats, lots of problems. Eat a nice juicy rib-eye steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, or with a baked potato and butter with sour cream and chives, with a couple slices of toasted garlic bread with buttery sauce and herbs, and then wash it all down with a Coke loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Follow all that with some ice cream over a delicious fudge brownie, each also loaded usually with high fructose corn syrup. What do you have? BIG PROBLEMS!
When you eat large amounts of fructose, the liver grabs it immediately and rapidly converts almost every single bit of it into VLDL and TRIGLYCERIDES. This happens in minutes! Your liver is caused to lower levels of LEPTIN and GREHLIN, the two substances that tell your body how much "total energy" you are eating, so that it can adjust its metabolic rate -- adjusting the speed that it burns energy, and the degree to which it store energy as fat, as well as maintaining your appetite control mechanism. If the Leptin and Grehlin levels are reduced, your body does not know it is getting too much energy. Further, it will slow down its metabolism, thinking that it is hungry or starving. In the presence of high levels of dietary fructose, and the resulting HIGH TRIGLYCERIDES or "blood fats", you will go right on eating and eating and eating, and your blood cholesterol will rise along with the high triglycerides. Eventually, you will store this over-supply of triglyceride as fat. You get fat, and you're still hungry!
Fructose was generally fairly rare in the diet whenever people ate fresh foods. Only processed or manufactured foods consistently have very high levels of this sugar. Fructose was in fact relatively rare all through recorded history, that is, until around 1967, when the manufacturing process for High Fructose Corn Syrup - HFCS or HFS, also known as Corn Syrup was invented.
In terms of your dietary fructose intake tolerances, your body has evolved to handle only the small amounts of fructose that normally occur in natural fresh fruits and berries that you might find walking through a wild field. For example, an apple is about 7% fructose, and so is a pear. Some fruits like grapes contain more fructose, but they are not commonly available in the wild except in season.
For more information, read this report: Fructose, Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Dyslipidemia, authored by Heather Basciano, University of Toronto, 2005.
12. Eliminate all simple sugars, candy, syrups, fruit juices, grapes and raisons, dates, and other sweet foods and additives from your diet. Sugary foods with dextrose, sucrose, honey or other sweeteners all eventually break down into glucose after you have digested them. Although somewhat less dangerous than high fructose, these other simple sugars can kill you almost as quickly, and almost as surely. Eating lots of simple sugars can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, and other metabolic disease states.
13. Avoid all dairy products, including milks, cheeses, powders and extracts. Eliminate all foods with milk in them.
14. Eliminate all non-olive vegetable oils (common cooking or salad oils) and minimize animal fats from your diet: Cut out corn oil, safflower, peanut and most other vegetable oils. Basically, remove all fried and processed foods, salad dressings, butter and margarines from your diet. You may use small amounts of olive oil in salad dressings, or drizzled over foods. For cooking meats and vegetables, we recommend using small amounts of coconut oil. (Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but only a medium-chain triglyceride, which is usually only 12 to 14 carbon atoms long. Saturated fats from animal products and most non-tropical oils are at least 18 carbon atoms long. The human body treats medium-chain saturated fats differently than long-chain fats. The medium chains in small amounts tend to make you more healthy, while the long-chain sat-fats do not.) When cooking, add water to the oil to lower temperatures and do not brown or burn your foods. Cook quickly, stirring as it cooks. Use a big pan like a Chinese Wok if available.
You can use small amounts of Olive Oils, and eat up to 2 ounces of some nut such as almonds, walnuts, and seeds such as Sesame Seeds, and Flax Seeds. You may eat small amounts of "Coconut Oil" or extracts, or the Coconut flesh itself. No Macadamia nuts, if you're interested in weight loss -- too many calories, even though we're not counting, we are trying to moderate things. Make sure your almonds or other nuts and seeds are NOT salted or sugar coated - of course!
ABOUT CANOLA OIL: Canola oil is made from rapeseed, usually grown in Canada. Canola oil is considered by some authorities to be more healthy than high-omega-6 vegetable oils and other cooking oils. This is due to its low levels of sat-fats, high percentage of monounsaturated fats (about 60%), and high levels of omega-3 fats. However, Canola may contain significant amounts of erucic acids, which are poisonous to humans. The rapeseed oils must be processed to remove these toxic compounds. The word canola was invented and trademarked in 1978 from "Canadian oil, low in acid" by a group of rapeseed growers in Canada. The final processed vegetable oil known as Canola is much lower in eurucic acid than pure unprocessed rapeseed oil. Erucic acids are associated by some studies with cancer, goiters and possibly some other problems, such as glaucoma and vitamin-E deficiency and low blood platelet counts. The deodorization process that removes the bad smells from processed rapeseed oil, may result in high levels of unhealthy trans-fats. Since the FDA does not require oils to show levels of trans-fats on the label, the actual percentage of these toxic fats is actually unknown in Canola oils. Most researchers consider these issues to be relatively insignificant as long as the erucic acids are kept well less than 0.02 %. Newer processing methods result in less than 0.005 % for most brands available in the U.S. Some people recommend eating Canola instead of olive oil, due to its lower price. We recommend avoiding Canola oils. Olive oil is simply a better oil for dressings, and coconut oil is in our opinion better for cooking. If you can afford extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil, do not buy Canola oil. Otherwise, use Canola oil sparingly.
You can eat other healthy oil containing vegetables such as Avocado. They do have high calorie content, so be reasonable. Not more than 1/2 Avocado per day, please!
15. Eliminate all grain-fed meats from your diet, including fatty cuts of beef, pork, chicken and farm raised fish.
16. Eliminate all grains from your own diet -- no corn, barley, wheat, etc. No breads, pasta, rice or any other grain. You may eat 1/2 cup of steel cut oats in the morning before 9 a.m. if you accompany it with 3 ounces of free range (non corn or grain fed) turkey or white chicken meat or non farm raised fish.
17. Eliminate all root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, beets and turnips.
Use the Glycemic Load Index (a 52 page PDF document, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader) to help you decide which foods to eat. Usually, foods below 40 on the index are reasonably safe. Foods in the 20-30 range are better. (NOTE: The Glycemic Index is aimed at preventing Insulin from getting too high due to high rates of glucose release in some products. It does NOT consider the actual total energy value or caloric contents of the food, but only the degree to which it causes your insulin to rise. Some foods with relatively low ratings are still not safe due to their overall caloric contents, even though they may not influence your insulin very much. Be very careful before adding foods to your diet that we have told you to avoid on the Foods to Avoid page. Anything above 40-50 on the index should be viewed with great caution. Eat them sparingly, if at all, and then only in small quantities!
Two of the most important things you CAN eat are daily fish oil supplements containing at least 2.4 grams of EPA/DHA essential fatty acids, and 9 servings of daily vegetables and fruits, especially if you take them all at once as shown below. There is an easy, safe and affordable way to get these vital nutrients... buy the two products we recommend below: Purity Products' Advanced Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements, and Purity Products' Triple Greens Drink powder. With these two "winners" you are almost half way to getting the daily nutrients you need to move back up to Level 1 Health!
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* All information on Level1Diet.com is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet, or adding supplements to your diet, or beginning an exercise program, everyone should consult a qualified and licensed health practitioner; a physician, dietician or similar professional.