The Top 10 Anti-Inflammation Diet Foods to Eat for Weight Loss, to Reduce Insulin Resistance, Reduce Risks for Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer, Diabetes and Hypertension
Healthy diets include foods, drinks and supplements that are low in fats and simple starches or sugars, and high in complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, minerals and antioxidants. We recommend eating a diet that follows our Food Guide Football℠: Roughly 10% of your dietary calories from olive oils, canola oils, and coconut oils, about 10% of calories from legumes and seeds (beans, peas and nuts), approximately 10% of calories from fish, chicken, turkey or lean cuts of meat, and less than 10% of your diet from simple starch vegetables such as brown rice, potatoes, beets, cooked carrots, and pasta, including only minimum amounts of all sugars. The majority of your diet, about 60% of your calories, should come from colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables: Leafy greens, peppers, pods, stems like celery and rhubarb, broccoli, cauliflower, raw carrots, kale, squash, spinach, cilantro, onions, garlic, and so on.
1. Enjoy Fresh Wild Fish -- Includes wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, trout, catfish, sardines, and especially any of the fatty or oily kinds - choose fresh or frozen, not canned and never farm-raised. Buy fish that have been tested to have low levels of mercury and other pollutants if possible.
2. Enjoy Fresh Raw or Steamed Vegetables -- The more colorful are best, especially leaves, sprouts, shoots, stalks and stems, flowers and seeds, lightly steamed or fresh raw vegetables are preferred, frozen is okay if they have not been processed with additives - no sugars, salt, cheese or preservatives or sauces - minimize starchy or sweet root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, turnips and beets.
3. Enjoy Whole Fresh Fruits -- No juices - the more colorful the better, including all berries, apples, pears, melons, citrus oranges, grapefruits, kiwi and similar mildly sweet fruits - minimize very sweet fruits like grapes, pineapple, figs, etc. Eat the entire fruit if possible, including the skin and usually the seeds - wash well before eating. Fruit skins and seeds are packed with vital vitamins, phyto-nutrients and powerful anti-oxidants that are not common inside the sweeter, starchy insides.
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4. Enjoy Lean, Non-Grain-Fed Meats -- Wild or free range turkey, chicken, pheasant, quail, cornish hens, bison or buffalo, elk, venison, grass-fed beef and lamb - serve skinless and well trimmed of fat.
5. Enjoy Nuts and Seeds -- Adding a steady serving of nuts and seeds to your daily diet can reduce risks for heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. This includes flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, brazil-nuts, peanuts - except macadamia nuts - most fresh or dried nuts and seeds, without salt or added oils - if roasting, bake at lower temperatures for shorter periods.
6. Enjoy Herbs and Most Spices, Except Salt -- Ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, clove, anise, basil, oregano, rosemary, black and white peppers, nutmeg, paprika, red pepper, chile pepper, garlic, onion flakes - the list seems endless, but in general the more colorful, and the hotter or more spicy the flavors, the better they are for your health. Many spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and oregano have proven to be medicinal in their effects and are often prescribed by natural physicians.
Beans, Peas and Legumes -- These high protein and high fiber foods are satisfying and healthy - including most beans and legumes - lentils, pinto and kidney beans, Garbanzo or chickpeas, green peas, green beans, chinese pea pods, sweet English peas, black eyed peas, lima beans, navy beans, and many other kinds of nutritious and delicious, healthy foods - note that rice or corn are grains, which are not on this list - also hominy is a corn product and not a bean or pea.
8. Enjoy Green Tea and Brown Tea and Many Herbal Drinks -- Green tea should be taken several times a day by most people, since its health benefits seem endless - brown tea appears safe and reasonably helpful for many people, as do many herbal drinks such as camomile, spices like ginger, or herbal stimulants such as ginseng - use the caffeine-free types if possible, especially if you have heart disease or high blood pressure
9. Enjoy Extra Virgin Olive Oils -- They're highly flavorful and packed with antioxidants and healthy Omega-9 mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Use sparingly to cook lightly as in a saute. Use to stir-fry lightly in a Chinese Wok with added water. Drizzle over fresh salads with vinegar, herbs and spices. Draw a thin drizzle over vegetables for enhanced flavor and mouth feel. Buy only recently dated, extra virgin olive oil that is less than 3 months old, in dark colored glass bottles that are tightly sealed air-tight. Avoid clear bottles and soft plastic bottles. Olive oils should be kept refrigerated after the bottle is opened and should never be used after two months. Bottles should be dark amber, brown or black to keep out light. They should be kept tightly corked or closed with screw lids, not a loose fitting stopper, and they should NEVER be kept in a bottle with an open pouring spout. Allowing oils to sit at room temperature or be exposed to light and air can lead to oxidation and actually worsen your health, turning a health promoting food into an health degrading food.
10. Enjoy Agave Nectar Syrup or Stevia Sweetener -- These two sweeteners can be used safely by most people; added to drinks, desserts, protein shakes, teas, and other foods and drinks as desired. Artificial sweeteners are patented and are highly profitable for the patent owners. However, as inexpensive natural herb extracts, Stevia and Agave cannot be patented, so you may not have not seen them well advertised. Agave Syrup is made from a cactus usually grown in Mexico. Its juices taste sweet in your mouth, but the sugar it contains is a special kind of fructose called oligofructose. This is a simple fructose sugar bound into a kind of complex cellulose that is indigestible in our bodies. Even though the body cannot use this sugar, many of the beneficial bacteria in your gut can digest oligofructose. As a result, it is thought that replacing other sugars with Agave Nectar actually makes you healthier. Stevia is a South American herb known locally as "honey leaf". It is much sweeter than table sugar, and can be used in both cooking and in beverages. Only a drop or two can make your tea, diet shakes, or fresh sliced fruit desserts quite delicious. It has few if any side effects and is considered a safe and acceptable sugar substitute for both healthy people and also obese people. Stevia is often available in your local grocery food store in the diet foods or vitamin isles, but it is easier to find in health food stores.
The 6 Vitally Important Supplements
1. Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil Health Benefits -- Fish Oil contains high amounts of two essential nutrients the body does not make very well for itself, EPA and DHA. These are extremely important, because they are converted into series-3 prostaglandins - PGE3. These PGE3's are powerful anti-inflammatory agents in your body. If these are not working for you, you develop chronic or persistent inflammation, which leads to major diseases. Chronic, low-level inflammation may progress into obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases. Some young or very healthy people, could possibly make EPA and DHA, if they ate enough Omega-3 oils from some plants such as Flax Seed, Perilla, Walnuts, and a few others. Of course, most people do not eat enough of those oils. But there is another problem... Scientists have recently discovered that a needed digestive enzyme to convert Omega-3 vegetable oils into EPA/DHA is deficient in many people.(1,2,3) This genetic enzyme deficiency is now known to be possibly due to an inherited poorly functioning gene that controls the body's ability to make the vital delta-6 desaturase - D6D digestive enzyme. So some people don't make enough D6D. And, for many if not most other Americans, the functionality of their existing D6D is chemically blocked by their diet or lifestyle factors; alcohol, smoking, pollution, exposure to chemicals, high fats in the diet, existing high levels of insulin, high chronic inflammation levels, and so on. This means most Americans may not be able to make enough EPA and DHA to maintain health, even if they ate the right vegetable oils (which they don't do anyway). The easy way to fix this problem is to change your diet, improve your lifestyle, and take fish oil supplements that already contain the EPA you need without requiring you to have lots of working D6D. When people add fish oil into a good diet, amazing things happen: They lose weight, lower their triglycerides, improve risks for cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Taking the proper amount of high quality fish oil every day may be the most important single thing you can do to improve your health.
How Much Fish Oil Should You Take Daily? -- Research supports taking about 2-1/2 grams (2,500mg) of total EPA and DHA every day. To calculate how may capsules that takes, simply add the mg of EPA to the DHA shown on the label of your fish oil bottle, per capsule. Inexpensive fish oils like the Natrol or Nature's Way brands usually contain about 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA, totaling 300mg. You would need about 9 of those capsules to get at least 2,500mg daily of total EPA/DHA. Higher quality fish oils like Dr Sears' or Carlson Labs' brands may require only 4 or 5 capsules per day, but they are more expensive. Read the label of the fish oil you buy to see how many to take.
Thinking about using Flax Seed Oil instead of Fish Oil to get your Omega-3 essential fatty acids? We suggest you reconsider. Read our discussion of why many people who need omega-3 nutrients the most in many cases, can't convert flax oil into EPA due to either a genetic or a diet-related functional deficiency in the required delta-6 desaturase digestive enzyme.(1,2,3) This means that the body treats flax seed oil like most any other fat -- converting it ultimately into fatty adipose tissue deposits, making people fatter instead of healthier. The chances are that many people simply can't digest flax oil properly. Read the science behind supplementing your diet with fish oils instead of flax seed oils -
Thousands of Scientific Research Studies Support Omega-3 (Fish Oils) Supplementation -- (1) Read over 920 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org (the web page of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, NIH) reporting research about Cancer and Omega-3 Supplementation. (2) Read over 870 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org reporting research about Heart Disease and Omega-3 Supplementation. (3) Read over 370 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org reporting research about Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome X and Omega-3 Supplementation. (4) Read over 190 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org on Inflammation Eicosapentaenoic Acid, the EPA found in fish oils and some plant omega-3 oils and extracts. (5) Read over 130 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org on Inflammation and Docosahexaenoic Acid, the DHA found in fish oils and some plant omega-3 oils and extracts. (6) Read over 280 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org on Atherosclerosis and Omega-3. (7) Read over 100 scientific studies reported at Pubmed.org on Stroke Risk and Omega-3. (8) There are "good fish" and "bad fish". Read why eating fried fish increases risk of strokes, while baked or boiled fish decreases ischemic stroke risk, at The Archives of Internal Medicine - "Fish Consumption and Stroke Risk in Elderly Individuals", The Cardiovascular Health Study", Vol. 165 No. 2, January 24, 2005. You can easily avoid this "bad fish" problem by simply adding pharmaceutical grade, high quality fish oil supplements to your daily diet, as we recommend.
NOTE: Stay away from the combination Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 "Total EFA" type products you may see elsewhere. You are already consuming way too much bad Omega-6 in the form of vegetable oils, and too much bad Omega-9 in the form of animal fats. Chances are, these are the fatty acids that "made you fat" and probably started the initial loss of pancreatic sensitivity to glucose that later became insulin resistance and finally may lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and so many other health problems. Do not buy products containing Omega-6 and 9 fats. Also, avoid the Flax Oil Omega-3 products. Flax Oil Omega-3 as Alpha Lenolenic Acid (ALA) requires the body to use a special enzyme to convert the Lenolenic Acid into its constituent EPA and DHA parts. Many people cannot easily convert ALA into EPA/DHA. Stick with fish oil and you're getting what you want. Buy the pure, pharmaceutical grade fish oil, without other ingredients.
2. GLA Gamma Linolenic Acid (from Borage Oil), with Sesame Seed Lignans -- The main active ingredient is GLA or Gamma Linolenic Acid. This is an Omega-6 oil that acts like an Omega-3 oil in many beneficial ways. In perfectly healthy people, the body converts some Omega-6 oils into GLA using the D6D enzyme discussed above under Fish Oil, then into DGLA and from there into PGE1 series-1 prostaglandins. Like the PGE3's from EPA in Fish Oil, these new PGE1's fight inflammation in your body. So, we want lots of PGE1, which means we need to get D6D to work for us, or we need to take GLA Borage Oil, which already has GLA without needing D6D. The plants will make our GLA for us if we take Borage Oil or another source of GLA. Like with Fish Oil above, if we take the needed nutrient we want, we don't have to worry so much about D6D delta-6 desaturase not working for us. GLA also requires a few more nutrients to be converted into PGE1, but those are more common in most people. We won't worry about them here. Sources: The best sources of GLA are Borage Oil, Black Currant Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. Borage Oil contains just a bit more GLA than does Black Currant Oil, and almost 2-1/2 times as much GLA as Evening Primrose Oil. How Much to Take? Take at least 2 large 1,200mg capsules of Borage Oil per day, one in the morning and evening. Ensure that each capsule contains at least 245mg of the GLA active ingredient. A small amount of Vitamin-E should also be listed on the label to prevent possible oxidation of the vital fatty acid ingredients during storage. Very sick, obese or people with high levels of C-Reactive Protein should consider taking up to double the regular daily dose of GLA.
3. Green Tea Drinks, and Green Tea Extracts -- Green teas contain extremely powerful phyto-nutrients that have been profoundly researched around the world for many years. This herb may be the most important single herbal supplement that you can add to your daily regimen. Green tea moderates blood glucose, and improves blood lipids and cholesterol significantly. Green tea suppresses inflammatory cytokines that are active in stimulating the growth of cancerous tumors. It also enables the return to normal rates of programmed cell death or turnover, so that cancerous growths can die normally instead of out-living YOU. Green tea is very helpful in reducing the growth of inflammation of the heart and circulatory system, so that the building of arterial plaques slow down. It is helpful in prevention of thrombosis, renal failure, influenza management, cirrhosis management, and in the detoxification of the liver after exposure to chemicals or radiation. Green tea should be taken throughout the day for maximum protective benefit. How Much per Day? Consider drinking 6 to 8 cups of fresh green tea. Use caffeine free types if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. If you want even more Green Tea benefits, you may wish to add 2 or 3 more concentrated and standardized Green Tea Extract capsules in your morning and evening supplementation program.
4. Magnesium -- Magnesium has been shown to be deficient by many studies. Some report that as many as 80% of modern Americans are lacking optimum levels of magnesium to maintain excellent health. This deficiency is associated with many inflammatory and insulin resistant conditions and major diseases. (4) They include diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, migraine and cluster headaches, and many more. Magnesium is especially important for glucose metabolism.
For decades, scientists have searched for the hidden link between diabetes mellitus, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood clotting factors (high fibrinogen). Many researchers now believe that magnesium plays a central role in uniting many of these associated insulin resistant diseases. Supplements of magnesium are recommended for diabetics, hypertensive people, and similar people who have metabolic syndrome x.
WEIGHT LOSS DIETERS AND MAGNESIUM
If you are already deficient in magnesium (like most over weight people are according to research), and then go on a calorie restricted diet, you are very likely to become even more deficient in magnesium, which can make your insulin resistance much worse, which will increase your glucose and average insulin levels throughout the day. These processes further reduce your ability to maintain magnesium in your tissues, and further reduce your ability to use it to process glucose and insulin -- a chain-reaction of reduced magnesium functionality, lower metabolism and lower resting energy expenditure. This will make it very, very difficult to lose weight. Dieters are strongly recommended to consider supplementing with magnesium. (5)
How Much Magnesium Should You Take per Day? Our review of the research supports suggested supplementation of magnesium, totaling about 400mg in divided doses, 200mg morning and 200mg evening. This supplementary dose should be taken in addition to eating high magnesium foods, such as more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Bigger people, people who perform stressful exercise more than average, or people who are supplementing calcium for bone loss, or diabetics and other people with high levels of inflammation, should consider a larger 600mg daily dose - 300mg in the morning and 300mg in the evening.
Safety Issues -- Taking the recommended supplements above should not be a problem for most people. Very high levels of magnesium can cause diarrhea and general gastrointestinal distress, as well as interfere with calcium absorption and bone metabolism. Since research reports no advantages to higher doses of magnesium than the 600mg daily dose, you should not take more than this, unless specifically instructed by a health care professional. As always, we suggest you inform your doctor or health professional before adding any supplement to your diet. You may want to print this page to take to your medical professional, in case they are not familiar with current research on magnesium.
5. Soluble and Insoluble Fiber -- Fiber is powerfully associated with reductions in total cholesterol, since it is the only way your body has of disposing of cholesterol once it has been created. One of the most enjoyable ways to eat more fiber is to eat 2 apples or pears per day. They combine fiber with many other nutrients and taste great! Other good types of fiber to supplement include: Flax Seed Meal, Rice Bran, Orange Pulp and Peel, Grapefruit Pectin, Lemon Peel, Milk Thistle, Psylium Seed, Acacia, Oat Bran, Wheat Bran, and other seed and bran type fibers. How Much per Day? Research supports increasing your total intake of fiber to between 25 and 30 grams per day from all sources. You should take your fiber with the highest fatty meal of the day, but not with fish oil, borage oil GLA, or CLA (see below). You should take those supplements at least an hour before taking fiber.
6. CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid with Guarana and Sesame Seed Lignans -- When taken properly without other foods, CLA has been found to block the addition of new fats into existing adipose cells. Recent research has shown that people who took supplements of CLA were able to decrease the total fat or adipose tissue mass significantly (size of cells). However, when these people also supplemented with Guarana at the same time, the total number of fat cells actually decreased by up to 50%. This is an amazing result, and well worthy of your investment in adding a few extra pills to your daily regimen. How Much to Take per Day? Studied results were achieved with only 4-5 grams or capsules of the CLA with Guarana per day. Sesame Seed Lignans have been shown to help prevent the oxidation of CLA, whereas they simultaneously encourage oxidation or burning of fats in the liver. Sesame Lignans further enhance the effect of taking CLA and Guarana. NOTE: It is essential that CLA should be taken at mid-morning, on an empty stomach. If taken when there is food in the stomach, your digestive enzymes may break down the CLA into its basic parts before it can reach the intestines where it does its work. Look for a product with all 3 ingredients, or buy them separately and take them at the same time.
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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.