live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Skip the Cytokines this Christmas

I'm not trying to promote fear or be a Scrooge this Christmas, but this post serves as a gentle reminder to take it easy on the bad fats, flour and sugar.  These bad fats are known as omega-6 fats and include:

soybean oil
corn oil
sunflower oil

Many processed foods are made with these.  If you're in doubt, please read the label before you tear into a package containing a sweet treat. 

It is now believed that chronic inflammation is the root cause of heart disease.  Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes.  Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as it is supposed to.  Inflammation causes cholesterol to become trapped.
My obvious question after learning all of this was...
What exactly IS chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is your body's natural defence to anything that does not naturally belong there, such as a virus, toxin or bacteria.  It works well in protecting your body from these invaders.  The problem occurs when we continually expose the body to injury by eating foods that the human body was never designed to process.  Every time we eat processed foods (foods not found in nature), it's like taking a stiff bristle hair brush and rubbing the inside of your arteries, irritating the wall, which causes inflammation.  Chronic inflammation in turn causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The low-fat diet that has been recommended to us all these years to treat and prevent these conditions was the wrong way to combat it.  It's actually the consumption of sugar, flour and excess consumption of omega-6's that is doing the damage, causing this inflammation.

So my first caution is against eating any processed goodies.  I'm not suggesting you should live on salads the rest of your life, but just be more careful about label reading.  Don't be in such a hurry that you can't take two seconds to see what kind of oil a product contains.  I don't want to eat something that will rub my artery walls raw, do you?  That's exactly what these chemicals from excess consumption of omega-6's called cytokines will do - cause inflammation which ultimately leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).   

The more healthy oils are the omega 3's which include:

fish - salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, trout, herring, sardines
whole grains
fresh fruits 
fresh vegetables (as close to raw as possible)
olive oil
butter (from grass-fed beef)

The Mediterranean diet is an excellent source of all of these.  Not a "fish" person?  Not a problem.  Fish oil capsules are just as effective as eating fish.  Just make sure you buy a high quality capsule.  They are not all created equal.

The answer lies in abstaining from most prepared and processed foods.  The human body was simply not designed to consume or process these foods loaded with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils. 

By returning to more wholesome foods and healthier omega-3 fatty acids, we can quiet inflammation.  Lean protein to build muscle and fresh, colorful fruits and crispy vegetables.

Leave the vending machine alone, unless you're buying a package of sugar-free gum! 

We've been brainwashed to believe that animal fats are bad and cause inflammation, when they actually contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly "healthy" oils labelled polyunsaturated.  So put down the sweet roll and pick up your steak knife!  Kick the flour, sugar and omega-6's to the curb and put a pat of real butter on your green beans.  It's not the meal that is doing us in - it's the desserts!   

Choose the whole foods your grandparents lived on instead of the man-made clones with all the fake fat in them.  By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body.  

Have a happy and healthy holiday! 

Here's an excerpt from "A Christmas Carol."  Enjoy!


Today is WEAR BROWN SHOES DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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