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“Inflammation” – How To Prevent It

Sharing information on ‘Inflammation’ and how to prevent it.

In a nutshell, there are about 37 trillion cells in the human body and every one of them is encased by a cell membrane.  Cell to cell communication occurs by chemical signals that are transmitted and received across this cellular membrane.  Because inflammation is a process that entirely relies on cell to cell communication, the health and the composition of these cell membranes are of critical importance to the process.  When cell membranes are constructed with healthy ‘building materials’, the process of inflammation will be contained.

Your cell membranes are made of the fats and oils that you eat. There are 3 types of fats that play an important role in containing the inflammatory process. They are known as “essential fatty acids” because we cannot make them…and therefore they must be consumed in the diet:

Omega-3: These are the healthiest oils of all.  The best food source is deep water, cold water fish. Plant sources are hemp seed, flax, chia, and walnuts. Having cell membranes made of omega-3 oils will make you less prone to inflammation.

Fats To Include:

  • Olive oil & Coconut oil best for cooking in.
  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and nut butters without added ingredients are a part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Seeds:  Hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds are excellent sources of nutrition for anti-inflammatory purposes.
  • Fish:  Cold water fish like wild Alaskan salmon and sardines are nature’s most reliable source of healthy, anti-inflammatory Omega-3 oils.
  • Avocado:  There are high levels of monounsaturated fats in an avocado.

Omega-6: When Omega-6 oils occupy a large percentage of your cell membranes, you will be more prone to inflammation.  These unhealthy fats are found in large amounts in corn oil, vegetable oil, and soybean oil.  These Omega-6 oils can also be chemically “hydrogenated” which turns them into “trans fats.” Trans fats are used extensively in processed, packaged foods but they are devastating to cell membrane health and major promoters of inflammation.  If you see the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on a food label…avoid.

Fats to Avoid:

  • Trans fats:  Avoid them completely.  If it says “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” do not eat it.  Margarine and shortening are made of trans fats.
  • Butter, cheese, full fat dairy:  Conventional dairy cows produce milk products that are loaded with pro-inflammatory saturated fats.
  • Beef, pork, and poultry:  Factory farmed animals have unhealthy fats in their meat. You should restrict consumption of meat altogether, and only eat grass fed, or pasture raised animals.
  • Vegetable oils:  These are the unhealthy Omega-6 fats. Avoid soybean oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and palm kernel oil.

Omega-9: this good fat is seldom mentioned as there are few sources that contain all 3 of these in one healthy source. Some plants do however.

Dietary fats play a central role in cell membrane health and cell membrane health plays a central role in the inflammatory process.  As a result, making adjustments to the fats that you eat is the single most important dietary change to help control inflammation

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