‘Inflammation’ seems to be quite the buzz word of late. But what exactly is inflammation, and why is fighting it key to overall health and successful weight loss?
Each and every food that we put in our mouth has the ability to fight or feed disease. It is generally considered that processed foods lead to inflammation within the body, whereas real, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and proteins are anti-inflammatory.
However, it can be surprising to learn that seemingly healthy and nutritious foods can also lead to chronic inflammation and disease, if that particular food does not agree with us.
Signs that you may have chronic inflammation include:
- Mouth Sores
- Joint Pain
- Chest Pain
- Abdominal Pain
If we don’t eliminate the things that are causing inflammation in our bodies, including certain foods, it may lead to chronic, non-communicable and inflammatory diseases such as:
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Heart Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
These chronic, non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death globally, accounting for 68% of all deaths in 2012 (and this number is rapidly on the rise). Known risk factors for non-communicable diseases include: unhealthy diet, air pollution, unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, obesity, age and gender.
The good news about this is that most of these risk factors are modifiable, making non-communicable diseases largely preventable. A huge step in preventing and overcoming these disease states is, you guessed it – addressing inflammation!
The Difference Between Acute and Chronic Inflammation
There are 2 main types of inflammation:
- Acute Inflammation (sudden onset: viral infections, bacterial infections, cuts, injuries, exercise, dermatitis, etc)
- Chronic Inflammation (slow onset: asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, sinusitis, periodontitis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc)
Perhaps surprisingly, inflammation can actually be a very beneficial thing for our body, especially when it comes to acute inflammation. During these periods of acute inflammation, the body sends extra blood flow and fluid to the affected area in order to help it heal faster. This inflammation is generally temporary as the affected area or body system heals.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can become a health concern when the inflammation isn’t addressed, and contributing factors are not removed. Chronic inflammation can also make it virtually impossible to lose weight, despite our best efforts.
Inflammation and Weight Loss
If you have tried to address inflammation and body weight by eating a nutrient-dense whole food diet (lots of vegetables, an array of fruits, fresh proteins, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, whilst avoiding packaged, processed and refined foods) but your weight still isn’t budging, perhaps it is time to consider a more comprehensive approach.
A structured food elimination and reintroduction program, like the Fat Loss Protocol, can help you to identify foods that may be causing underlying inflammation. Once you have learned which foods cause inflammation in your body (and which foods don’t), you will be able to effectively maintain a healthy weight, body and mind.
Read these blogs below for further information:
- Inflammation Explained: What Exactly Is It?
- 8 Signs Your Body is Inflamed and What You Can Do About It
- 20 Inflammation Fighting Foods
What healthy foods were you surprised to learn were inflammatory to you? I’d love to hear about them! For me it was bananas – go figure!
Happy Changing Habits!