“The Anti-Inflammatory Diet”

In the November 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA), Wendy Marcason, RD, writes about the “The Anti-Inflammatory Diet” as a possible route to minimizing diseases linked to chronic, low-grade inflammation such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers.

I would add obesity to this list as well, since various research studies have likened obesity to inflammation. I have used the anti-inflammatory diet as a weight-loss diet but I prefer the Paleo diet for pure weight loss. If my client is does not need the anti-inflammatory recommendations for health issues, I do like the Paleo diet.

There is about 300 books under the topic of “anti-inflammatory”; some plans call for the elimination of entire food groups or the omission of foodstuffs such as corn, wheat, soy, dairy, red meat, eggs. A few even claim that certain vegetables are linked with chronic inflammation.

Some common threads, seem to run through the various anti-inflammatory eating plans:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure you’re ingesting a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, fish-oil supplements, and walnuts. (I recommend EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics. Order @
  • Include plenty of whole grains, such as bulgur wheat and brown rice.
  • Eat lean protein sources (e.g. skinless chicken) while decreasing your consumption of red meat and full-fat dairy products.
  • Keep saturated and trans fats to a minimum.
  • Avoid (as much as possible) processed and refined foods.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation (no more than 1 glass of wine daily for women and 2 per day for men).
  • Include a variety of spices in your meals, such as ginger and curry.

These guidelines aren’t earth shattering but they can perhaps serve as a reminder of what to aim in your diet most of the time, especially during this holiday season. 

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