Want To Stop Chronic Disease In Its Tracks? Try This.

SoulAdvisor | 7 May 2021
Want To Stop Chronic Disease In Its Tracks? Try This.

Chronic disease impacts half of the Australian population and is a major contributing factor in all premature deaths. A recent study says that almost 40% of this disease burden was preventable, by removing exposure to risk factors such as tobacco use, being overweight and dietary risks, such as a diet high in sugar or salt.

Now, a new review published in Advances in Nutrition by Deakin University’s Meghan Hockey and Wolfgang Marx, advises there is clear evidence a pro-inflammatory diet is linked to an increased risk of developing certain chronic diseases and premature death. 

Further, it says reducing inflammation by eating better could cut our risk of developing certain chronic diseases. The evidence, established by an umbrella review (which is a review of multiple research papers), is considered among the highest levels of evidence. 

What is a pro-inflammatory diet?

A pro-inflammatory diet includes high amounts of commercially baked goods, fried foods and fatty meats, and at the same time is low in fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.

Looking at 38 health outcomes from four million people around the world, the review found strong evidence for a link between pro-inflammatory diets and heart attacks, premature death and a range of cancers; as well as links to depression.

The article explains inflammation and the role diet plays. While inflammation is a sign your body’s immune system is working to protect you, if the inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to disease.

Inflammation can be measured by a blood test which reveals inflammatory markers.   

Diets and their potential to be pro or anti-inflammatory can be measured by the Dietary Inflammatory Index.

The Western diet, with processed foods and lower levels of fresh fruit and vegetables, is linked to higher levels of inflammation, while diets such as the Mediterranean, with more fresh ingredients, oily fish and legumes, has lower inflammatory markers. 

The key is to focus on your overall diet quality, they advise, rather than on a single food or nutrient, because many nutrients and foods interact with one another and can work together to fight inflammation 

What are the best foods to incorporate into your diet?

In short, the article advises to pack your diet with fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes; flavour your food with herbs and spices; drink tea and coffee; eat oily fish regularly; and reduce foods that are processed, high in saturated fats, fried and commercially baked. 

We all know our diet impacts our health but here is more evidence to back this up and reason to choose what we eat with care and consideration. You can read the full article here

If you need support with diet and nutrition, or would like to connect with one of our qualified health practitioners visit our therapies section and book a free discovery call to discuss your needs and goals. 



Australian Institute of Health and Welfare | Chronic Disease 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare | Burden of Disease 

Advances in Nutrition | The Dietary Inflammatory Index and Human Health 

Advances in Nutrition

Meghan Hockey | ResearchGate

Wolfgang Marx | ResearchGate

US National Library of Medicine  | The Dietary Inflammatory Index 

Apple News | Clear evidence for a pro-inflammatory diet and a link between 27 chronic diseases 

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About the author

Our purpose-driven editorial team has selected articles to share with our global community from thought leaders, commentators and subject matter experts in the traditional & complementary medicine sector from around the world. If you have any suggestions, comments or feedback, please contact us at [email protected].

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