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.
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