If I were to ask you what causes modern day disease in people such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, what would you say?
Would you be inclined to say that these diseases are caused primarily by your genetics? What amount of control would you say that you have over them? Are they inevitable scourges of our genes or are they in large part under our control?
Without going down a rather large rabbit hole, when it comes to these and other diseases one thing is certain…they ALL are rooted in INFLAMMATION! Where you see cancer you will also see inflammation, where you see diabetes you will see inflammation, and the same can be said for most of the other diseases that are so dominant in our modern day society.
So what the heck is inflammation?
In general inflammation is an immune response to foreign objects or biological processes that are present or occurring in you body. Say for example you have a virus or bacteria in your body, your immune system will release certain chemical such as cytokines, macrophages, neutrophils and other chemical compounds that create a localized state of inflation to surround the foreign entity and eliminate it.
Inflammation is also present in the healing process. If you fall and scrap yourself your body will send out white blood cells and macrophages to clean up the dead cell’s and remove them from your body in attempt to lay the groundwork for the new cells coming in. So in short inflammation in the short term is a necessary thing for our growth, survival and optimal health.
But What About Chronic Inflammation?
What if so saw a fire start in your kitchen? Would you sit there and watch it and maybe roast a few marshmallows? Of course not! You would extinguish it as soon as possible right? The same can be said of normal inflammation. It’s job is come in, take care of business and then make it’s grand exit.
The real problem comes into existence when your body undergoes a process of CHRONIC INFLAMMATION! This is an abnormal biological occurrence that is the genesis of most modern day disease along with something else that nobody seems to be talking about.
Inflammation and Weight Gain & The Blocking Of Weight Loss
No let’s talk about the juicy stuff!
Let’s say that you want to lose some weight or even gain some muscle. You fall for the conventional wisdom of “calories in vs. calories out” and you start counting your calories or following macronutrient ratio’s. You take your carbs down, take in more protein and your tell yourself, “I am doing what I need to do”.
Let’s further say that your diet consists of highly processed protein powders, protein bars and about 50% of your diet comes from processed food rather than from whole foods.
Now remember what I said earlier…your immune system activates and creates inflammation to take out unwelcomed foreign entities such as virus, chemicals, bacteria, and other foreign substances.
Would it surprise you to know that most processed foods are seen as foreign entities in your body?
Do me a favor. Pick up an energy drink like a Monster of Rockstar and take a look at that nasty little ingredients list. Do those ingredients look natural to you?
How Processed Foods Destroy Your Gut and Cause Global Inflammation
When food particles such as highly refined sugars, vegetable oils (think Canola, Corn, Soy Etc) and chemical additives hit your delicate small intestinal tract they create a large amount of oxidation. When this happens your immune system has to activate and thereby increase localized inflammation to neutralize the oxidation of those foreign food particles that are only unique to non-natural highly processed foods. In other words you are not getting the same inflammatory response from that avocado that you just ate.
Now repeat this cycle over and over for years and what happens is the localized inflammatory response starts to literally drill a hole into your intestinal lining creating what is called Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Now you have natural and unnatural food particles that are able to escape from your intestinal tract and when that happens they enter your blood stream and are taken to all parts of your body. When this happens you incur yet another bout of immune system activation that raises inflammation all over your entire body! This is called GLOBAL INFLAMMATION or systemic inflammation because it literally occurs all over your body.
So that knee pain that you are blaming on that car accident that happened 20 years ago is less likely to come from the accident and much more likely to come from the low level chronic inflammation that is being caused by your highly processed diet.
Inflammation can certainly come from multiple other sources but for this first installment let’s just stay with diet.
What Can You Do To Lower Your Inflammation?
This one is rather obvious but basically it comes down to drinking enough clean water and making sure that the vast majority of the food that goes into your mouth comes form clean natural and preferably organic sources. The less processed food the better. Start with an 80/20 ratio to begin with and work up.
Of course there are other lifestyle factors that play heavily into the equation but start with this one because it will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Keep it simple. Whole natural foods are those foods that fly in the sky, swim in the sea, or grow from a tree 🙂 Anything that comes from Mother Nature is whole foods. Eat real food and your inflammation will start to go down. It’s that simple.
Please let me know what your plan of attack it because I am excited to hear your journey when you start to apply this very simple principle.
Life is Good!
P.S. If you would like help with changing your nutritional lifestyle and making permanent changes to your diet we can help! You can book a free consultation here to learn more about our comprehensive nutritional lifestyle coaching program here: https://www.llfit.com/consultations/