Inflammation is not complicated- It is quite simply your body’s natural defense to a foreign invader such as bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods that the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.
What thoughtful person would willingly expose themselves repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to their body? Well, smokers, perhaps, however at least they made that choice willfully.
The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by low fat diets recommended for years by mainstream medicine.
What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates ( sugar flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.
Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. You kept this up several times a day for five years. If you could tolerate the painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.
To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.
At Total Body Wellness Life Enhancement Center we routinely test levels of Omega 3 and Omega 6.
There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch a little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.
There is only one answer to healthy inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build more muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation-causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.
One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or organic butter. Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation that the supposedly healthy oils labeled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels is very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today. Slowly leading to a new paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.
The long established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of morality, human suffering and dire economic consequences. Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than every before.
Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year. Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the cell wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.
The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those that your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh, unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the “Standard American Diet.”
Functional medicine is the evolution of healthcare necessary for the future of human health. It is often referred to as root cause healthcare. It is not a system of care that utilizes pharmaceuticals as the primary treating modality. It is not the simple relief of symptoms through one pill fits all people. Functional healthcare is a personalized, proactive form of physician-patient interaction to prevent illness and disease
If you would like to schedule a functional medicine consult with Dr. Rudack, call our office at 702-362-0336.
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