Inflammation is a natural response of the body’s immune system. It is an internal defense. When the inflammation is frequent or consistent it becomes chronic.
Chronic systemic inflammation is a persistent response from the body and a threat to your health. It leads to damage of the cells in the body, aging, and weight gain, and many diseases.
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Diseases linked to inflammation:
- Type 2 diabetes (*)
- Coronary heart disease (*)
- Many common cancers (*)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Fatty liver disease (*)
When your body burns fat instead of glucose, your body makes ketones for fuel. Ketones are a powerful anti-inflammatory. Ketosis also increases autophagy, which is the bodies way of cleaning, repairing cells, and reducing inflammation.
Some signs of chronic inflammation:
- Brain fog
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Generalized pain in the body
Diet has a huge impact on inflammation. It is the most influential way to take control of your body and health. The standard American Diet is full of inflammatory foods.
- Processed Carbs – Processed carbohydrates and sugar binds with proteins forming advanced glycation end-products. This causes inflammations in the body. It also contributes to neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, rheumatoid arthritis osteoporosis, and aging.
- Sugar – Sugar has many names and can be found almost everywhere. Here are 53 names for sugar. An insulin response occurs when you consume sugar and can lead to insulin resistance. (*) Excess insulin causes an inflammatory response. (*) The release of cytokines is triggered when you eat processed sugars. Cytokines are inflammatory. Sugar intake is also linked to increased cardiovascular disease. (*)
- Refined Grains – These are grains that have been stripped of bran and germ. This leaves no fiber, vitamin, or minerals. Refined grains have been linked to high levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.
- Processed Fats – This includes canola, corn, soybean, safflower and peanut oils. Fats are important to the keto diet. However, you should avoid all processed fats. (*,*)
- Refined Carbohydrates – White flour, white rice, french fries, instant potatoes are all high-glycemic simple carbohydrates. (*)
- Gluten – A common inflammatory trigger to many, gluten, should be avoided.
- High-glycemic foods – Sugars, grains, most fruits, and starchy vegetables are all included in this group.
- Omega 6 – Eating foods high in omega 6 causes the body to produce inflammatory chemicals. (*) Sunflower, corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils are some of the foods highest in omega 6. Other foods high in omega 6 are processed snacks and fast foods.
- Soy – Over 90% of soybeans in the US are GMO. Soy also contains isoflavones, which mimic estrogen. They are not easily digested and can cause inflammation in your gut. In addition, soy can also lead to mineral deficiencies due to being high in phytic acids. Soy is also very high in omega 6, which are inflammatory.
Most of the foods on the list above turn to glucose or sugars when processed by the body. The keto diet replaces glucose with ketones as a fuel source.
- Turmeric – There are 1000’s of scientific studies that show the benefits of turmeric. ( * )
- Ginger Root – Can be bought fresh, ground, dried or in oil form. It is great added to many dishes, including Egg Roll in a Bowl. Studies have found ginger to be just as effective as ibuprofen. (*)
- Healthy Fats – Some healthy fats include coconut oil, MCT oil, butter(grass-fed), olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, and grass-fed ghee. Check out this great post Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats to learn more about fats.
- Salmon – This fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a known anti-inflammatory. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon provides the best health benefits, due to their natural diet. A quick and delicious way to cook salmon is to make 1/4 inch cuts every 1/2 inch in the flesh side of a salmon filet. Rub a mixture of salt and pepper in each cut and on the top of the flesh side. Heat some avocado oil over med-high heat. Then place the salmon, skin side down. Cook for about 5 min then flip an cook for about 5 more min.
- Macadamia Nuts – One of the fattiest nuts, macadamias are the best choice on a keto diet. The fat of a macadamia nut is mostly monounsaturated. Read more HERE.
- Low-carb green veggies – Chard, spinach, kale, broccoli, and collards are some of the best.
A great way to reduce inflammation is by adhearing to a keto diet. This is done, not by just limiting carbohydrates, but by cutting out gluten, refined carbs, and processed sugars, and starches. By doing this you are cutting out foods that are known inflammatories.