Welcome to the new version of The Vitality Project!
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Most of you may not understand the direct linkage between the process of inflammation and the development of human disease progression. Everything from cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and dementia can be directly linked to the advancement of the inflammatory process which can occur inside your body without any symptoms whatsoever!
A really good example of this is colon cancer.
Certainly, there has been a large body of evidence which had indicated a direct linkage between the intakes of certain foods like processed/smoked meats, red meat, fried foods and saturated fat with the development of colon cancer. The reason? Saturated fat increases the amount of inflammation in your body by increasing pro-inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) which can damage any type of tissue in your body from the release of free radicals.This type of systemic inflammation can be accurately measured using a simple blood test know as C-Reactive Protein.
A recent study, published in Journal of the American Medical Association has also indicated that a diet higher in saturated fat and processed foods can encourage higher amounts of inflammation which can lead to a condition characteristic of chronic inflammation. Specifically, the results of this study indicated that there was a 32 percent relative risk increase for colorectal cancer incidence between men and women who followed the most inflammation-promoting diet compared with the subjects that followed a diet with the least.
Those folks who consume a diet high in saturated fat and processed foods are also much more likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis. These people also have much higher average levels of C-Reactive Protein. This is no coincidence.
Now, although some forms of colon cancer does have a genetic linkage, colo-rectal-sigmoid cancer has a very strong and direct linkage to the individual’s inherent lifestyle dynamics including their diet and activity levels.
The study previously mentioned also indicated that the types of diet that tended to be the most inflammation-promoting included lots of processed meat, red meat, organ meat, sugary beverages, and refined grains. These diets were also comparatively lower in wine, tea, coffee, and vegetable intake. However, the diet deemed to be the most anti-inflammatory were higher in vegetable, coffee, tea, and wine intake but also lower in sugary beverages, red and processed meat intake.
The study also very importantly indicated that Men eating the most inflammatory diet had a 44 percent higher risk of developing colorectal cancer relative to men eating the least inflammatory diet. For women, the relative risk increase was 22 percent greater.
The incidence of colorectal cancer in those under the age of 55 is rapidly increasing in many areas of the globe where the standard westernized diet is consumed. This is due to the fact that people are consuming a pro-inflammatory diet and are basically sedentary.
Here are some tips.
1. Eat a variety of wholesome foods.
2. Eat only unsaturated or monosaturated fats.
3. Eat one good source of omega-3 fatty acids every day or take a supplement.
4. Eat a lot of whole grains.
5. Eat lean sources of protein.
6. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
7. Eliminate processed and refined foods as much as possible.
If this sounds alot like the Mediterranean diet…well that is because it is. Also don’t forget to get at least 60 minutes of moderately-paced physical activity per day, stop sitting so much, looking at your phones and playing on your computer or video screens!
Until Next Time
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project.