An Inflammatory Diet

Ask your doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, acupuncturist yoga instructor and even your best vegan friend and they will all agree that Omega-3 is a great supplement to take. There is not much else out there that all those people agree on. If you pick up a medical journal these days, you will see that Omega-3 has been proven to act favorably on diabetes, hypertension, dislipidemia, osteoporosis, obesity, dementia, neuropathy, etc. It seems to be a miracle pill. Now, I am not here to discredit it’s worth to us but I am here to help you maximize the effects of this little Essential Fatty Acid in your body, and maybe even save some money while you’re at it.
Our Standard American Diet is rich in Omega-6 and gluten. These are two inflammatory nutrients that act in entirely different ways. I’ll explain gluten further down in the text. The high level on Omega-6 is due largely in part to the fact that vegetable oils are cheap to make and have a long shelf life after they have been processed, burned, artificially colored and deodorized. They are cheap because the three major crops that are subsidized by the government are soy, wheat and corn. Soy and corn are rich in Omega-6. If you happen to walk over to your pantry right now, I would be surprised if you could find 5 items that do not have either corn oil or soybean oil on the label. Omega-6 is considered an essential fatty acid, meaning that we need it in our diets and can not produce it within our bodies. That said, there must be an equal balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Currently the average American takes in a 10-20:1 ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 fatty acids. The agreed upon recommendation is 2:1 while others speculate that our cave-men ancestors were given by mother nature an even 1:1 ratio. We are seeing the effects of an over abundance of Omega-6 in our food supply with all the joint pain we all suffer from for no apparent reason. The scientific evidence is a long time away because for now, we are only looking at one half of the equation. We are so focused on Omega-3 right now for two reasons. First of all, that’s just how modern nutrition works; they isolate one portion of a food type so that it is easier to market and profit from. Second, calling for a reduction of Omega-6 in our diets would mean threatening the profits of Big Agra and all the members of congress that they have in their pockets.
The second inflammatory culprit in our SAD diets is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley. Remember, wheat is one of the 3 main crops that are paid for in part by the government. Whole grains are great nutrition however, some grains have evolved more than others. It is important to realize that we are but one of many species of organism on this planet. The food we eat, including the lowly plants, is trying just as hard to survive as we are. In the plant world, some adapt by making their fruits more appealing, thereby inviting us to pick, ingest, and excrete their seeds far and wide. Other plants have adapted by making their seeds toxic and indigestable. Wheat is one such plant that has developed a way to render itself poisonous to the consumer. Gluten is the weapon of choice for the more evolved of the grains. Gluten wreaks havoc on the digestion system. The reason this toxic crop is considered safe by the FDA is because it’s effects are slow and until recently, no medical technology could link the diseases it causes to the wheat. Being a nation whose idea of a healthy breakfast is cold cereal, we have perforated our guts to the extent that toxins like gluten can leak in to the blood stream and settle in our joints. Scientist have shown that the gluten molecule looks a lot like our cartilage that protects our joints. What do you think happens when our immune system tries to remove the gluten from our joints? Many cases of chronic arthritis have been cured by eliminating gluten from the diet.
Many misconceptions about health and nutrition are born from half-truths. While Omega-3 is good for you, its only half the battle. It only makes sense to take a look at your Omega-6 intake while you supplement with Omega-3. Popping expensive Omega-3 tablets while drowning them out with Omega-6 in your diet is silly and a waste of money. You would do better on less if you would just clean up your diet and use food as your medicine. You may even find that you will not have to use as many pain relievers for your every-day aches and pains. Supplements have their place in wellness however, you must make sure that your diet is as clean as it can be before you try and add to it. The very word “supplement” means something added to a complete thing. It is impossible to create health from a sick diet.