Tonight I read two articles that each blamed inflammation for serious health issues.
One, by a world-renowned heart surgeon, said that the medical profession got it wrong when it began advocating a low-fat diet to control cholesterol. It is now known that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease. More people will die from heart disease this year than ever. The low-fat diet doesn’t work.
And…the dietary recommendations for lowering cholesterol are responsible for the high rates of diabetes and the obesity epidemic.
Only inflammation of artery walls causes cholesterol buildup. It has nothing to do with a low-fat diet.
The biggest culprits in inflammation, according to Dr. Lundell, are highly processed carbohydrates like sugar and flour and an excess consumption of omega 6 oils like soybean, corn, and sunflower.
There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by 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 but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build 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…. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those 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 typical American diet.
Here’s a link to the original article: World Renowned Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on What Really Causes Heart Disease. And for good measure, read this to learn about the top 10 anti-inflammatory foods.
The second article was from the Sunday New York Times Magazine and showed a link between inflammation and autism. At least a third, and very likely more, of the cases of autism are linked to inflammatory diseases, including a mother’s inflammatory response to bacterial and viral infections, asthma, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease, even allergies, during pregnancy.
Rather than blaming diet, this article blames sanitation for high levels of inflammation found in the developed world.
Scientists have repeatedly observed that people living in environments that resemble our evolutionary past, full of microbes and parasites, don’t suffer from inflammatory diseases as frequently as we do.
William Parker at Duke University has chimed in. He’s not, by training, an autism expert. But his work focuses on the immune system and its role in biology and disease, so he’s particularly qualified to point out the following: the immune system we consider normal is actually an evolutionary aberration.
Some years back, he began comparing wild sewer rats with clean lab rats. They were, in his words, “completely different organisms.” Wild rats tightly controlled inflammation. Not so the lab rats. Why? The wild rodents were rife with parasites. Parasites are famous for limiting inflammation.
Humans also evolved with plenty of parasites. Dr. Parker and many others think that we’re biologically dependent on the immune suppression provided by these hangers-on and that their removal has left us prone to inflammation. “We were willing to put up with hay fever, even some autoimmune disease,” he told me recently. “But autism? That’s it! You’ve got to stop this insanity.”
This article’s only mention of diet is that a probiotic taken during pregnancy may help prevent autism.
Read the original to learn about a medicalized parasite being tested on autistic adults. Here’s the link: An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism.
My take? Do it all! One in 88 children now is born with autism in the U.S. The stress and difficulties of raising an autistic child are huge, not to mention who will care for (and pay for) these autistic adults who will someday have no family to take them in.
If that is due to diet and cleanliness, it’s worth eating fresh, unprocessed foods and living with some parasites. In my opinion.