What I didn’t mention in my post yesterday is that I am also starting a brand new diet, the anti-inflammatory diet. I have a minor auto-immune disease, and one possible cause and/or result of this is increased inflammation. I went in for a check-up last week, and they confirmed that even two years later, my inflammation levels are still quite high, and higher even than they were the last time I was tested a year ago. This could be related to weight gain. After a considerable amount of internet research, I’ve found that inflammation levels (tested through C-Reactive Protein levels in your blood) can be caused by being overweight, and can contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, you name it. One possible way to lower these levels includes an anti-inflammatory diet.
So what does this involve? Well, that’s the tricky part! Apparently, there’s a certain degree of confusion on that. Some “anti-inflammatory diet” plans disagree with each other. Some advocate having soy every day, for example, while others suggest avoiding it when possible. (I support avoiding it, particularly for women, but I’ll get into that another day.)
Thankfully, there’s an app for that! I downloaded an app called IF Tracker Lite, and it lists most foods and using a numbering system, ranks foods by their inflammatory levels. Foods with positive numbers are considered anti-inflammatory. Foods with negative numbers might promote inflammation. You don’t need to complete avoid all negative foods, but you want to add all the foods you eat during the day and end with a positive number.
Polyunsaturated fats are BAD and promote inflammation. Monounsaturated fats are much better. Omega-3 fatty acids are very good. Apparently, the traditional American diet is abnormally high in Omega 6’s, which puts us all out of whack. We need to be, well, in “whack,” so to speak. Fiber and vitamins are also good.
Good foods include most fish, such as salmon (but I’m paying attention to sustainability and mercury levels with the fish I’m buying), flax seeds, oatmeal, almost all veggies and fruits, spices such as garlic, chili peppers, curry, turmeric. Also included are walnuts, dark chocolate and red wine in moderation.
Foods to avoid are anything friend, made with highly processed sugars and/or flours, most things with gluten, high fat dairy products.
My challenge is to combine all of this with Weight Watchers. High-fat foods such as salmon and nuts are worth a lot of points in the Weight Watchers program, and that makes things tricky. I find nuts satisfying and filling, so the trick will be to really control portions.
So what did I do today to contribute to my weight loss? I went shopping, and bought lots of low-inflammation foods, primarily fruits, vegetables, and a few others such as quinoa, almond butter, almond milk, etc. Tomorrow? I need to add activity! I meant to do that today and didn’t, so tomorrow, I have to. Yoga or running, depending on my mood. Also, before photos (ACK!). Here we go!