Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Low Glycemic Diet - The Only Game in Town When It Comes to Silent Inflammation!

Silent Inflammation

The most powerful “drug” you can take is the food you eat each day, and our toxic diets are killing us through a chronic inflammatory condition called “Silent Inflammation.”

What do I mean?
Toxic diets set the stage for Silent Inflammation, which not only damages the body’s tissues, but also precludes healthy weight loss. 

It is recognized as the underlying cause of most chronic diseases, even aging itself!  Silent Inflammation attacks the single layer of cells that line the more than 50,000 miles of blood vessels within the body.

It’s one of the main reasons more than 80% of us will die of vascular disease. 

Three key hormones contribute to Silent Inflammation:
  • Eicosanoids (Immune System)
  • Insulin (Storage Hormone)
  • Cortisol (Stress Hormone)
Let’s look at each of these and discover how we can reduce Silent Inflammation with a proper diet.

EICOSANOIDS


Eicosanoids are commonly known as “super hormones" because they play a part in the synthesis of basically all other hormones in the human body.  Essentially, eicosanoids are a checks and balances system for the cellular makeup of your body.
There are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of eicosanoids, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. Maintaining the proper balance of these is crucial to adequate health.

Genetically modified foods, food processing and environmental toxins promote pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, which increase Silent Inflammation and result in rapid aging and chronic health issues by compromising your immune system. 
An imbalance of eicosanoids is at the core of chronic disease.  Therefore, increasing anti-inflammatory eicosanoids is vital. 

Diets rich in heart healthy omega-3-fatty acids found in fish oil and low in omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils including corn, soybean, sunflower and safflower are essential. 

Eighty years ago the U.S. population ate a 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats.  At that time refined vegetable oils were a small part of our diet.  Our diet now comprises more of omega-6 fats and fewer omega-3 fats with the ratio now being closer to 20:1.  Too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats create a hard membrane around cells much like an eggshell! 
Therefore, the type of fat you eat is one of the key causes of Silent Inflammation.
 
INSULIN

Insulin is a storage hormone that allows cells to either store nutrients or use them for energy.  Today, the typical diet produces too much insulin and excess insulin makes us fat and keeps us fat. 

As we age, our cells are less responsive to insulin.  The pancreas is forced to produce more insulin, and insulin resistance develops.  Excess body fat forces our body to increase insulin to overcome this resistance. 

Unfortunately, excess insulin increases Silent Inflammation by increasing arachidonic acid, a key building block for all pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. Controlling insulin can reverse Silent Inflammation and improve health.

Eicosanoids and insulin are inter-related and in appropriate balance reduce Silent Inflammation.  Southwest Age Intervention Institute’s low glycemic approach reduces insulin, which directly affects Silent Inflammation. 
Benefits include decreased body fat, improved cardiovascular function, energy and vitality. 

CORTISOL

Cortisol, our stress hormone, is the primary anti-inflammatory hormone used to decrease excess inflammation. If Silent Inflammation is elevated, our adrenal glands produce high levels of cortisol.

Cortisol is, in reality, an anti-stress hormone.  Cortisol lowers pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, a result that is excellent if stress is temporary.  However, constant high levels of Silent Inflammation produces elevated cortisol on a permanent basis resulting in damage to the body.

At Southwest Age Intervention Institute, we take a low glycemic dietary approach that allows our clients to decrease Silent Inflammation and helps reduce insulin and cortisol levels and rebalance pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids!

We will discuss more details about the low glycemic diet in future posts. For now, tell me what single change you’re going to make to positively affect these three hormones and reduce your risk of Silent Inflammation. Leave your comment below.

Bon app├ętit!!