Summer 2017

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8 | PULSE S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 H E A LT H L I N KS I nflammation is today's dietary buzzword. But there are different kinds of inflammation. Acute inflammation is the type that occurs when you cut your finger. White blood cells and other chemicals within our bodies rush to the injured site to help ward off infection, and pain and swelling ensue. And an inflammatory response in the lungs is involved when asthma symptoms strike. Chronic low-grade or systemic inflammation is different and has been linked to several chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Given that, many health professionals are recommending we eat foods that are anti- inflammatory. But what exactly does this mean? Dani Rodriguez-Brindicci, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, explains. "If you're trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet," Rodriguez-Brindicci says, "it's important to know what foods cause inflammation and avoid them. Learn which foods reduce inflammation and incorporate more of these into your day." What foods can cause inflammation? "Refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pastries, corn syrup, sugars, sodas, fried foods, saturated fats and trans fats, also known as hydrogenated oils," Rodriquez-Brindicci enumerates. Trans fats are found in many packaged foods. Many juices, energ y drinks, snack bars and cereals also contain added sugar. Some contain chemical additives, such as artificial flavors and colors, which also can cause inflammation. "Consuming these additives can lead to inflammation and weight gain," says Rodriguez- Brindicci. Bacon, hot dogs, sausage and lunchmeats are inflammatory as they're high in saturated fat and AGEs (advanced glycation end products). AGEs are inflammatory TURN DOWN THE HEAT THE BENFITS OF AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET WRITTEN BY CAROLE JAKUCS, BSN, RN, PHN

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