Fight Inflammation, Eat Beef!

June 23, 2023

The older I get, the more conscious I become about what I eat.  I’m no spring chicken anymore and unfortunately, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be.  Not only is it much easier to put on weight, but I also deal with aches and pains along with fatigue.  While a lot of us may chalk it up to old age, a big contributor may be due to inflammation in the body.  Inflammation can lead to serious health issues and diseases, but the good news is a lot of these issues can be resolved with a healthy diet. 

Inflammation is a part of your body’s defense mechanism against harmful and foreign stimuli. Many different factors can contribute to inflammation, one of those being your diet. There are several foods known for triggering inflammation in the body. According to an article written on Entirely Health, sugar is the leading cause of inflammation. I know firsthand how beneficial eliminating or even just lowering your sugar intake can be for your body. Not only did I lose weight when I eliminated sugar from my diet, but one of the best takeaways was the energy I gained! 

Trans fat is the unhealthiest form of fat.  Not only does it trigger inflammation in the body, but it can also clog arteries. Trans fat is found in foods like margarine.  Another food known for triggering inflammation is refined carbs. Bread, Doughnuts, and french fries are just a few examples of refined carbs. Consequently, these items can also be found in my food diary.  Who wants to give up doughnuts and french fries? Not this girl! However, when it comes to your health it’s in your best interest to cut back on refined carbs. Thankfully there are lots of low-carb options available nowadays to help fight those cravings. 

While there are still more foods that contribute to inflammation, I have gone over some of the major ones. Now let’s turn the tables and discuss anti-inflammatory foods. Olive oil is a rich source of polyphenols which provide both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Garlic and onions not only lower inflammation, but they can also boost the immune system. Another anti-inflammatory food is avocados.  Avocadoes are also known for lessening the pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.   

Of course, this blog post would not be complete if I didn’t list one of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods; grass-fed beef! Cattle that are grass-fed have higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Grass-fed beef has lower overall fat content - plus it is rich in antioxidants. So, while I may have to cut back on doughnuts and french fries at least I know a juicy steak is still in my future! 

Changing your diet isn’t easy. However, dealing with the consequences of an unhealthy diet can become complicated. Take small steps to cut back on foods that can trigger inflammation. Remember to be patient with yourself. A healthy diet has to be a lifestyle and that takes time. Last but not least, when hunger strikes skip the drive-through and fire up the grill instead. A nice juicy steak or burger is sure to whet your appetite! 

Blaine Ward

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