Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, and many others. Because of the way cows, chickens, and the like are fed, their products have a disproportion of bad fats versus good fats. This fact is causing a high level of inflammation among the population. The solution? An anti inflammation diet.
What is inflammation exactly?
Inflammation is the response of our immune system to injury or irritation. Through inflammation our body attempts to remove the cause of injury by producing pain, swelling, redness and heat. The pain lets us know about the damage and the swelling protects us as it prevents us from moving that body part which could cause more irritation. Inflammation can be acute or chronic.
It is the initial response of our body to injury or infection. It happens over seconds, minutes, hours, or days. We need acute inflammation so that the healing takes place in our body.
However, prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, is a never ending response of the body to injuries or infections. Although inflammation is needed to heal injuries, long term inflammation can lead to serious chronic diseases. In fact, more and more studies are coming out proving that inflammation is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes as well as Alzheimer’s and several kinds of dementia. Scary, isn’t it?
Factors that cause inflammation
Several factors may cause inflammation. Among them we find:
Toxins and chemicals in our air, water and food
Poor nutritional habits
Bacterial or viral infections
Diseases of the immune system
Physical and emotional stress
As you may have guessed by now, reducing inflammation seems to be crucial to prevent a wide range of chronic illnesses that have the potential of shortening our lives. You may want to check my yesterday’s blog post to see one way of reducing inflammation. We’ll talk more about inflammation in the following days.
Inflammation is the root of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, cancer, and many others. Well, as you may be well aware of, these diseases have been on the rise for several decades by now.
One of my major concerns is the quality of animal products we eat nowadays. In particular, it worries me quite how cattle, sheep, goats and chickens are fed and the consequences this feeding is having in our health. And I am not referring to the amount of hormones and antibiotics these animals are swallowing; we’ll talk about that some other time. What worries me most now is the unbalance between the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats (also known as fatty acids) that all of us are ingesting as a result of this way of feeding livestock.
Why is this subject worrying me?
Because an imbalance of these two fats can lead to inflammation, a condition that as I have already mentioned, is the root of many chronic illnesses.
So, what is the relationship between what livestock eat and inflammation?
Well, many years ago, cows went out to dine in the field and they had a feast chewing grass; as for the chickens, they were quite content stuffing their faces with grass, worms, or anything they could get a hold of out there. These “foods” produced the right balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats which should be 1:1 or at the most 1:4. So, when we ate their meat, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, etc., we ingested the same Omega 3-Omega 6 balance, the one that promotes health in our organism.
But what is happening nowadays?
Cows, chickens and the rest of livestock are fed junk food that barely has any Omega 3 fatty acids. As a result, when we eat products coming from animals fed this way, we end up with very little Omega 3 fats and a lot of Omega 6. This unbalance causes inflammation.
Any solution to this mess?
I personally advocate for organic animal products. Organic livestock are left loose in the fields, having a good time eating grass, warms, and anything they like. If animals eat grass, their meat, milk and eggs will have the perfect equilibrium of Omega 3 and Omega 6, near 1:1.
But if they eat God knows what but grass, the resulting disequilibrium in our body could reach up to 1:40 or more. Again, a disproportion of Omega 3 versus Omega 6 can lead to inflammation and as a result, to chronic disease. Let us then make an anti inflammation diet part of our life.