Inflammatory Meats and Carbs   1 comment

One of the purposes of a detox is to assist the body function by temporarily reducing levels of chronic inflammation (giving the body a break). Chronic inflammation can be caused by stress or diet, among other things, and can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or cancer (among other things). Dietary contributors to inflammation include meats that are high in omega-6 fatty acids and refined carbohydrates, hence eliminating meat and refined carbohydrates (including sugars and white wheat flour) during a detox.

Omega-6 fatty acids, like omega-3 fatty acids, are essential for the body; but the ratio of omega-6 to 3 should be around 4:1 and the wonderful American diet typically ranges from 10:1 to 30:1. Excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids are converted in the body into hormones that can contribute to inflammation (go to Wikipedia’s omega-6 fatty acid page for a more technical description). Grass-fed meat and poultry raised on high omega-3 seeds actually have a more favorable ratio of omega-6 to 3, but for the purpose of the detox significantly reducing meat consumption and eating more fibrous foods for a period of a few days is ideal. (Note the similarity between the detox diet and a healthy diet.)

Refined carbohydrates (aka sugars) also contribute to inflammation in the body because of¬†uncontrolled reactions of sugars with fats or proteins (as opposed to the controlled reactions that are necessary for healthy cell functioning). For more technical blah blah check out Wikipedia’s pages on glycation or advanced glycation end products. When I say “refined carbohydrates” I mean anything with a high glycemic index, meaning anything that rapidly converts to sugar during the digestion process. This includes almost every wheat-based product in your average grocery store. In my second grade class we did an experiment where we chewed a saltine for a minute without swallowing and experienced the taste change from salty to sweet. The concept was mind-blowing to me as a 7-year old, but now it helps me to understand what a carbohydrate really is (something that ultimately breaks down into a sugar). During the detox, therefore, consumption of foods with a high glycemic index is significantly reduced, and consumption of foods with a low glycemic index is increased. (Again, note the similarity between the detox diet and a healthy diet.)


Posted May 1, 2010 by mayakey in food, health

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One response to “Inflammatory Meats and Carbs

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  1. Pingback: Detoxing for Allergies « Love Knowledge Zeal & Fortitude

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