How to Reduce Inflammation

I went to Costco today to find engine oil and noticed they do have some really good looking food.  I used to buy things there, but I really struggled to find something I wanted. Why? Because I am fighting the forever battle to get quality ingredients, not just calories. You may call me a food snob, and I guess I have become just that. But before you think that I live on seeds and nuts, let me assure you that chocolate is my most favorite food group followed by breadbutterandjelly. I eat grass fed red meat once a week and would eat cheese in great amounts daily if my stomach could take it.  Since their prices are so good there I was really looking for quality meat, meaning grass fed beef, or wild caught fish.
      I found ORGANIC ground beef for 4 something a pound, a decent price, but ORGANIC does not mean grass fed, just fed organic corn and soy. Farm raised fish are also fed corn and soy, and there was plenty there at great prices, but the wild caught, smoked salmon was more than $15 a pound.

Sometimes the quest to find quality, affordable ingredients seems like an uphill battle! If you are in this venture with me, do you think we should lose heart?  Absolutely not. Find your stubborn streak and employ it!  My mother used to call me rubber face because when I set my mind to something my botttom lip would jut out and there was no changing my mind.  It’s not always the best way to be, but in this case I don’t think there is any other way to get natural and healthy food.

I’ve been talking about inflammation a lot this all month, and did I mention that it is reversible?  Reversing internal inflammation is one of the reasons I don’t give up my search. Let take fats for instance; some cause inflammation while others prevent it.

Remember that your immune system is trying to protect you from invaders, so it starts the process of inflammation whenever something foreign is detected.
Hydrogenated oil is foreign to the body because it has been altered at the molecular level, and therefore it causes an inflammatory response.  It is the fat used in commercially baked goods and almost all processed foods, and is therefore easy to find and avoid.

    SOLUTION:You can fight this battle easily by cooking and baking more things for yourself using natural, healthy oils and fats. Many health food grocery stores sell every kind of baked good you could want without hydrogenated oils, and I have even found some at the larger grocery stores by reading labels.  I remember I had to get tortillas at Henry’s, but I did find some sandwich bread at Albertsons with non hydrogenated oil.

Another oil that causes inflammation is omega-6 oil, which is found abundantly in vegetable oils; corn, soybean, sunflower, and safflower.  Omega-6 is not bad in and of itself, but our bodies are designed to use an equal balance of the polyunsaturated oils omega-6 and omega-3.  Unfortunately, our modern diet is rich in vegetable oil and poor in omega-3 rich oily fish like salmon, flax seeds and walnuts, and this has created a very unhealthy ratio of about 20:1 of the two oils in most of us. (1)  This unhealthy balance also triggers inflammation.

    SOLUTION: When baking pancakes, cookies, or something like banana bread at home, replace the vegetable oil with an equal amount of olive oil, or combine the olive oil with some apple sauce.  Trial and error will teach you the right combinations, or the Orange Tree Lane baked goods are all made without vegetable oil and the right balances have already been found.

SOLUTION:  Eat oily, wild caught fish like salmon or sardines more often, and to learn to include ground flax meal in baked goods and flax oil in dressings and sauces because these ingredients are rich in omega-3 oil.  (Now you will understand why so many OTL recipes include fresh ground flax meal and walnuts whenever we get a chance!)

Fish oil is the greatest concentration of omega-3 oil that you can get, and a daily supplement will help get your balance right again, thereby reducing inflammation. But there is a concern about mercury contamination in our oceans, which in turn gets into the fish who live there.  That is why fish oil supplements are such a valuable asset to our health.  They come in pill or liquid form, and if you read the labels carefully, you can find brands which purify it from all toxins, chemicals, and metals which get into the fish meat.

Adding fish oil and eliminating vegetable oil from you diet may be the most powerful change you can make to restore balance between the oils, omega-6 and omega-3, to reduce inflammation. (2)


Say No to:
- hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil in processed or commercially baked foods
- concentrated vegetable oils like corn, soybean, sunflower or safflower

Say Yes to:
-grass fed beef which has 2-4 times more omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed
- non-hydrogenated foods you find by reading labels and shopping at a health food grocery store, or making your own
- a daily fish oil supplement
- flax meal and oil, and walnuts

I hope you will see your local health food grocery store for PURIFIED fish oil supplements and to discuss a typical dosage for you. Costco may have some, but I didn’t get all the way over to that corner. If you do, look for “purified” on the label!

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OTHER INFLAMMATORY FOODS-  sugar, dairy, alcohol, white flour, artificial sugar and additives, stress

PS- If you are trying to figure out why I posted the picture of a baby porcupine with this post about inflammation, the only thing I can say is he is too cute for words and I couldn’t help but share. He has nothing to do with inflammation unless you consider getting poked multiple times by porcupine quills…I guess that could do it!

(1)  & (2)

Good Reading:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Orange Tree Lane or any of its affiliates take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.