Taming chronic inflammation starts with what you put on the end of your fork. In other words, your best defense to fight inflammation starts with your very next meal or snack. Researchers find that a pro-inflammatory diet significantly increases weight gain and your risk for being overweight or obesity.
The best way to shift that balance is to eat fewer inflammatory foods and much more anti-inflammatory food. The latter include wild-caught fish, loads of nonstarchy vegetables, low-sugar fruit like berries and avocado, raw nuts and seeds, and cultured and fermented foods. Stop and consider, for instance, that our ancestors ate nearly an equal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids—whereas today we are eating 20 times (sometimes higher) of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. We’re eating fewer anti-inflammatory foods, but the inflammatory ones we consume (sometimes from not-so-obvious sources like almond milk or factory-raised eggs) can crowd out the healthy ones.
Take soybean oil, prevalent in pretty much any restaurant you eat, which can decrease the amounts of the anti-inflammatory fatty acids EPA and DHA. Even if you’re avoiding the usual suspects like sugar, gluten, and other high-sensitivity foods I often talk about, inflammatory foods can be slipping into your diet. Grain-fed meats, vegetable oils, roasted nuts and seeds, and pretty much any processed food in your grocery store fuels inflammation.