Today, inflammation is a hot topic and it gets a bad reputation for being the cause of many ailments such as: arthritis, infections (bacterial or viral), headaches, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder impingement, and sciatica. These are just a few common treatable conditions associated with inflammation in the body. Most people are aware of anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, which can help reduce pain often associated with these conditions. What most people may not be aware of is although these medications can reduce inflammation; it doesn’t necessarily translate to better or faster healing. In fact, quite the opposite can be true depending on the condition and how long it has lasted. Osteo-arthritis is a good example because it doesn’t occur over night. It is a prolonged degenerative process that can wear down cartilage in the joints over time- especially in weight bearing joints like the knees, ankles, and hips. This causes inflammation in the form of swelling, stiffness, and pain. Pain and inflammation are the ways your body tells you to “back off” from activities that may exacerbate the problem, and if given the chance, your body can heal itself. The problem is that we, as a population on the go, tend to ignore the signs and keep on going. Numbing the pain with pain killers and fueling the fire with pro-inflammatory nutritional choices manifests chronic pain and problems. Many of my patients are surprised when I tell them they are basically pouring gasoline on an already hot fire by what they are putting in their mouth. So what is the most inflammatory food you can put into your body? Can you guess? That’s right… SUGAR!
Now, you may be thinking, “Yeah, sugar is bad for me, but it’s in everything!” or “I just love the taste so much that it doesn’t matter”. Until it does and you have pain that gets so chronic and intense that you are willing to basically cut off your leg at the hip or knee (otherwise known as hip and knee replacements). So we are left with two choices, eat sugar and chew on pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs until we are a good candidate for surgery, or try to prevent the inevitable by cutting off the flow of gasoline. How? Reduce your sugar intake to only ‘good’ unprocessed and unrefined sugar that comes from whole fruits and veggies. Cut sugar from alcohol, dairy, pasta, bread, flour, juices, sodas, baked goods, cereals, etc… Unfortunately the American way of consuming food and beverages is killing us. A high refined sugar and low fat diet is a recipe for hormone imbalance and inflammatory conditions mentioned above. High fat and high sugar is what leads to diabetes, heart attack and stroke. If you need proof, try cutting your sugar intake for 30 days and see what happens. There are no tricks here, no gimmicks, just one idea, do this one thing to stop the inflammatory process in your body today.
My current favorite resource spelling out how to cut out sugar is The Whole 30. This is a program that gives your body a kick start in your sugar-free journey, which leads to a lifestyle of health and wellness. It takes commitment and planning but to change the way you eat in only 30 days is well worth the work. I just completed the program with my wife and I lost 13lbs, which brought me to my target weight. I noticed that foods I once thought were bland had a new flavor pop to them. I never knew how good a carrot could taste! If you need coaching through this process, Allen Chiropractic can help you. Call Allen Chiropractic Mission Viejo all I’ll help you stay motivated and inspired and even give you some tricks along the way! Don’t wait, Check out The Whole 30 book and get started today!