Your Diet is Causing Inflammation

Yep, probably. It is. I know some days mine does. Do you have a standard American diet? Oh? You haven’t heard of the SAD diet? Then yes, you probably are eating something that is causing you inflammation. If you have heard of it you are probably more aware of what you are putting into your body. So let’s break down some of those things that are probably causing you inflammation and leading to a wide variety of health challenges.

Animal Products

Lets jump right in on the one that people do not want to hear about. Now I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian. I eat all the animal products. They key is getting good quality animal products. When it comes to meat, most of the meat that is available in the United States is filled with hormones and antibiotics. Industrial meat producers in the United States thinks that bigger and cheaper is better. To get bigger animals cheaper they have to be packed full of hormones to increase their growth rate and then antibiotics because so much disease is rampant in the poor quality conditions that these animals are grown in.

We can get into these terrible ethical practices but that is for a different article.These antibiotics and hormones stay in the meat and effect our bodies as well. Children are maturing faster than ever thanks to these growth hormones, contributing to girls going through puberty at even younger ages than ever before. The antibiotics kill off our own natural defenses and unless we are adding back in healthy bacterial populations with probiotics, we are likely to get digestive irritation and inflammation with out their protection.

So what do you do to fix this challenge? Eat organic meats. We vote with our purchases and the more you purchase organic meats the more the industry will see that is what we want. 

Photo by mali maeder on

Rancid Oils

 This is a huge issue in the United States. Other countries think Americans are stupid and don’t know better. We don’t. They send us all their terrible quality oils and keep the good stuff among themselves. Not only are most of the oils that arrive in the United States already rancid a large portion of the oils that we find on grocery shelves do not even have the plant oils in them that they say they have.

Aside from finding oils that are what they say they are, the rancidity is more of an issue when you find a proper oil. As oils go rancid their smell will change. What is happening at a smaller level is the good quality fats are breaking down, and in essence, turning into bad quality fats. High density lipoproteins (HDL) actually helps our body to scavenge cholesterol from our blood. When these lipoproteins get older they don’t have that same capability. The older your oil is the more likely the lipoproteins will cause more damage than they will help. 

Photo by Pixabay on

Where do I find good quality oil? First you want to make sure you are purchasing an oil that has a press date on it not a best by date. This way you know it is fresh. Olive oil is good for about 2 years after the press date before it becomes rancid. Ideally use your oil within one year of the press date. Second, buy oils in glass whenever possible-ok buy everything in glass and not plastic whenever possible. Many of the chemicals that make up plastic will leach into your oil and encourage the oil to age faster.

The best thing you can do to get good oils is to go to a specialty store and take classes with them to learn more about the oils so you can choose the best ones for your needs. The stores near me often have free tasting classes and those are great to learn more information about the oils you are getting. Sometimes they will also discuss herbs and salts as well-if you are lucky.

Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Join Jillian for live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities or work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations.

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