Inflammation and the diet connection rant

You know how things come into your life at the time you need them most? Well, it just so happens that all my research about diets and inflammation, as well as the rest of my Year of the Detox is coming in really handy right now. My dad

The original Fruitopia logo

The original Fruitopia logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

has been having osteoarthritis problems in his wrists lately. Really, really bad ones. His left wrist was swollen, almost to the point of not being able to move the fingers. Painkillers weren’t helping and the pressure cuff he was wearing made it only marginally better. I made an appointment for him with my integrational therapist, Adele. She identified the source of the inflammation as there being too much yeast in his system. Now, I don’t mean to ‘get down’ on the medical system, but every doctor he had been to see just wrote him a prescription for stronger drugs. Now he has been slowly eliminating foods that feed yeast from his diet and has already, in just two weeks, started to see a marked improvement. Adele said with the overabundance of yeast that he has, it will take months to get him back to normal. But the fact that we are now treating the cause and not just trying to control the symptoms is a fantastic start.

The reason I added ‘rant’ to this blog title is because I am not really quoting anything I’ve researched, just listing off my opinion. As I read more and more about the inflammation connection to many of the diseases our bodies suffer, I really think people should start being more educated about what their diet could be doing to them. Many people don’t have a clue what is healthy and what isn’t. I was at the mall the other day trying to eat healthy while out, getting some greek food. Over near the A&W stand, I overheard a grandmother talking to her grandson saying that he had to choose something ‘healthy’ to drink with his meal. “Pop isn’t healthy.” , she said knowingly. “Fruitopia!”, He yelled. To which his grandmother responded, “Okay, that’s healthy.” Now, I don’t think A&W has fruitopia, but I didn’t stay long enough to find out what the end choice was. The point is, Fruitopia, while it sounds like it might be healthy is not really a “healthy” choice. Just because it has the word fruit in it. Fact is, it has 32g of sugar (8 tablespoons) in one can. The only health benefit it has is vitamin C. Healthy, grandma? Healthy? You’re at A&W for crying out loud! If you want your grandson to eat healthy, taking him to a fast food restaurant is your first fail. Your second fail comes as you convince not just him, but yourself that something like Fruitopia is a healthy choice for a child. Your third fail comes from the mixed messages you send to him, allowing him to eat french fries or whatever else, then acting like it is balanced by the fact that he is drinking a healthy drink. I’m not saying kids should never be allowed fast food. I think that occasionally it is fine, as long as it’s kept in strict moderation. The problem that I see here is the mixed messages that parents/grandparents are sending their kids when it comes to nutrition.

The major problem with calling out this issue is that, let’s face it, the average person has limited understanding when it comes to nutrition. Things are categorized by good or bad. Companies take advantage of this by naming products with health buzzwords like the ‘fruit’ in Fruitopia. Now, I’m not putting all the onus on companies either. We as consumers should educate ourselves if our health is important to us. As shows like Dr. Oz play, more books get published and the Internet is updated with health news on a daily basis, we have no excuse NOT to inform ourselves.

The other problem I see is the medical system. Though I’ve never attended medical school, I also think nutrition and its effects on the body should be more of an in depth study for all doctors. The doctors I’ve had experience with know little about nutrition past the Canada Food Guide. The ones that do have done their own research into the matter. It’s true that we have other health care providers that are more informed on these matters, such as naturopaths, nutritionists, dieticians etc. But it is rare I hear, “My doctor referred me to this nutritionist for my…” unless it has something to do with their weight or dietary deficiencies. My dad had been taking pills and pills, the more he hurt, the higher the dose he was given. They were treating the symptom, not the cause. I don’t blame the doctors, they are just working with what they were taught. The medical education system should really pay more attention to the health wisdom that has been around for years that revolves around nutrition.
And that is my rant for today. Wow, I had more to say than I thought I did! How about you? Anything to say on the matter? Any personal stories you’d like to share?


About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on September 13, 2012, in Experiences, musings, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Agreed! We literally are what we eat. What better way to address health problems than by beginning with what we fuel / build our bodies with? Put diesel in your car if its designed to use unleaded and your car may run – but not well and you’ll see some damage in the process! What we do to our bodies is similar. Further – as I’ve learned from my own experiences – not everyone is meant to run on the same fuel. I can’t tolerate dairy or wheat at all and my body runs SO MUCH cleaner and better without them in my diet. I used to think I ate healthy – my mom was a nutritionist and I followed the Canada food guide. Guess what – the Canada food guide is the product of a government agency that can be influenced by interest groups (i.e., those who make / sell food products). Also, as the product of a government agency, the food guide is rarely updated, so its time to look further for other sources of info about what foods are healthy.
    Ultimately, I think reading about what foods are healthiest is useful, but I think the MOST valuable information you can get is from your own body. Are there any foods that cause you to feel bloated / constipated / tired / itchy / nose-runny … whatever? Try changing your diet and see how you react. Try cutting out a potential problem food for a few days and see if you feel better. Similarly, if a food makes you feel good (for me its greens – especially green beans) – take notice! It brings a certain joy to eating again when you find foods that are good for you and make you feel your best.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Really interesting to hear about your mom and the nutritionist aspect. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of the Food Guide as being very politically tainted. Cheers!

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