What does “inflammation” mean in an anti-inflammatory diet?

What does “inflammation” mean in an anti-inflammatory diet?

Not long ago, the Cancer Nutrition Professional Committee of the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association and others jointly released the “Expert Consensus on Anti-inflammatory Diet to Prevent Cancer”, which focused on recommending anti-inflammatory diet to prevent and treat tumors. Consensus states that adopting such dietary patterns in populations at high risk for cancer can reduce the likelihood of long-term negative metabolic consequences.

Chronic inflammation increases risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more

Before introducing the anti-inflammatory diet, we must first clarify what the “inflammation” of the anti-inflammatory diet refers to. The “inflammation” in an anti-inflammatory diet refers to chronic inflammation of the body.

If chronic inflammation exists in the body for a long time, it will increase the risk of various chronic non-communicable diseases (such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, etc.) over time.

If you want to reduce chronic inflammation in the body, you must eat more “anti-inflammatory foods” and less “pro-inflammatory foods.”

The Dietary Inflammation Index (DII) is an objective tool to assess the body’s overall dietary inflammatory potential. It is developed based on data on the impact of diet on six inflammatory markers. A positive value of the Dietary Inflammation Index score indicates that the dietary ingredients have pro-inflammatory potential, while a negative value indicates that they have pro-inflammatory potential. Anti-inflammatory potential, 0 means no inflammatory effect.

What are the anti-inflammatory abilities of staple foods, fats, proteins, fruits and vegetables?

Staples: Whole grains have anti-inflammatory potential

1. Whole Grain Carbohydrates:

Whole grain carbohydrates have anti-inflammatory effects and help stabilize blood sugar. Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, buckwheat, black rice, corn, barley, and barley are rich in dietary fiber. The dietary inflammation index score of dietary fiber is low, -0.663/g. Wheat bran and germ are rich in dietary fiber and various phenolic plant compounds, which have anti-inflammatory effects.

2. Refined Carbohydrates:

Refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white flour have pro-inflammatory potential, so pay attention to the combination of thickness and thickness in your daily diet.

3. Potatoes:

At present, the anti-inflammatory effect of potatoes has not been found. However, potatoes are more recommended than refined white rice and white flour.

Fats: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory potential

The dietary inflammation index score of total fat is 0.298/g. Fat intake should not exceed 30% of total energy. Monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids should be selected.

1. Limit saturated and trans fatty acids

Saturated fatty acids (Dietary Inflammation Index score 0.432/g) and trans fatty acids (Dietary Inflammation Index score 0.429/g) have pro-inflammatory potential and need to be limited in intake.

The main sources of saturated fatty acids: fat from pigs, cattle and sheep, lard, butter, etc., cocoa seed oil, coconut oil and palm oil.

The main source of trans fatty acids: The trans fats consumed by Chinese residents mainly come from unreasonable cooking of edible oils. When vegetable oils are heated to high temperatures or repeatedly, trans fats will be produced. In addition, some processed snacks may also contain trans fat, so pay attention to the instructions on the food packaging when purchasing.

2. Recommended unsaturated fatty acids

The Dietary Inflammation Index score for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is -0.436/g. Taking at least 1.5 g of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements per day under physician supervision is associated with improvements in weight, appetite, quality of life, treatment tolerance, and survival in cancer patients, as well as reduced postoperative morbidity.

The main sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: fish and shellfish, perilla seed oil, flaxseed oil, flaxseed, etc.

Protein: Has mild pro-inflammatory potential

Protein has mild pro-inflammatory potential, with a Dietary Inflammation Index score of 0.021/g.

However, due to metabolic disorders and increased protein consumption in cancer patients, it is recommended that general cancer patients increase their protein intake to 1-1.5g/(kg·d) per day. If combined with renal function impairment, the intake should not exceed 1g/(kg·d), and the specific instructions can be followed by a doctor.

Protein should come from fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, soy foods, nuts and other foods, and eat less red meat and processed meat.

Vegetables and fruits: should make up 2/3 of the total food weight of an ideal anti-inflammatory diet

In an ideal anti-inflammatory diet, fruits and vegetables should account for 2/3 of the total food weight. Because fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, they have good anti-inflammatory activity.

Some plant compounds, such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, butylbenzoate and other polyphenolic plant compounds, have great anti-inflammatory potential. Foods rich in such plant compounds include purple cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, black wolfberries, black currants, mulberries, purple potatoes, soybeans, citrus, etc.

In addition, it is recommended to drink green tea and black tea in moderation, which have anti-inflammatory potential. The dietary inflammation index score is -0.536/g. You can drink black tea and green tea in moderation according to your personal health status and habits, but it should not be too strong. The pro-inflammatory properties of food increase after being fried, fried, or roasted. Use less frying, frying, or roasting as cooking methods. It is better to use cooking methods such as braising, stir-frying, steaming, and boiling. Text/Yu Kang (Professor of Clinical Nutrition Department, Peking Union Medical College Hospital)

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