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Do pro-inflammatory diets harm our health? And can anti-inflammatory diets help?

December 23, 2020

About the Author

photo of Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN

Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN, Contributor

Kathy McManus is Director of the Department of Nutrition and Director of the Dietetic Internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston. In addition, she serves as the … See Full Bio
View all posts by Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN


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Dr.Jarubula Hanumantha Rao
January 5, 2021

Very INFORMATIVE. Useful to ALL of US.

Gary McEachern
January 4, 2021

What about grapeseed oil? I have seen articles suggest that this should be at the top of the list for healthy oils.

Cynthia Basinait
January 4, 2021

This is a great article! Thank you. It is so important for our doctors to consider our diet as first line of defense in treating what ails us. My husband is slender, strong and works out regularly, but has suffered for years with arthritis and elevated PSA together with the issues that come with a high PSA. So, 2 years ago, he started studying how nutrition effects these things and found a lot of reading on low-inflammatory diets out there – Starting with Dr. Mark Hyman’s book, “Food! What the Heck Should I Eat?” We are also applying these principles to my nutritional plan to reduce my inflammatory bowel disease. It is really working for both of us! Doctors need to learn the importance of this in medical school, so great job Harvard Medical School!

Margaret E Head
January 4, 2021

Thank you for this information. Does iodine help RA? I have been trying to eat the right foods but now see I am missing some of the good options. I am 95 yrs old with RA of the diaphragm. This has caused asthma. Again thank you for the help!

January 4, 2021

Nice article. About pro inflammatory foods, I have always read, that Omega 6, is a powerful pro inflammatory and most nuts and seeds, are incredible loaded with Omega 6. Also oils extracted from corn and other seeds, do so. Not to mention peanut whose oil is about 99% Omega 6. On the other hand, Omega 3 is an anti inflammatory fat. Western diets are incredible rich in Omega 6 and poor in Omega 3 consumption.
Exceptions to these Omega 6 loaded fats and seeds are, Flaxseed and a still little known in North America, peruvian nut called Inka nut, wich oil is up to 53% Omega 3.
It would be very welcomed, ir someone can confirm the information I have, about the inflammatory effect of Omega 6 oils

lisa tylor
January 3, 2021

very nice post, I really loved it , appreciate the article you have posted.The data suggest a prudent approach of both limiting pro-inflammatory foods and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet may provide an effective strategy for CVD prevention

Susie Su
December 26, 2020

Interesting topic and information. My mom used to warm me not to eat shrimps if I’m waiting for a wound to heal, mangoes or sweet rice made her joints hurt and that I should stay away from them. I never quite understood the scientific reason of it. After reading your research article, I understand more and will pay more attention to what feed the family. I like the table and tips, concise and not overly generalized that would make me think I know I know and put it down and not reading it. Glad to see my favorite tea and coffee make the good list! Do you know what causes the bitter taste in vegetables like in kale, collard greens, and broccoli? I was taught in my family I should blanch those vegetables to get rid of some sort of “toxins” in them before I cook them. But again, I don’t exactly what. Maybe someone can look into some good vegetables and bad vegetables?

December 25, 2020

Thank you!

steve Buss
December 25, 2020

If Meat is pro inflammatory then why do people who go on 100% carnivore diets Inflammation markers go down ?

December 25, 2020

Red meat is not inflammatory. It is consumed mostly in fast food restaurants with bread, fries and colas which are inflammatory. So epidemiological study find these people more unhealthy. If you eat grass fed steak with salad that is different story.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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