Arthritis, diabetes, obesity and cancer are classified as inflammatory conditions. Including certain foods and limiting others can help you to better manage or prevent these conditions.
What can you do?
Maintain a healthy weight appropriate for your height
A BMI between 18.5 – 25 is considered a normal weight range. The size of your waist circumference is also very important. Women should aim for a waist of less than 80 cm and for men this should be less than 94 cm.
Try and engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to strenuous activity. This does not have to be carried out all at once, but can be broken down into 30 minute blocks or whatever suits you. Any exercise which gets your heart rate up and causes you to sweat is doing you good.
Being active is not only good for your overall health, but can also help prevent heart disease, diabetes, make it easier to maintain a healthy weight and improve your mental health and sleep patterns.
Eat adequate amounts of plant foods and fish
Fruit and Vegetables
Eat at least 2 fruits and 5 vegetables per day
These foods also help to protect cholesterol from oxidation, are good for weight control and tone down inflammation
Fibre and Wholegrains
Aim for at least 30grams of fibre per day
Wholegrains such as wholewheat, brown rice, corn, oats, rye, barley, quinoa and millet are an important part of a healthy diet as they provide good sources of vitamins and minerals
Add fibre rich products such as chia seeds, oat bran and LSA to your cereal, muesli and yoghurt.
Have Legumes everyday
Consuming legumes daily have been shown to lower blood cholesterol and can help manage blood sugar levels.
Consume fish 2-6 times per week, where one serve is around 120 g cooked fish
Fish oil is high in omega-3 which has been shown to decrease triglycerides, arthritis, asthma cancer, diabetes and depression.
There are also plant sources of omega-3 including chia seeds, linseeds, walnuts and almonds.
Choose monounsaturated oils instead of butter and margarine.
Sources of monounsaturated oils include: extra virgin olive oil, fresh avocado and natural nut butters.
Consume black, green and herbal teas daily, as a cup can contain many antioxidants.
What to limit?
X Limit animal foods high in saturated fat
Limit red meat intake to less than 450 g cooked weight per week. Eliminate all processed meats from the diet. Limit full cream dairy products
Red meat includes beef, veal, pork and lamb. Processed meats include sausages, frankfurts, salami, bacon, ham, devon, prosciutto and other luncheon meats. These types of meats are usually found in the deli at the supermarket
X Limit alcohol intake
No more than 2 standard drinks per day
Have at least one alcohol free day per week
X Limit salt intake
Consume no more than 6 grams of salt per day.
Avoid processed foods containing hidden salt. Most of the salt we eat comes from processed and packaged foods such as sauces, processed meats, stock cubes and soups as well as breads and cereals.
Do not add salt in cooking or at the table. Flavouring foods with herbs and spices instead of salt
X Limit Refined sugary and fatty foods