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Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Update on Cancer Prevention & Health

Anti-inflammatory diets are hot topics, both in research and in the media. Chronic inflammation is tied to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. So where do “anti-inflammatory diets” fit as you consider how doable eating choices can make a difference in your health, today and long-term?

In Part 1 of this video series, Susan Steck, PhD, MPH, RD, discusses inflammation and the variety of “anti-inflammatory diets”; in Part 2, she talks about development of an overall Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) that pulls together inflammatory and anti-inflammatory food consumption into one score meant to represent the overall effect of someone’s eating habits. In this, the final section of our interview, Dr. Steck provides an update on research using the DII to study how diet may affect health. Dr. Steck is a registered dietitian and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Following the video, read on for additional insights.

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Foods that Fight Inflammation

Research on how our eating habits may bring anti-inflammatory health protection is now widespread. The problem is that you can read one headline from a study that proclaims “X” food fights inflammation, yet have no idea how that statement fits in the big picture. Is this a food that many studies show –in humans — is anti-inflammatory? Or is it a fluke finding?

In Part 1 of this video series, Susan Steck, PhD, MPH, RD, provided background on inflammation and shared thoughts on how we approach “anti-inflammatory diets”. Here, in Part 2, she discusses some of the foods that came up with strongest and most consistent findings in analysis of worldwide research on diet and inflammation. Dr. Steck is a registered dietitian and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Following the video, read on for clarifying details.

 

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet: As Hot as It Seems?

A search for “Anti-Inflammatory Diet” brings up more than 1000 books. A broader search across the Internet brings up more than 7 million hits on the subject. Amidst all the noise, where is today’s research about the link between chronic inflammation and diseases like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes? And is there really research behind an anti-inflammatory diet?

Here, in Part 1 of a series, Susan Steck, PhD, MPH, RD, provides background for discussing inflammation and shares insights on weeding through today’s abundance of “anti-inflammatory diets”. Dr. Steck is a registered dietitian and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She is researching diet’s role in inflammation and the chronic diseases to which it is linked.

Following the video, read on for more on the story.

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How to Fill Your Magnesium Gap: Simple Tweaks

The latest national study shows that diets of about one in two Americans may be short on magnesium, a mineral research now links with better blood pressure control, bone health, and insulin sensitivity. Since insulin resistance and its resulting elevated insulin levels seem to raise risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, it’s worth a look.Eating Habits Low in Magnesium may Increase Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

The good news is that extreme measures are not needed. Find some smart tweaks to fill a magnesium gap in your diet, and you can actually fill multiple nutrient gaps at once.

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Can You Multitask a Healthy Lifestyle?

Though many are probably unaware of it, one in three American adults has Metabolic Syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that together doubles the risk of heart disease and increases risk of type 2 diabetes five-fold. Some research also links it with 20% to more than 60% increased risk of several cancers, such as colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancers.

Choose healthy habits to reduce risks of metabolic syndrome

Multitasking while driving: Not a good idea.
Multitasking Healthy Habits:
Smart way to use Small Steps that pay off Big!

Medications may successfully treat most components of metabolic syndrome, but they do so one at a time. You might take one (or more) to control rising blood sugar and one (or more) for blood pressure, for example, but neither helps elevated blood triglycerides or an expanding waistline.  (Waist size is relevant because it can help indicate whether you have too much of a type of body fat that is particularly harmful.) A medication to treat one component of metabolic syndrome can sometimes make another component worse.

The question – as research increasingly shows the inter-connectedness of all these risk factors – is whether your lifestyle choices can multitask. Can you focus on healthy habits that pay-off with multiple health benefits? The exciting answer is yes. Continue reading