Thursday, March 29, 2012

Woman Sues for Vibram Five Fingers Not Delivering

'Damaged' woman sues over flatfooted sneakersA Florida woman is suing Concord-based Vibram USA over its Vibram FiveFingers sneakers, claiming they not only fail to provide the health benefits the company claims, they can lead to injuries among people who fail to adjust their gait while using them.In her suit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Valerie Bezdek does not specify how she became "damaged" while using the sneakers, but says she never would have bought a pair if she'd known the truth. She's asking to be named lead plaintiff in a class-action suit that seeks millions of dollars in damages and lawyer's fees.

Since Reebok paid $25m in a suit for misleading consumers there is blood in the water for shoe claims. Note the Ab Lounge, Shake weight and Thigh Master are delivering on all their claims ;).

An aside:  I was helping a friend babysit/host a party of 9 year old girls.  They were all from very successful rich parents, dropped off in Aston Martins and Porsches.  While they were at play one girl says when I'm older I'll work in a zoo, so I can play with animals all day.  The other girl says when I'm older I'll be a lawyer so I can sue your zoo and then I can own it.  Oh yeah well I'll sue you first for... blah blah, on and on.  They knew the American dream at such a young age.  Very 'inspiring', well very telling anyway.  Meanwhile we make fun of the woman who sued McDonalds for making the coffee too hot.  That case had some interesting facts people don't understand, like why was it 230degrees?  Seriously weaponized.  SHE didn't want money she wanted her 24" of third degree burn fixed, they offered $400 for her medical expenses.  The rest spiraled out of control.  But now McDs serves coffee 40 degrees cooler, no longer able to take skin off.  

Sorry, that was serious digression...  Point is, there is a woman who feels that she was misled by Vibram and their advertising.  Her claim is that running incorrectly in these shoes can lead to injury.  
“Indeed, running in FiveFingers may increase injury risk as compared to running in conventional running shoes, and even when compared to running barefoot,” according to a copy of the suit, filed in US District Court in Boston.
'Conventional' a word here which means overly supportive, something that encourages heel striking, and removes propriocetive cues needed in running injury free.  We get the society we deserve, right?   Some more details here.

What are your thoughts?  Return an item you're not happy with or sue?   

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dynamic Warmup Boosts Strength, Flexibility

Dynamic Warmup Boosts Strength, Flexibility

By Scott Douglas
Doing a dynamic warmup of exercises like leg swings increases quadriceps strength and hamstring flexibility, whereas a warmup of static stretching doesn't produce those gains, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina measured subjects' leg strength, power, flexibility and vertical leap, then had them do one of three routines before restesting those measures. Some people did a dynamic warmup, some did static stretching and some did nothing. When retested, those who did the dynamic warmup scored significantly better on quadriceps strength and hamstring flexibility than they had in the pre-warmup test. Those who did static stretching or nothing between the two rounds of tests neither improved nor lessened their strength and flexibility.
This study supports what elite runners and coaches are increasingly doing--using a dynamic warmup to increase muscle activity before hard workouts. Aswe reported earlier this month, some studies find that the traditional pre-run static stretching decreases performance by lowering muscles' ability to contract rapidly and powerfully. Static stretching is best done after a workout as a means of lengthening muscle fibers.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Paleo-Doughnuts!

Follow these steps for great results!
If you’re not a Facebook fan of fast Paleo, click here!

Cooking Steps
I came up with this idea out of a discussion of people’s cheats. Doughnuts were something that came up, and I wanted there to be a better option than running into Dunkin. The carbs in this are mostly starch, with some fructose present in the maple syrup. The fats are mostly MCTs, which your body doesn’t like to store and prefers to burn as fat. If you eat these after a hard workout, the starch will be taken up by your muscles and liver, and the MCTs will be burned for fuel. You will have a very hard time storing them as fat if eaten that way (within reason!).

Yields 20 large or 30 medium doughnuts.
Large doughnut nutrition facts (baked, per doughnut. If you fry then  count that fat.)
450 Calories 24g fat 47g carbs 7.5g protein Medium doughnut nutrition facts.
300 Calories 16g fat 32 carbs 5g protein


  1. In a large mixer or mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on 0.25 cup warm water and let sit 5 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Add 0.5 cup coconut oil, 0.5 cup manna/butter, 0.5 cup maple syrup, 4 eggs, and 1.5 cups water. Mix until smooth. Add 2 cups coconut flour and mix until smooth. Add remaining 4 cups of flour 1 cup at a time. Knead the dough about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise 2-3 hours or until puffy to the touch.
  3. Form the dough into doughnut shaped objects (good luck!) and set aside, covered, to rise again.
  4. If frying, heat oil in a large pan. Gently slide doughnuts in with a spatula and cook 30-45 seconds on each side or until they float and are golden brown. Set aside on wax paper.
  5. **If baking, bake doughnuts 10-12 minutes at 375 on a cookie sheet or until golden brown.

You can double or triple recipe if you want to cover the entire doughnut or want extra to drizzle or dip.

  1. Combine 1 cup maple syrup, 0.5 cup coconut manna/butter, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon starch flour in a small saucepan over low heat, mixing with a whisk. Reduce and thicken until whisk leaves definite trails.
  2. Let cool until nearly room temperature (or chill in the freezer 5 minutes). Dump shredded coconut into a bowl slightly wider than your doughnuts.
  3. Dip one side or fully submerge doughnuts into frosting, then press firmly into shredded coconut for several seconds. No chocolate should be left in the coconut bowl. Set aside on wax paper.
  4. Drizzle remaining chocolate over the doughnuts, or use it for dipping!
  5. **Suggested substitutions: You could use butter or clarified butter in place of the coconut products, but you’ll be losing the nutritional trickery of the coconut fat. You can also switch up the flour called for to whatever is to your liking.

Can Sprinting Help Your Endurance?

Sprinting for Endurance

Can sprinting improve your aerobic conditioning? Absolutely. Although not exactly common knowledge, in-the-know endurance athletes have been enjoying the benefits of sprint training as a substitute for some of their distance work. And you'll find that sprint work is part of the foundational training of a growing number of champion endurance athletes, especially those following the Crossfit Endurance program.

But is there any scientific foundation for the use of sprints to improve endurance? Again, absolutely. In 1993, scientists studied the percentage of energy pathway contributions during repeated maximal effort sprints. They theorized that although your phosphagen pathway might be responsible for a huge energy contribution on the first sprint, by the later sprints it would seem plausible that other pathways were making increasingly greater contributions. To briefly review: the phosphagen pathway is the responsible for quick, explosive strength over the first few seconds of a movement, while the glycolytic pathway contributes to the next couple of minutes worth of energy, and finally the oxidative pathway takes over for events lasting anywhere from several minutes to several hours.

But what about repeated sprint efforts? Would we see an increasingly greater contribution from the glycolytic pathway, even though the amount of work performed is a short sprint, firmly in the phosphagen's domain?

To test this theory, a group of subjects were tasked with six seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of rest, for ten repeated efforts (a 1:5 work ratio). Any athlete who's run a set of suicides or repeated sprint intervals will attest to the fact that oxygen consumption clearly increases between the first and last sprint - which intuitively means that the body must be shifting from the use of one energy system (anaerobic) to another (aerobic). If we consider the types of conditioning work done at all levels of sport, we find that repeated sprints are a staple of every coach from Pee-wee Football to professional rugby, and every level and sport in between.

This effect can be seen with traditional weight training as well, when we use shorter rest periods between sets, leading to increased oxygen consumption (breathing heavier) and a stress on our oxidative (aerobic) system. So although it's uncommon to think of sprints as a form of aerobic conditioning, there are numerous practical examples of them being used as such.

So what happened between the first and tenth sprint?

What the researchers found was that there was a significantly reduced contribution from the anaerobic energy pathway on the final sprint as compared to the first one. Although they didn't measure the exact contributions of every energy pathway independently, they produced enough data to imply that as the sprinting session progressed, there was a trend towards a decrease in the phosphagen and glycolytic pathways, signifying a likely increase in the percentage of energy being derived from oxidative metabolism.

This data can't be interpreted as a good reason for endurance athletes to ditch all of their long efforts and focus on sprinting instead, but it does give those athletes a good reason to start working in some sprints to their routine.
You'll also note that these charts are given as percentages, not absolute values; although one may talk about "shifting" from one energy contributor to another, the analogy of shifting gears is not apt. We don't shift energy pathways like a car shifting from first (phosphagen) to second (glycolytic); either completely in one gear or another. Instead, the human body is constantly altering the ratio between one energy system to another, and sometimes back, in a fluid series of shifting contributions. So if you're looking to get some of the benefits of aerobic training without putting in endless miles on the road, maybe a set of 10 x 6s sprints is the workout you've been looking for.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Making the case for running shoes, a study

Making the case for running shoes, a study

I was glad to see this article come out (with its corrections)  "Making the case for running shoes, a study Link Here"

In summary, the study asks "is barefoot running more efficient"??  Sure it can be considered more efficient because we are carrying less mass on our feet - but if the mass was the same(held constant), would it still be more efficient?  

The way they tested this was comparing O2 use between runners using 150gram shoes and the same runn ers wearing 150gram taped weights on their feet and running barefoot.  These runners are barefoot experienced - so there was hopes of removing that variable.

They were shocked to find that weight bare feet were LESS efficient than wearing shoes.  This is expected to us.  I mean the removal of weight advantage is carved out of the experiment, so the only question is are we metabolically more efficient when barefoot??  I'd say 'who cares'.  If (and this is a mid-sized 'if') we are less injury prone and have years more of lifetime running due to having good form, would 101 breaths in stead of 100 be a worthy trade??  

Why don't you find out and run as shodless as possible to correct your form.  I've NEVER heard a story (Not One) where supportive shoes extended a runner's running career, yet I've heard many testimonials to the contrary.  Testimonials are not science, but they may be indicators of what would happen to you.  We're all an experiment of one.!

Thoughts?  Explicatives? Mints?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Working out on travel


I get this question frequently: I need to travel, will I lose my fitness??!?!  

Don't feel like you'll lose fitness when taking a week off.  A vacation can be the perfect time to let your body heal completely and you will be fresh to continue your training when you return.  For many, I suggest to take a week out ten off as a good schedule to keep to prevent overtraining.

The active vacation: If you exercise regularly and you're headed out for an active vacation, like skiing, rafting, mountain climbing, this is the perfect time to USE the fitness you've gained from your normal training.  That's the 'sport/specialty' on top of the fitness pyramid!  If you've been good about the rest of the pyramid, you'll be surprised how good you are at many things that are NEW to you.  This is because you've been hitting many points of fitness simultaneously (both in terms of movements and metabolic pathways).  Training outside your comfort zone prepares you for activities outside of your comfort zone, it's that simple!  Of course you should go out and enjoy your new fitness gains in creative ways.

In travelling for work or over the holidays if you are afraid you're losing fitness; here's a list of exercises that can be done at most hotel gyms. Link: Bodyweight Workout List.  This list varies from no equipment to needing a pullup bar, rings, or a jump rope. If you find that you make the same trips periodically, (for example, the annual Consumer Electronics Show or a quarterly training event) record which workouts/performance and repeat them every trip to track your fitness gains.

How do you workout (or choose a running path) in/near a hotel room?

Happy travels!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Overtraining Continued

After my original post on overtraining here: I thought about doing my own little overtraining experiment.  By using what I have at home (Garmin 310xt), I have recorded my Heart Rate while sleeping.  While this may seem OCD, or excessively geek'y you have to remember who you're talking to ;)!  Note, you can benefit from others' obsessive behavior.

Nothing new here that isn't covered in the previous 'overtrained' post except for this example: I pushed myself hard for 5 days straight by running to and from work, running to the gym for some high intensity training and even starting runs with a set of squats or other wise.  There is a race coming up and needed some volume and I was curious about how much repair I would need to do in my sleep.

I think the most important metrics here are average and minimum heart rate.  It would be interesting to track REM cycles and my ability to awaken in between deep sleep.  Sleep tracking for detecting overtraining seems overly rigorous, there are plenty of other markers to look for.  

  • Keep the body guessing 
  • Occasionally PUSH the envelope 
  • Always get plenty of sleep 
  • Take ~1 out of ten weeks off
  • **most importantly** train to recover and recover to train! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stretching out plantar fasciitis

Sing Song: "The Hamstring's connected to the Fascii"  great Video on the subject, click here

 Summary:  “After controlling for covariates, participants (86 of 210 feet) with hamstring tightness were 8.7 times as likely to experience plantar fasciitis (p < .0001) as participants without hamstring tightness. Patients with a BMI >35 were 2.4 times as likely as those with a BMI <35 to have plantar fasciitis.”

Stretching out plantar fasciitis #6522286
By Katie Bell 
Tight hamstrings play an important role in plantar fasciitis, according to a study published in the June issue of Foot and Ankle Specialist.
“These findings show that while we always consider the tightness of the gastrocnemius/soleus complex and the subsequent restricted ankle motion from this equinus, we also need to consider the role of the hamstrings,” said Jonathan Labovitz, DPM, lead author and associate professor at Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.
The prospective cohort study included 105 participants (210 feet); 79 had plantar fasciitis, which researchers assessed with palpation, who measured popliteal angle with a tractograph and diagnosed ham­string tightness when the popliteal angle ≤160°.
Without controlling for covari­ates, body mass index (BMI), tightness in the hamstring, gastroc­nemius/soleus, and gastrocnemius, and the presence of a calcaneal spur all had statistically significant associations with plantar fasciitis.
After controlling for covariates, participants (86 of 210 feet) with hamstring tightness were 8.7 times as likely to experience plantar fasciitis (p < .0001) as participants without hamstring tightness. Patients with a BMI >35 were 2.4 times as likely as those with a BMI <35 to have plantar fasciitis.
Researchers at Cappagh Orthopedic Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, first linked hamstring tightness with plantar fasciitis in a study published in the December 2005 issue of Foot & Ankle International. The Western University researchers now suggest that an increase in hamstring tightness may induce prolonged forefoot loading and, through the windlass mechanism, may be a factor that increases repetitive plantar fascia injury.
Triceps surae tightness was not included in the Western University covariate analysis, raising the possibility that hamstring tightness was not actually the cause of plantar fasciitis in patients wth tightness in both areas.
“People who have tight hamstrings are more than likely going to have a tight triceps surae,” said Michael T. Gross, PT, PhD, a professor in the Division of Physical Therapy at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “The investigators of this study admitted that 96% of subjects who had tight hamstrings also had tight triceps surae. Now there’s a cause and effect. If you can’t get dorsiflexion at your talo-crural joint, this often drives dorsiflexion at other joints and that is going to cause collapse of the longitudinal arch of the foot, loading the plantar fascia with increased tensile stress.”
In people with hamstring and triceps surae tightness and plantar fasciitis it’s not known whether the ankle equinus from a tight triceps surae causes hamstring tightness or vice versa, Labovitz said.
“There is no question that the tightness of the triceps surae will cause flattening of the arch and increase tensile stress on the plantar fascia,” Labovitz said. “The question becomes, are the hamstrings involved in this and, if so, to what effect?”
The timing of plantar fascia loading and hip kinematics during gait raise additional questions about pos­sible hamstring involvement, Gross said.
“When loading is taking place at the plantar fascia, it’s mid to late stance. At mid to late stance, the hip is in extension and even hyperextension.  Even though the knee is extended, extension/hyperextension at the hip will limit the amount of passive tension that could be developed in the hamstrings, so it is a mystery to me how tight hamstrings would cause trouble for the plantar fascia,“ he said.
Labovitz suggested, however, that a little hamstring tightness might go a long way in influencing the plantar fascia.
“The practical application is that since the hamstrings have been shown to be involved and possibly have more influence than equinus due to the longer lever arm, showing greater effect on the flattening of the foot and plantar fasciitis, less restriction is necessary to have the same effect as equinus,” he said.
The researchers suggest that treatment of plantar fasciitis should address hamstring tightness along with equinus and obesity. Night splints, orthoses, and gait retraining have been shown to be effective for managing plantar fasciitis pain but will not address hamstring flexibility, Labovitz noted.
“The hamstrings should be examined and treated,” Labovitz said.  “Stretching is the best treatment for increasing flexibility.”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Top 10 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid Like the Plague

Top 10 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid Like the Plague

Stay clear of these inflammation-causing foods to instantly upgrade your health
According to the statistics from the World Health Organization, about 12.9 million people worldwide died from some form of cardiovascular disease in 2004. And each year, the World Cancer Research Fund estimated that some eight million people died from cancer. Heart disease and cancer, the deadly manifestation of chronic inflammation, are expected to remain as the leading causes of death in developed countries for many years to come.
But study after study shows that the risk of heart disease and cancer are modifiable by our lifestyle choices which include the food we choose to eat each day. With every bite that we take, we’re either balancing the pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, or tipping the scale to one end.
To shift the balance to your favor, other than incorporating more natural anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, it’s also equally important to avoid or cut down on foods which are known to promote inflammation. Here, we look at the top ten foods which set the stage for inflammatory diseases:

1. Sugars

  • Refined SugarPro-inflammatory Agent: Excessive sugar intake causes tooth decay and has been linked to increased risks of obesity, inflammation and chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Recently, it has also finally been proven that sugar, as well as dairy, are the causes of acne.
    Find them in: Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks, fruit drinks and punches are one of the major sources of dietary sugars that many have overlooked. Do you know that drinking a can of Coke is as good as sucking ten sugar cubes? Other obvious sugar-loaded foods to avoid or at least limit include pastries, desserts, candies and snacks. And when you’re looking out for sugar in the ingredients list, note that sugar has many names: corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, golden syrup, maltose, sorghum syrup and sucrose are some of the creative names used.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Got a sweet tooth? Opt for natural sweeteners like steviahoney, or blackstrap molasses to flavor your beverages and foods modestly. Natural sugars found in fresh or dried fruits and fruit preserves with no added sugar are also great choices. Not only do they give you the sweetness you crave for, fruits also supply you with vitamins, antioxidants and fibers that you won’t find in sugary foods and drinks. Dates, figs, persimmons, kiwis, tangerines and various types of berries are but some of the natural healthy snacks you can sink your teeth into.

2. Common Cooking Oils

  • Common Cooking OilsPro-inflammatory Agent: Common vegetable cooking oils used in many homes and restaurants have very high omega-6 fatty acids and dismally low omega-3 fats. A diet consisting of highly imbalanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio promotes inflammation and breeds inflammatory diseases like heart disease and cancer.
    Find them in: Polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as grape seed, cottonseed, safflower, corn and sunflower oils. These industrial vegetable oils are also commonly used to prepare most processed foods and takeaways.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Replace your omega-6-saturated cooking oils with macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil, or other edible oils with a saner omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio. Macadamia oil, for instance, has an almost one to one ratio of omega-6:3 fats, and it’s also rich in oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid.

3. Trans Fats

  • Trans FatsPro-inflammatory Agent: Trans fatty acids are notorious for their double whammy effect: they increase the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, while lowering levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol. But that’s not all they can do. They have also been found to promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin, laying the ground for degenerative illnesses to take place.
    Find them in: Deep fried foods, fast foods, commercial baked goods and those prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable shortening. Note that items that list 0g trans fats on the label may still contain some amount of this toxic fats. This is because in the US, the government allows items containing less than 0.5g of trans fats to be declared as trans-fat free. Commercially prepared peanut butter is one good example. Your best bet is to read the ingredients list and make sure partially hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening is not used.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Look for alternative products that contain no trans fats, or don’t have partially hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening in the ingredients list. When in doubt, assume that all commercially prepared foods contain trans fats unless stated otherwise.

4. Dairy Products

  • Dairy ProductsPro-inflammatory Agent: As much as 60% of the world’s population can’t digest milk. In fact, researchers think that being able to digest milk beyond infancy is abnormal, rather than the other way round. Milk is also a common allergen that can trigger inflammatory responses, such as stomach distress, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives and breathing difficulties, in susceptible people.
    Find them in: Milk and dairy products are as pervasive as foods containing partially hydrogenated oil or omega-3-deficient vegetable oil. Apart from obvious milk products like butter and cheese, foods with hidden dairy content include breads, cookies, crackers, cakes, cream sauces and boxed cereals. Scanning the ingredients list is still the safest way to suss out milk.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Kefir and unsweetened yogurt are acceptable in moderation for those who are not allergic to milk. They are easier on the stomach as the lactose and proteins in the milk have been broken down by beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts.

5. Feedlot-Raised Meat

  • Feedlot-Raised MeatPro-inflammatory Agent: Commercially produced meats are feed with grains like soy beans and corns, a diet that’s high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Due to the small and tight living environment, these animals also gain excess fat and end up with high saturated fats. Worse, to make them grow faster and prevent them from getting sick, they are also injected with hormones and fed with antibiotics. The result is one piece of meat which you and I shouldn’t be eating.
    Find them in: Unless otherwise stated, most, if not all, beef, pork and poultry you can find in the supermarkets and restaurants come from feedlot farms.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Organic, free-range animalsthat fed on their natural diet like grasses instead of grains and hormones contain more omega-3 fats. Having more room to roam freely, they are also leaner and contain less saturated fats.

6. Red Meat & Processed Meat

  • Red Meat and Processed MeatPro-inflammatory Agent: Researchers at theUniversity of California San Diego School of Medicinefound that red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5Gc. After ingesting this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that may trigger chronic inflammatory response. And low-grade simmering inflammation that won’t go away has been linked to cancer and heart disease.
    The link between processed meat consumption and cancer is even stronger. In the 2007 report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, processed meat has been stated as a convincing cause of cancers of the colon and rectum, and possibly esophagus and lung cancer too. Processed meat includes animal product that has been smoked, cured, salted or chemically preserved.
    Find them in: Common red meats are beef, lamb and pork, while processed meat include hams, sausages and salami.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: You don’t need to avoid red meat totally, though the same thing can’t be said for processed meat. No amount of processed meat is safe. Replace the bulk of your red meat with organic vegetables, poultry and fish, and relegate red meat to a weekly treat. When you do eat red meat, remember to choose lean cuts and preferably, that of grass-fed animals.

7. Alcohol

  • AlcoholPro-inflammatory Agent: Regular high consumption of alcohol has been known to cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx (voice box) and liver. Over time, the chronic inflammation promotes tumor to grow and gives rise to cancer at the sites of repeated irritation.
    Find them in: Beers, ciders, liquors, liqueurs, and wines.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: A refreshing and thirst-quenching glass of pure, filtered water, anyone? :) How about a cup of anti-aging and anti-inflammatory jasmine green tea? If you find the idea of swapping ethanol for water or tea implausible, at least limit your consumption to no more than one drink a day.

8. Refined Grains

  • Refined GrainsPro-inflammatory Agent: A lot of the grains we eat nowadays are refined. They are devoid of fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and the aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains as good as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories. And like refined sugars, refined grains have a higher glycemic index than unprocessed grains and when they are consistently consumed, can hasten the onset of degenerative diseases like cancer and coronary disease.
    Find them in: Refined grains and products made out of them are almost everywhere. The common ones are: white rice, white flour, white bread, noodles, pasta, biscuits and pastries. To make things worse, many products with refined grains undergo further processing to enhance their taste and look, and are often loaded with excess sugar, salt, artificial flavors and/or partially hydrogenated oil in the process. A prime example is boxed cereals which contain substantial amounts of added sugar and flavorings.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Go for minimally processed grains if you are not gluten intolerant or allergic to grains. If you’re an avid bread or pastry maker, invest in a grain mill to produce your own flour. It will be much fresher than the stale one found in stores. When buying cereals or other products made from grains, don’t take the words on the packaging for granted. Just because the box says whole grains, it doesn’t mean the grains inside are 100% intact. The problem is due to a lack of an internationally accepted definition for the word ‘whole grain’. When in doubt, if it doesn’t look close to its natural state, don’t buy.

9. Artificial Food Additives

  • Artificial Food AdditivesPro-inflammatory Agent: Some artificial food additives like aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) reportedly trigger inflammatory responses, especially in people who are already suffering from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
    Find them in: Only packaged foods contain artificial food additives. If you need to buy them, read the labels carefully and weigh your risks. If you order Chinese takeaways, make sure you’ve the option to ask for no MSG. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Besides limiting the consumption of processed foods, use anti-inflammatory herbs, spices or natural sweeteners to add flavor to your dishes instead of relying on food additives.

10. <Fill in the blank>

  • Allergic FoodPro-inflammatory Agent: Why is this blank? Because it is meant for you to fill in with the food that you’re sensitive to. Many people are sensitive to certain food but are totally unaware about it. Unlike food allergy in which symptoms usually come fast and fiery, symptoms caused by food intolerance take a longer time to manifest. And when they do appear, they are often brushed off as common minor ailments such as tiredness and headaches. But repeated, long-term exposure to food that irritates can cause inflammation and lead to chronic diseases.
    Find them in: Common food allergens are gluten, milk, nuts, eggs and nightshade vegetables. Contrary to common belief, it is possible to develop an allergy to the foods that you eat often.
    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: If you suspect that a particular food may be responsible for your food intolerant response, try avoiding it completely for about two weeks and monitor your reaction. At the end of the abstinence period, re-introduce the food back into your diet. If you’re in fact incompatible with it, you should be able to notice the difference in how you feel easily.