Balanced Habits™ is most well-known for creating balanced macronutrient eating plans that help people lose weight with ease. What’s great about this approach to weight loss is that it provides flexibility in one’s food choices, and Balanced Habits can design plans with multiple goals in mind.
Reducing inflammation is one such common goal since chronic inflammation can lead to many serious chronic conditions and illnesses. According to the Bioscience Institute, chronic inflammatory diseases cause 60% of deaths worldwide. There are numerous factors that contribute to inflammation, but one key factor is diet.
Choosing foods that have anti inflammatory properties to meet your daily macronutrient requirements can help you successfully manage your weight while simultaneously reducing inflammation.
Let’s take a look at each component of a balanced meal (protein, carbs, and dietary fat) and determine which choices are best to achieve a balanced anti inflammatory diet.
Choosing the Right Proteins for an Anti Inflammatory Diet
Protein is an important part of your diet because it assists in maintaining muscle mass, strength, and helps the body repair itself after injury. However, not all proteins are equal in terms of their anti inflammatory properties.
Red meat and processed meats are notorious for causing inflammation. If you suffer from inflammation, try to avoid these types of proteins.
Choose fatty fish like salmon or yellowfin tuna instead. These protein sources are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s also provide a range of other benefits like fighting depression, promoting healthy brain functions, and reducing the symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome.
Here’s a list of great anti inflammatory proteins
- Eggs (Eggs have relatively lower amounts of Omega-3’s than other proteins on this list.)
Best Anti Inflammatory Carbohydrates
People often associate carbohydrates with starches like potatoes and breads, but fruits, vegetables, and legumes are also considered carbs. Fruits and veggies are loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential to cellular functions, including some that are high in anti inflammatory compounds.
Avoid refined carbohydrates like white breads and pastries, and highly processed oily snacks like bagged chips and french fries.
Instead pack your plate with an assortment of produce like tomatoes (high in the anti inflammatory compound lycopene) and green leafy vegetables that contain several anti inflammatory vitamins and Omega-3’s.
Here’s a list of great anti inflammatory carbohydrates
- Green leafy vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Black beans
- Brown rice
- Bell peppers & chili peppers
Best Dietary Fats for an Anti Inflammatory Diet
Not to be confused with body fat, dietary fats are a necessary component in nutrient absorption and play a crucial role in your body’s daily functions.
Margarine, shortening, and lard are the most unhealthy fats and detrimental to inflammation. The best fat examples on the other hand are oils such as olive, avocado, and flaxseed oils. Walnuts are also considered one of the best nuts to choose as a dietary fat source because they contain a variety of anti inflammatory acids.
Here’s a list of great anti inflammatory dietary fats
- Olive oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Nuts (almonds & walnuts)
- Seeds (chia & hemp hearts)
- Fish oil
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit your diet to the foods on these lists to experience improvements in inflammation. A few small changes are beneficial to anyone attempting to improve their lifestyle. What’s most important is that you enjoy your food choices and attempt to grow stronger every day!