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A better diet could reduce your risk of chronic disease

A new study from Deakin University shows that pro-inflammatory diets increase the risk of 27 chronic diseases, and to the risk of sudden death.

The study looked at data covering four million people across the globe, pooling data from many previous studies. The results showed a clear link between a pro-inflammatory diet and increased risk of premature death, heart attacks, several types of cancer, and depression.

A pro-inflammatory diet is one that promote inflammation in the body over the long term.

Fried foods, commercial bakery products and fatty meat products all contribute to inflammation, especially in the absence of fruits and vegetables.

Western diets tend to be pro-inflammatory, while diets such as the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruit, vegetables and legumes, olive oil and oily fish, tend to reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation occurs when the body’s defensive inflammation response – essential in cases of injury and infection – remains active and causes damage to the body’s own tissues.

The authors of the study say that their research can’t prove that pro-inflammatory diets cause death and chronic disease, but it shows a clear link between diet and increased risk of these outcomes. More research is needed into the connection between diet, inflammation and long-term health.

The good news is that by understanding the risk, we can reduce it, simply by making changes to our diet.

By reducing foods likely to cause inflammation – trans fats, highly processed foods and fried foods – and eating more of the foods that reduce inflammation – fruits, vegetables, legumes, oily fish ¬– we can improve our chances of healthy living.

At PIM we have a particular interest in the role of diet and nutrition in health. Contact us to learn more.


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