|Valentines celebration with flowers not food!|
One of the best things I can do for true heart health is to attempt to keep my inflammation markers, including hs-CRP low.
By keeping my weight in a normal range, I do far more than wear a lower number on my jeans. I keep my inflammation markers low. As a middle aged woman at almost 49, I'm at a higher risk for stroke based on my personal family history. There are a lot of inflammation markers, but for today's post, lets look at hs-CRP. High Sensitivity- C-reactive protein.
Here's what is working for me so far, over about 4 years.
1. Keeping my weight in the normal range. Yes, my fat cells will signal hormonally higher inflammation hormones and pathways.I know this as I used to perform the lab tests for those markers!!!!
Real life meets biology. Not only were the answers inside of me, I made a career out of the answers that were inside of me. Whoa! Funny and ironic, but having an extensive background didn't stop me from living on the inflammatory side for many years.
I embrace my inner lab geek. Rather than blame and shame, I stick to low inflammatory foods and good support for weight management and dealing with what I believe to be food addiction. All keep me at a normal weight. (one of many articles about fat cells causing inflammatory response)
2. I eat foods and keep habits that keep my hs-CRP values as low as possible:
Paleo-ish food template:
Protein: eggs, grass-fed beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, sometimes turkey.
Fat: coconut oil, fat from grass fed meat, avocados, olive oil
Veggies: All non-starchy veggies (except winter squashes and some peppers)
Spices: YES, lots of them
Salt: sea salts work nicely for me on a low carb, higher fat approach.
Strength training: Yes
Stress management: yes- walking, photography
Keeping positive people around me: yes, it's true, keep good friends around you = better outcome. Lower cortisol. This includes real life and online-IMO.
Time management: prioritize the above, gives me time to stay well
3. hs-CRP from 2008 to 2014. The tale of obesity (high inflammation) vs weight loss (lower inflammation) vs long term weight management (sustained low inflammation)
3.a Eat the SAD, be inflamed (grains, processed sugars in moderation, low fat-high carb)
3.b Lose weight, stop eating sugar and wheat
3.c Transition to no sugars, no grains (#NSNG for the win!!!)
3.d Whole30 in Jan 2013, remove dairy, dried fruit, stopped having migraines and deep cystic acne. (see what foods I gave up for my Whole30),
3.e. April-May 2013: gave up nuts, stopped having migraines, stopped having most binge urges.
3.f. Went lower carb overall 40-50 grams/day higher fat ,during menopause- easier weight management and sleep.
3.g I'm not bullet proof- I did have some dental inflammation in the second half of 2014.
What didn't work in the past:
1. Morbid obesity was a symptom of many things: likely food addiction, binge eating, ineffective habits and behaviors. Trying to fit into a moderate food world when I needed to abstain. Better late than never. It feels super good to put theory (all the stuff I learned in lab science in the late 1980's) into practice. I let go of the shame and the blame of being obese.
2. Eating high inflammatory food on the Standard American diet- think WW frozen meals, 1 point bags of M&M's , moderating junk food was like smoking a shorter cigarette. Low dose junk food did NOT work for me. (I was so proud of my snacking ways, now I use snack sized zip locks to store chicken liver-LOL!!!)
3. Not working quickly enough to change things when I knew they needed changing. I needed to take charge
|High hs-CRP in 2009 vs Low hs-CRP 2014|
Okay, have any of my readers looked at their hs-CRP? Has anyone else used diet and lifestyle to reduce inflammation markers? What other markers and ways did you use? It's not all food related for me, but it started with food.