Reducing Inflammation is the Secret to Weight Loss

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Weight Loss Program
Last Reviewed 02/15/2014

Reducing Inflammation is the Secret to Weight Loss

You may remember a blog I wrote about how sugar is the primary contributor to inflammation of the heart.  

But there’s actually more to the inflammation equation. There’s also an important connection between inflammation, weight gain,  and a hormone called leptin.

Leptin regulates your body’s level of fat by controlling your appetite and metabolism. So, as you add more fat tissue, your body produces more leptin. In healthy people, the production of additional leptin signals the brain to suppress appetite and speed up metabolism—leading these people to feel less hunger, burn more calories and lose the excess fat.

The problem is that chronic inflammation impairs the brain’s ability to receive leptin’s appetite suppressing message. The good news is that by eating foods to reduce inflammationwill not only improve your heart health, it will improve your body’s responsiveness to leptin. When that happens, you reduce inflammation which makes it far easier to take off unwanted pounds.

So, what’s the best way to do exactly that: Reduce inflammation and take off the pounds? 

Reducing Inflammation Naturally

  • Enjoy Often: leafy greens and other colorful vegetables; lentils; berries; citrus fruits; low-fat dairy products; “hot” spices like garlic, ginger, chili peppers and curry; wild-caught fish; lean cuts of red meat such as pork, beef and buffalo; olive oil.

  • Eat in Moderation: whole grains, beans, tropical fruits, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds, white potatoes, cheeses.

  • Limit or Avoid: organ meats; veal; high-fat dairy; farmed fish; margarine and shortening; vegetable oils; refined flours and sugar; fatty and fried foods.

Another tip for reducing inflammation is to season your foods with cinnamon, which contains the antioxidant cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde reduces arterial inflammation, as well as blood clots.

Now it’s your turn: Which of these dietary changes are you resolving to make to reduce inflammation?

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