In this post you will learn:
- What is the anti-inflammatory diet
- How it can ultimately affect your finances
- Why and how to start eating with anti-inflammatory ingredients
Your health is wealth
I've been a fan of the anti-inflammatory diet. I consider myself lucky to never have to worry too much about my weight. In fact, it seems that my weight doesn't change (and I weight exactly the same +-2lb as I did when I was 18 years old).
They say the greatest wealth you can have is your health. Without your health, there is nothing you can do (either to enjoy or earn more)
The greatest wealth you have is your health. Good health should be a top priority in building a solid wealth.
Let's think a second about how bad health can affect your wallet and your wealth:
- Extra medical expenses.
- Time off due to illness
- Feeling more tired, being less productive
- etc... the list goes on
There are things you don't control (like your genetics). But one thing we all control is what we eat. My parents are food scientists and they been talking about the concept of inflammation. The science is still not settled but the underlying idea is simple.
Why talk about diet?
Why would a financial blogger talks about diet? Because it is an under-appreciated topic for most of us and it can make a huge impact on our lives.
Their incentives are not in your best interest
If you've never thought about diet, chances are you are eating a lot bad food. Our free-market system gives incentive to market product with high margins (thus mostly highly processed food) and you are bombarded with their ads since a very young age. Selling a frozen pizza with a lot of flour, oil, sugar and salt can sell for a huge profit margin (32% according to 1. Beets with kale, not so much.
If you've never thought about diet, chances are you are eating a lot bad food
The same applies to restaurants. Their short-term incentives is having you back. They need to use ingredients that gives you a short-term reward and make sense economically to keep you satisfied. And these ingredients are usually oil, sugar, salt and the list goes on. And it turns out all those ingredients are inflammatory. Why? Probably become those ingredients to have the maximum effect need to be processed, but this is just my guess.
There is an evolutionary reason why ou brain provide short-term rewards for oily food and sugar. It made sense when food was scarce back in prehistoric ages, but not today. If you avoid processed sugar, you will start tasting a lot of food and start hating eating sugar as it is too strong.
Cooking tasteful anti-inflammatory food is a challenge, my girlfriend can attest to that but it is not impossible. Changing your diet or any habit takes a lot of work and willpower. It is hard, but probably worth it.
Anti- Inflammatory diet
Imagine a scratch on your arm. Your body counter reacts by creating an inflammation to repair the damage. This takes energy but eventually the body recovers. 1
Now, the theory is certain food have the same inflammatory impact in our gut. Those micro-inflammation take energy to repair and can cause complications that can increase the chances of cancer 3.
Personally, the reason I did the diet was the following :
- Reduce my sleep by 1 (from 8 hours to 7hours). To help me feel less tired.
- Help achieve my 2016 goal of a 6-pack abs
However, following a strict anti-inflammatory diet is hard, REALLY hard. You can't eat out and you need to cook every single meal. I still eat one or twice a week, but mostly in social setting. I avoid eating out just because I'm lazy to cook some food.
What I changed in my diet
Here's a little summary of what I changed in my food consumption:
- Avoid cooking with oil (omega-6 oils). I now make a lot of soups, cook with water first.
- Avoid any type of sugar
- Avoid any milk product (cheese, yogurt, milk, etc...)
- Avoid processed grains like bread, breakfast cereals, flour.
I still eat meat (but only un-processed fresh meat). A lot of vegetables and fruits. In the end, this diet has similarities with the Paleo diet. And there is a lot of common sense about avoiding all processed food.
There a few ingredients that is recommended to start cooking with. These includes:
- Most roots vegetables (colorful like carrots, beets...)
- Spices like Turmeric
- Tea (green especially)
You can follow the list here. Surprisingly, Alcohol seems to be an anti-inflammatory element.
How to learn more:
The book I used the most for recipes is
The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy. I saved me countless of money (eating out). There is a food list based on scientific evidence (by measuring the blood levels of inflammatory markers) called Dietary Inflammation Index. 4
The other item I use is the pressure cooker. It allows me to cook quickly and efficiently vegetables that would otherwise take hours to cook. I use this pressure cooker. I got rid also of my slow cooker since there is one integrated in it. In fact, you could even get rid of your stove/oven and only cook with this device. It also has a stove integrated, so you can brown onions or meat and then start cooking with pressure after. Also, look for Black Fridays deals, since last year they had a huge rebate on it.
- Do any of you feel tired even if you're sleeping a lot?
- Did any of you tried changing your diet and see how you feel? Any tips on good food to eat?