Ask a dietitian what their least favorite phrase about nutrition is and I bet that ‘clean eating’ is on the list. Clean eating has an infinite number of meanings depending on who you are and what your nutrition guidelines are. Some people choose not to consume meat, dairy, gluten, grains, soy, eggs, corn, or beans, among other foods. These choices might be for a whole slew of reasons including sensitivities, allergies, intolerances, religious preferences, environmental concerns, taste preferences, and scientific evidence. As a registered dietitian there is one thing I’m sure about: not one dietary pattern is right for every single person. I believe it takes trial and error, intuition, and luck to find the dietary pattern that works the best for each of us. So, instead of getting caught up in the hottest diet of the week, let’s take a different perspective.
Inflammation is an essential component of human physiology as it allows us to deal with bumps and bruises as well as more virulent attackers of our immune system. However, when inflammation goes unchecked (what is termed “chronic low-grade inflammation”) it is directly linked to increased risk of a variety of diseases – namely obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and potentially even some forms of cancer.