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Inflammation index website
November 18, 2012
10:33 am
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November 18, 2012
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Hi, I'm new to the paleo way of eating, it's only been a few weeks so far. I have been doing a lot of research online about it from your website and others in the movement. Today I ran across a website with an index for foods of their inflammatory or anti-inflammatory properties. I have noticed a thread throughout paleo websites and others dealing with inflammation as the route cause for many diseases and illnesses. What's your take on this index? It certainly seems to support many of Paleo claims about refined sugar,legumes,processed foods and grains in general. Of course they have written a book about The Anti-inflammation Diet that they are also pushing!!!

Thanks for your website and your response to this question,sincerely,John

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November 18, 2012
7:30 pm
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AtomicHipster:

Can you please specify which book and which website you're speaking of?

JS

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November 18, 2012
9:36 pm
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Yes, sorry I omitted that crucial info. The website is http://www.Inflammationfactor.com and the book is called "Inflammation Free Diet Plan".

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November 19, 2012
1:39 pm
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Without buying the book, I can't know exactly how they calculate their number — but from the description and the numbers given in their table (which seem to be the same numbers used by nutritiondata.self.com), it seems to be a combination of "reasonable" and "bogus".

Reasonable: omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, high-GI and heavily carb-laden foods are pro-inflammatory, certain antinutrients are pro-inflammatory (example: adzuki beans get a negative rating.)

Not reasonable: gluten is non-inflammatory, insoluble fiber is anti-inflammatory, saturated fats are inflammatory.

Again, without reading their book I can't be sure whether my take on this is strictly correct.  However, given the numbers I see for various foods (game meat is more inflammatory than store-bought hamburger? All-Bran whole wheat cereal is less inflammatory than beef liver?) I can't possibly take their "index" seriously.  

Just like the ANDI, this is a way to cloak disproven conventional wisdom and subjective judgments with a layer of indirection that makes them look like science.  Hey, it's an Index, and numbers are objective measurements, right?

That's perhaps a bit harsh, so let me explain.  The problem with trying to distill many different pieces of information into a single "index" is that if you screw up even one of the components, the resulting "index" is worthless -- i.e. you're only as strong as your weakest link.

JS

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November 19, 2012
3:39 pm
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November 18, 2012
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I hadn't noticed that gluten was labeled as anti-inflammatory which doesn't make since to me either. I had noticed several items that I thought should have been positive but was labeled negative so I will discard the list and keep doing what I am doing, I haven't felt this good in a long time!!
Thanks for your thoughts on this and thanks again for a great website filled with humor and science!!

John

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November 21, 2012
2:58 am
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AtomicHipster:

Sometimes there's no quick numeric shortcut to understanding the issues.  I'm doing my best to explain them!

JS

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