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Possible foods that could cause inflammation. . . .

Posted by Carol E. on 8/06/99 at 20:50 (009518)

Your doctor is no doubt referring to egg yolks and red meat as the offending proteins on the Atkins Diet. MOST people are not bothered by them but some people are sensitive to the high arachidonic acid content.

I was reading a very interesting chapter in my Protein Power book about current research into the effects of good and bad eicosanoids (which our bodies manufacture). Good ones act as vasodilators & immune enhancers, they decrease inflammation and pain, increase oxygen flow and endurance, dilate airways, and decrease cellular proliferation(yes, cancer). Bad eicosanoids accomplish the opposite(note---they increase pain and inflammation). My book says that excess insulin from a high carbohydrate diet (and too much arachidonic acid if I am sensitive to egg yolks and red meat)cause the body to produce too many bad eicosanoids. Proteins help promote good eicosanoids. This is not some crackpot theory---the 1982 Nobel Prize was awarded for research in eicosinoids.

If you are sensitive to the AA, you can increase your egg whites and cut down your egg yolks in omelets and such and for the red meat, you can eat other meats or even just buying very lean cuts and trimming off all excess fat(the AA is mostly in the fat). Another thing they said you can do is take fish oil(omega 3 fatty acid) as it helps offset the AA.

This is really too complicated to go into here but it may be of interest because it may give us a clue into why so many of us have had a lot of pain relief on this low-carb diet. Not only pain relief, but the mosquitos don't bite me(no sugar--my blood must not taste very good anymore)and for the first time in 20 years I have had NO HAY FEVER this summer(and I just mowed and baled our 40 acres of hay by myself!!!)

In case you are interested. My book is called Protein Power by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, M.D. It is a diet VERY similar to Atkins and is actually the one I am doing. It advocates a slightly higher 30g carb level(including a bit of low-carb fruits) and suggests an amount of protein needed to maintain your calculated lean body mass(you can eat more if you are still hungry). I kind of do a combination of the two diets---less carbs, a bit more protein but I do eat a few berries on occassion. It is a VERY informative book. The chapter I discuss above is Chapter 12---The Microhormone Messengers.