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Foods for Pain and Inflammation

December 1, 2009 by  

Foods for Pain and Inflammation

Pain comes in many forms and from many sources. There are sprains, strains, tears, breaks, fractures, pulls, spasms… you name it. And the sources range from imbalanced activities in daily living, stress, poor posture, muscle imbalances, physical trauma, falls, allergies, mental anguish and… FOOD! One of the secrets to pain-free living is found in a diet based in prevention and reduction of self-induced pain.

Before we delve into the food aspect of pain, let’s first understand the mechanism of inflammation.

The Inflammation Story
Pain is generally felt as a reaction to swelling or inflammation in the body. This efferent signal is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong and in need of change. Inflammation, then, is both a sign and a symptom of pain.

The term "inflammation” generally evokes thoughts of painful joints and muscles, swelling and loss of mobility. While these are the obvious markers of inflammation, research also shows that chronic inflammation, if left untreated, can actually lead to serious diseases including diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and Alzheimer’s!

The amount of inflammation in your body varies and depends on a number of factorsincluding your activity level, the amount of sleep you get, the degree of stress in your life, and yes… even the food you eat. What you have to realize is that these factors are cumulative; they build up over time. And the more that any or all of these factors become out of control your risk for disease increases.

If you have pain due to inflammation, you may choose to take the traditional medical path, which includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids and even go so far as to have joint-replacement surgery. But none of these “big guns” may be necessary. You should especially avoid long-term use of prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers. These have been proven to cause liver dysfunction, kidney failure, stomach bleeding and ulcers… all causes of additional inflammation.

Sure, inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process. It brings fluid, nutrients, blood, oxygen and healing biochemicals to the injured area. However, if left to linger, inflammation poses greater threat to your health, arrests the healing process and can turn your pain from acute to chronic.

Foods That Cause Inflammation
Food is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to controlling inflammation. There are dozens of foods that create inflammation in our bodies, and there are dozens of foods that reduce and/or prevent inflammation in our bodies. Consuming the right mix of these throughout the day, weeks and months is essential toward living pain free. And in times of injury or pain suffering, the foods you consume may be what keep the inflammation active well past its usefulness, and send your pain into chronic territory. This is unacceptable.

The typical American diet consists of too much fat, tons of sugar, loads of red meat and a frightening amount of processed foods. Each and every one of these items is shown to increase inflammation and contribute to obesity, which is simply massive inflammation of adipose tissue. By switching to an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of healthy whole foods you can actually decrease inflammation and ease the pain and discomfort associated with it.

Before we dive into the good food list, let’s take a look at the bad food list. Each of these nine categories of bad foods should be avoided if you suffer pain or have inflammation.

Animal Milk Products: Milk, cream, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt.

Hydrogenated Oils: Non-dairy creamer, crackers, cookies, chips, snack bars.

Nitrates: Hot dogs, cold cuts, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, liverwurst.

Processed Sugars: Candy, soda, bread, bottled fruit juice, cookies, snack bars.

Night Shade Vegetables: Potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant.

Fast Foods: French fries, onion rings, loaded baked potatoes, fatty burgers, Mexican food, pizza, calzones, strambolis.

Caffeine: Coffee, black tea, soda, chocolate.

Saturated Fats: Marbleized beef, chuck ground beef, deep fried foods, chicken skin.

Processed White Foods: Flour, bread, pasta, sugar, artificial sweeteners.

Surprised? As you can see, most of the items on this list are actually the staple American diet! Is it any wonder Americans are among the most obese and pain suffering peoples in the world? If you look closely at this list and pay attention, you will notice these ingredients are found in just about every snack, frozen dinner, bread and even so-called ‘healthy’ foods. Whatever you do, don’t believe the marketing. Read the labels instead!

Do yourself an easy, no-cost favor: Stop eating foods from the above list if you are in pain!

Merely eliminating these items from your diet will help stop the inflammation cycle when its natural course has been run. By eating these foods you are increasing the longevity of the inflammation, and thus self-inducing your own chronic pain.

Foods That Reduce Inflammation
Now that you know which foods actually cause inflammation or make it worse, let’s look at those foods that can help reduce and even prevent inflammation.

To begin, it is essential to any healthful dietespecially a pain free dietthat you consume as much fresh, organic, whole foods as possible. Eating foods in or as close to their original state is one of the keys to being healthy, preventing self-induced diet-based inflammation and reducing the inflammation you are experiencing as a result of an external problem (posture, physical stress, trauma).

Here is a list of the best foods known to prevent and help reduce inflammation, and thus reduce pain. These should be eaten throughout the day as part of balanced wholesome meals.

Inflammation-Reducing Foods: Wild Atlantic salmon, fresh whole fruits, bright-colored vegetables (except night shades), green or white tea, purified or distilled water, olive oil, lean poultry (skinless), lean beef (filets), nuts, legumes and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, organic oatmeal (regular, not instant), aromatic spices (turmeric, ginger, cloves, garlic, onion, coriander, ground mustard seed, cayenne pepper).

As you can see, a diet high in fiber and whole foods, low in preservatives and fat and infused with blood-invigorating aromatic spices is the key to diet-based pain relief. But specifically, the above-mentioned foods actually work to reduce pain and inflammation.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley

is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. The Wiley Method provides a revolutionary way of providing recovery and prevention of chronic pain, illness and disease. Grab your FREE COPY of Dr. Mark Wiley's "The 3 Secrets to Optimal Health" HERE.

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  • pete

    Thanks for that – no wonder I have lived so long – it seems I crave all the good ones!

    But I do like bread – sorry!

    • Joe H.

      Eat whole grain bread if you gotta’ eat bread!!!

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Pete, like Joe said: Bread is good as long as it is whole grain. Though whole wheat per se is not so good… causes inflammation. You’re doing great!

      • Barry Bailey,

        On the advice of my new doctor, I recently went on a gluten-free diet.(Wheat is in almost all processed foods) Eliminating the whole wheat bread I had been eating (thinking it was good for me) was the first thing to go. Within two weeks my unexplained back pain was gone. Next dairy went from my diet. Less pain, less sinus congestion. I could go on and on, but what Dr. Wiley states is absolutely true.
        As a Massage Therapist I was well aware of most of the imflamation-inducing foods and the anti-inflammation foods/spices, but my doctor took this all a big step further for me. Now I reall walk my talk!
        Barry Bailey, Massage Therapist
        Maynard, MA


    I have found that eating less and adding a regular helping of fruits, juices and nuts seem to have a good effect on muscle and joint function. Like every thing else moderation is the key.

    • Joe H.

      Yes moderation is very important especially at first with nuts. if you have an undetected Diverticulitis they can deposit and cause you no end of pain and could end up causing you to have surgery!!!

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Eating less food per meal is a good idea for several reasons: 1) it stabalizes blood sugar all day and 2) prevents “food stagnation” in the stomach and intestines, which improves digestion and circulation and reduces pain (or prevents certain pain). Glad you discovered this!

  • s c

    This topic must make MDs very nervous. Billions of dollars are spent in the treatment of pain, inflammation and disease. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to discover a fruit or vegetable that gave instant pain relief?
    In this world, it may sound like wishful thinking. At the same time, it needs to be said that if such a fruit or vegetable does exist, it will be
    suppressed and made illegal, and people will continue to suffer at the hands of those who see themselves as superior beings who are ‘illuminated’ and are ‘worthy’ of complete control.

    • Joe H.

      s c,
      As long as it doesn’t interfere with ones ability to drive fly or take care of their family!!!

  • Joe H.

    It’s funny my favorite foods are in the ………………good foods list. I am diabetic so I can’t eat refined sugar, I have always loved salads, I fish and love ALL kinds of it, including salmon. I eat very little beef, or red meat, my favorite chicken is boneless, skinless thighs(my one vice), I eat whole grain breads even though I pay an arm and a leg for it. I do drink two cups of coffee a day with sweetener only, I don’t partake of milk in any form as it has a tendency to raise my sugars. I keep my levels down to between 96 and 106 daily, my H1C is 5.7 so tell me Doc how am I eating wrong?

    • s c

      JoeH, I’m very curious. Do you eat complex carbs and stay away from artificial sweeteners and ‘regular’ sugar as much as possible?
      An uncle and an aunt of mine are both diabetic, and their MDs tell them to go ahead and drink pop. That makes me furious, as it has done NOTHING for their health. They are convinced that conventional medicine is their only hope, yet they don’t get better.
      My research says that the AMA and the FDA have much to answer for by dishing out misinformation and therapies that have limited potential to make life better for diabetics. To me, a patient who can’t get better has no reason to have hope.
      I wish you the best. It sounds as though you take an active role in your health. Please don’t hesitate to share what you’ve found from your experience.

      • Joe H.

        s c,
        I use only splenda sweeteners. Used to use equal but read an article that said some are allergic to it. I do drink a caffeine free diet coke about every day and consume a lot of filtered(osmosis) water. that help?

        • Richard Pawley

          Joe, I would not touch any artificial sweetener. If you absolutely had to the oldest one is saccharin and it seems to do the least harm. However there is a plant that you can grow yourself called STEVIA that is 600 times sweeter than sugar and it has been used for more than a thousand years in South America and for almost a hundred years in Japan. Some people don’t care for the slight aftertaste and it does vary from company to company. There was an excellent NY Times best seller called “SWEET DECEPTION” by Dr. Joseph Mercola who has the largest free health and nutrition web site on the planet (1.5 million readers worldwide)that goes into much greater detail. You would do well to learn about the world of herbal teas.

          • Joe H.

            The report you speak of was about phenylalanine. some people are very allergic to it and some are very problematic using it. Splenda doesn’t contain it. I can not abide the taste of sevia never could.

          • Fed Up Gal in NM

            Richard P and Joe H,

            I’ve tried Splenda, Stevia, and Xylitol. IMO, Xyloitol has the best taste (with little if any after taste), but I believe it is toxic to pets…so I don’t keep it in the house, since my dogs would scarf it up the moment a fleck hit the floor or mid-air.

            I’ve heard that Stevia and Xylitol are both better health choices than Splenda….don’t recall the exact reason. Stevia is definitely an acquired taste and still I only used it in coffee or tea. I will use Splenda occasionally, but only if it’s the best option available to me at the time. I will use regular (but a reduced amount) of refined white sugar before I’ll use Sweet and Low or other aspertame type sweetners. I’ve gotten so many fewer migraines since I stopped using those and stopped drinking “diet” sodas…in fact, I only drink a regular (non-carmel colored soda) and very infrequently…generally drink water and ice tea now….but still with my bad 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning….oh well…maybe with time, I’ll break that one.

            Good luck with the sweetner challenge, and please posts any helpful ideas you might run across. Thanks.

            Fed Up Gal

          • Fed Up Gal in NM

            Richard P,

            And……..I had no idea we can grow the Stevia plant ourselves. Most Stevia products I’ve purchased say they are grown in some tropical rain forest somewhere…lol. I’m in the Southwest region, so haven’t seen any rain forests around here lately.

            Are there Stevia plant seeds that can be purchased (and where)…or can we purchase at a plant nursery? Since it seems to be in the “root” plant family, can a piece be placed in water to form it’s own root beginnings…then planted in a pot (indoors)…or must it be planted in the ground?

            Just wondering. Thanks for your info.

            Fed Up Gal

          • Joe H.

            Fed up Gal,
            You can go to any garden center in the spring when you buy your garden plants and buy Stevia plants You dry them at the end of the year. They aren’t as white, but then they aren’t as processed either!!

          • Fed Up Gal in NM

            Thanks JoeH,

            I’ll have to check that out. Thanks again!

            Fed Up Gal

        • s c

          JoeH, I strongly suggest that you get some quality enzymes to your regimen. A qualified nutritionist can help with that information (brands, which enzymes, etc.). Most MDs haven’t made the connection between good health and enzymes, so don’t be surprised if they’re not helpful if you mention the idea.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Joe, sounds like you are doing well with your food. Stay away from Splenda, as it was shown to cause Metabolic Syndrome and has been banned in many countries of the European Union. This syndrome can cause pain and inflammation. Stevlia/Truvia seem to be the “best” sweeteners on the market (as far as we know). Also, eating the good foods is half the equation; avoiding the bad foods is the other half… Then there is the stress piece, movement piece, mind/body piece… pain has many triggers. Sounds like you are sailing in the right direction!

      • Joe H.

        can’t stand the taste of those sweeteners. The aftertaste stays after even after I brush and rinse. I haven’t noticed any increase in my pain since I started using the splenda so I guess it isn’t doing too much harm.

  • Joseph

    Who do you believe? Just read an article from another “Doctor” that debunks everything you just said

    • s c

      Joseph, the solution is to take an active role in your own health, and NEVER let yourslf rely on any single MD or health care source. READ every day. Compare what you read. TEST your information sources. Find that which helps/works, and avoid everything else.
      No one is exempt from making decisions about health care. I can’t imagine anything worse than letting myself depend on any single information source. Disinformation is rampant in America, and the love of easy money is at the heart of it.
      Protect your health. In this life, no ‘expert’ is going to seek you out or ‘volunteer’ to help you – and that includes our ‘compassionate, loving and concerned’ government.

      • Joe H.

        s c,
        If you look at what I have written I take a very active role in my health. I have been screwed over too many times not to. I am 58 don’t smoke, don’t drink, and get as much activity as I can. I eat right and the best thing I do is not over indulge. My father lived to just shy of 90, my mother, God bless her, is 97 and gets around better than I do. The problem today is there are so many forms of pollutants in the water, the air, the dirt, places you wouldn’t even think to look. Do you rinse or wash all your fresh produce? Even the organics have poisons on the outside! you have to WASH! I’m diabetic from exposure to defoliants in Viet Nam. Did you know the railroads have been using them along their beds to keep the weeds down for decades? The weeds grow up, a wheel sparks and poof you have a fire. Remember how as a kid they used to have fire along the RR beds all the time? notice it very seldom happens now? As I said I am diabetic and I have clear arteries and that’s very SELDOM heard of with diabetics. I do mtake a very active role in my health!!!

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Joseph, I don’t believe anyone but myself. My background and experience have given me tools to work with, ways of understanding arguments and sifting through conflicting data. When enough material and studies point in certain directions and I can support it personally, then I tend to think in that direction. When new information is presented, I am elated and see how it conflicts with or supports my beliefs. As new information is made available I may change my ideas on certain things. However, as I operate from a philosophical and conceptual framework, as opposed to a “this thing for that problem” equation… my views do not change so frequently. But I am always reading and studying to disprove my own assumptions and to gain new insights…. as everyone should :)

  • bub

    If I had to eat Dr. Wiley’s diet exclusively I’d opt for a shorter life. If he’s right, it’s amazing we havent died out as a race. Rising sea level is going to kill me anyway so bring on the hot dogs.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Thankfully, Bub, my list of foods is not “a diet.” They are suggestions of foods to avoid that have shown to cause or support inflammation and pain and foods to eat more of that have shown to prevent or reduce pain and inflammation. Food is one in a number of areas that needs to be considered by those suffering chronic pain and inflammation. All other foods not on the list are just fine. Plenty to “live” on.

  • Don Rowberry N.Z.

    Generally, the more I know or learn about foods, the more I know that I don’t know. What is one’s food is another’s poison. One really does have to figure it out by trial and error what is best for oneself.

    E.G. If eating oranges regularly gives you painful wrists or joints, don’t eat them. It was once my problem. Some tomatoes are acidic and some are non acidic. They are reputed to be better for you cooked to bring out the beneficial lycopene. The non-acid ones suit me better. Too much too often of cayenne pepper upsets me. Yet, mixed with hawthorne, it’s beneficial for artery health. The ancient Greeks knew that. We all have differing chemistry. Some blood types don’t like certain foods. If you like a lot of starchy breads and potatoes etc, make sure you counter-balance with regular laxative fruits and vegetables otherwise intestinal problems will occur – diverticulitis or cancer. Vary your food choices. Try another culture’s foods.
    Eat more bitter things like bitter melons, apple pips and apricot kernals rather than discarding them. It’s the cyanic acid, yes cyanide and benzaldihyde, that’s good for you in preventing certain cancers. If you crunched through a cup of apple pips at one serving it would probaly kill you. The correct minute doses of arsenic professionally administered have been know to stop leukemia. Keep your body alkaline rather than acid. Some foods and waters are alkaline and some acid. Cancer is always found in an acid environment. Too much phosphorus (acid/acid burns) is bad for you yet we need some for healthy bones.
    BALANCE, BALANCE and BALANCE. Too much superphosphate (phosphorus) goes on to our land usually recommended by a government agriculture dept. WHY?

    Try three tablespoons of cooked/tinned, pulped asparagus three times a day to stop certain cancers.

    Add one teaspoon of turmeric and cook with your rolled oats/porridge.
    It is a natural antibiotic amongst other things.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Thank you for insights, Don!

  • Sharon

    My doctor just recommended an anti-inflammatory diet very much like the one mentioned above for my severe cystic acne and also for stress relief. I have elevated DHEA levels. I was surprised to see the peppers and tomatoes on the bad list. My big downfall is cheese. I can’t live a happy life without my cheese!

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      I am preparing a future article now that will address this issue, Sharon. There are sacrifices to make for health and pain relief. I am opposed to “diets” but instead look to food “as medicine.” You don’t like the taste of cough syrup but may take it anyway when sick. You may love cheese, but must avoid it when necessary. Small compromise for large gains. It’s difficult, I know. Best of luck!!

  • Joe H.

    Don R.
    Read a little deeper. I do a lot of canning and the yellow tomatoes are not any less acidic, they have a higher sugar content. That’s why they taste a little sweeter!

  • Mike

    I’m finishing up some Oreo cookies and a big, cold glass of whole milk. I’m then going out to smoke my tenth cigarette of the day. I’m 87 and take no prescription drugs. It is all genetics folks. Ya got good ones or ya don’t.

    • Joe H.

      May ya’ live another 20 at least!!! No in my case my back was caused by too much lifting, my diabetes by exposure to defoliants and I truly think it caused my arthritis also. Wasn’t anything to do with genes!!!

    • s c

      Mike, I envy you in some respects. You’re living proof that we’re not all alike. Some can smoke like a chimney, drink all night long and eat whatever they want. Some have genes that almost guarantee a long life. Some will tell you they can gain
      weight by looking at food.
      Enjoy your cigarettes. I’d rather have a good cigar, but that’s a matter of preference. I’d love to eat citrus every day, but I can’t let myself live in those places where it’s abundant (California, etc.).
      I hope I’m wrong, but I get the distinct feeling that senior citizens will not fare well with this administration. Here’s to your health, Mike! And a pox on ANY politician who ‘hopes’
      to ‘change’ your life in the name of health care reform.

  • Keith H

    In my experience,the healthier I eat, the better I feel,the more energy I have. My favorite fruit that reduces inflammation is pineapple. The diet that has the highest life expectancy I believe is the mediterranean and vegetarian diet, not the american diet.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      The common American diet is horrific.

  • Joe H.

    Watch the peppers!!! Also don’t eat liver and tongue!!! they add to your uric acid levels and believe me you don’t want that!!!

  • Laurie S

    I have a food allergy to whole milk, ice cream, chocolate — it causes mucus/sinus congestion in just a matter of minutes. It took me a few years to figure this out on my own with testing. I also figured out that if I indulge in too much sugar, my RA is affected. I recently started taking Turmeric, along with organic flaxseed/primrose oils, D3, DHEA, Biotin and a few others, in hopes of fixing years of damage to my system, and it appears to be working! I am also on Methotrexate but hope that I can change my diet in conjunction with the Methotrexate and get my RA back into remissions. Stress level is very, very hard on my pain level. I absolutely must have 8 hours of good sleep each night.

    What I am most disappointed with on the “no no” list of foods, is the yogurt. I use this to take my flaxseed/primrose oil each morning because the capsuls are so huge and to take it straight is just to nasty for me to get used to. It was suggested to mix it in my yogurt, and it works great. So, I may continue with my java and yogurt in moderation and counter balance it with the green tea (which I love!) and other items on the “good” list. Believe me, as one that has endured such high levels of pain that I was depressed, and I am now energized, full of clarity, far better memory, and seeing a brighter future. I truly believe YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. I want to be REAL, not processed and plastic.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      You’re doing great, Laurie! I understand yogurt is a good place to mix your flax… but like milk and cheese it is mucus forming and creates sludge in the body that reduces blood motility, digestion and elimination… and thus contributes to the inflammation and pain puzzle. Best of luck!

  • Merl Elton

    How cruel of Dr. Riley who would deny us every tasty treat; cruel to be kind? Who is gonna abide by this spartan regimen to the letter. I say suffer some aches and pains for that rich, flavor laden pizza or chocolate moose.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      I am a big foodie, Merl, and love all the bad foods, too! But here’s the deal: If you are experiencing acute or chronic pain or inflammation, then you must STOP the bad foods and START the good foods. When there is reduction in pain and inflammation, then you can again enjoy some of the bad foods… until you reach a limit per day or per meal where the inflammation or pain comes back. Then reduce again. This is NOT a diet, but guidelines of how food can affect a condition for better or worse.


    I have always struggled with eating the right foods, but I did not realize just how important it is to being pain free! I have had chronic pain for about six years. I am always hurting and do not sleep well. Then I tried an all fresh vegtable juice fast. After five days I felt better had more energy and joy than I have had in years! Then not knowing how to sustain an all vegtable juice diet forever I went back to my old eating habits. Of course all the pain etc came back too! Now I am embarking on a no sugar no flour diet which I have noticed seems to help tremendously with my constant anxiety. However, I have been faithful to this plan for 19 days and I still have chronic pain. I am still eating plain yogurt and cottage cheese but I thought these were good for you? I admit I am confused!

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Food is one piece of the pain/inflammation story. Correcting diet will remove one pain trigger (food) and increase pain decrease (with food). However, sleep deprivation is one of the biggest causes of pain and contributors to inflammation. As is anxiety. Everyone needs to individually come to understand that pain is a symptom that can be caused by one or several combinations of things. Correcting just one will never be enough. An integrated approach is the answer. While your diet is low in bad foods and high in good foods, please do your best to sleep well and reduce anxiety (which is also reduced with sleep)… more relief will come.

      P.S. Yogurt and cottage cheese are “good” in western diet/nutrition terms. However, they are “bad” in what they do once in your body from a pain/inflammation/toxin perspective. That is why a diet based on carbs or protein or calories is useless in and of itself… they are concerned with weight loss and not creating a healthy interior environment per se. And even skinny people have mucoid plaque and heart disease!

  • libertytrain

    Dr. Wiley – thanks – that was a very helpful, and for me useful, comment – explains a lot!

  • http://BobLivingstonAlternativeMedicine Michelle

    Dr. Wiley,
    I recently read an article explaining that goat milk and goat milk products do not have the negative effects of cow milk. Specifically, goat milk is said to contain large amounts of K2.
    Do you agree?

    Also, many alternative doctors are against grain consumption. Do you agree with that?

    And another question: I also read recently that raw milk (not pasterized) is very different than the milk, even organic milk available to us?
    Do you have any comments on that?

    BTW, yogurt has been considered a health staple for thousands of years. What happened?

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Hi Michelle… great questions. While goat’s milk actually contains more fat than cow’s milk, the fat globules do not cluster together and thus it is easier to breakdown and digest. Even so, if you have a milk allergy or are prone to infections, I would avoid. Try almond or rice milk instead.

      Many adults over age 30 develp a wheat allergy. So eating a lot of grains, if you develop this allergy, is not advised as they are difficult to digest and may cause intestinal inflammation. And if you suffer migraines and allergies, then it is best to avoid the gluten. That said, if these are not problems for you, then whole grain consumption is ideal for nutrients and feeding the brain. As with anything food related, there are rules and there are rules for those whith allergies to them. Nothing is “one size fits all.”

      Back when my grandmother was baking and cooking with pounds of butter and gallons of raw milk, there seemed to be little talk of heart disease and cholesterol. Nowadays, the talk is everywhere. Some researches link the increased incidence of heart disease to the process of homoginization and pasturization that the USDA passed as essential to sell milk in this country.

      I have had many discussions with colleagues in India who consume yogurt, milk, cream in their daily food and beverages… and there seems to be little negative effects (or at least noi testing for them). Their milk, however, is raw. That said, in China there is no dairy in the diet (until recently), and milk products are considered the great bane of health.

      This is a tough debate, because what exactly causes the mucus is hard to pindown. Fat content? Then why not drink skim milk? Digestability? Then drink goat’s milk. Chemicals and processing? Then drink raw milk if you can find it… or lack of enzymes to break it down? Then turn into a baby cow! :)

      Ok, so I will write a milk article in the coming weeks and see how best to explain. As part of an article specifically on inflammation and pain, like this one, getting into the details of each item on the list would take a dissertation. The goal with pain, is to look at “food as medicie” and not try to find ways to “cheat” or “explain away” reasons to consume items on the bad list. If you are in pain or have inflammation, avoid dairy products. Period. Until after the symptom is gone. As for the details, a more detailed article is on its way :)

  • Jeff

    try Just Like Sugar as the best for sugar use – made of orange peel, chicory root, Vit C & Calcium plus 7 gms of fiber

    • Fed Up Gal in NM


      I have not heard of this one (Just Like Sugar). Where can one purchase it? Thanks.

      Fed Up Gal

  • Merl Elton

    I think the key is to balance everything; not to eliminate all acid foods. The stomach needs acid to digest and to kill germs and bacteria; yet not so much that the good enzymes and probiotics are also killed. So, then I think acid foods must be balanced with alkaline foods: the rule is for every acid food, two alkaline foods must be added. Meats, dairy, fish must be kept as compliments not as main dishes. Veggies must dominate. Candy and sweets should be mostly avoided; however if taken an alkaline solution should be taken plus lots of alkaline foods to counteract the acid. It is impossible to avoid all acid foods. The sad truth is that acid foods are usually the best tasting. Everything bad tastes the best like big, juicy BK Whopper Burgers with onion rings; yum.

  • Glen Wood

    Perhaps you should look at some of the work done in Germany and see that mixing the flaxseed oil with yogurt creates an entirely different food product with no dairy reaction. In fact you will discover that this was and is being used to help the body protect its’ self from disease.

  • Carol Jackson

    Cayenne Pepper????? That really gives me a pain as well as blisters in my mouth. You’ve got to be kidding.

  • weight loss

    Bill, you are absolutely correct, it shows that you’re an authority on the subject. I admire someone that takes the pride you have and with your projecton of information. oSo when i actually do sit down to read material, I appreciate well written and organized blogs like this one. I have it bookmarked and will be back. Thanks.

  • http://yahoo Kostya Vasilovich

    Congratulations, man. You have narrowed down the list of dangerous foods to exactly…. the entire food market. Your information is real helpful…if I were a damn vegan. You resemble the detective that has narrowed down the list of murder suspects to an entire football stadium. Mazel tov, Clouseau. Thanks to your info, I know that I’ll be perfectly safe if I spend the rest of my life chewing on a carrot and saying “What’s up, Doc?”.

  • David Hamilton

    This article, and your suggestions in a variety of others you’ve written, really support the way I eat today. I’m curious, Doc, if you’ve looked at the diet (not temporary but lifelong) recommendations of a woman named Kay Sheppard. She has been studying food and eating disorders for decades and designed a food plan to eliminate all foods that trigger unhealthy eating while offering the eater a complete nutritionally sound diet.

    I am living proof (and so are thousands of others) that the damn thing actually works. She takes it a step further (though perhaps you may agree) that the average American diet creates a food addict, no wonder the country’s belt continues to expand. Not to suggest you promote her program, but I would love to hear your own take on this, if you’ve looked at it. Yes, she is selling a book, but you don’t need the book as her website and yahoo loop group can answer all the questions folks are looking for.

    I am maintaining a weight loss of 70 pounds and no longer. I haven’t had a piece of cake in years, and feel no loss.

    Thank you for the work you do.


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