Sunday, March 20, 2011

Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid from Today's Dietitian

Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory food pyramid was recently published in Today's Dietitian, and I'm intrigued.  Generally, I find Andrew Weil to be a bit extreme (and his pyramid is no exception), but I like the goals he sets for healthy foods.


  • I find it interesting that pasta is separated out from whole grains and that you are to eat it al dente.  Would the nutritional content be different if you ate soggy pasta? Perhaps he's concerned about his readers consuming uncooked dried noodles.  Top Ramen, anyone?
  • Beans are a fantastic source of fiber, protein and nutrients and I love seeing them as an everyday component of a healthy diet.
  • Bravo to Dr. Weil for acknowledging the importance of healthy fats!
  • Soy contains cancer-fighting phenols, but it also contains phytoestrogens that are still under investigation.  Phytoestrogens may negatively impact women with certain kinds of breast cancer.
  • Fascinating that Asian mushrooms got their very own box.  A cursory search shows that they do indeed contain anti-oxidants! Being an avid mushroom-hater (I make no apologies), I won't be partaking in this portion of the pyramid... particularly the "Unlimited Amounts" he suggests.
  • The "Other Sources of Protein" section seems a bit sparse.  Eggs, cheese and red meat can be pro-inflammatory if you are eating animals raised on concentrated animal feeding operations, but grass-fed beef and chicken have been shown to contain significant quantities of omega-3 fatty acids and necessary vitamins and minerals.  
  • Herbs and spices, tea, red wine and chocolate are absolutely anti-inflammatory, and I'm thrilled to see chocolate at the top of the pyramid.
  • The supplements section seems a bit vague... but apparently we are to take them daily.
Conclusion?  I like the pyramid as a guideline, especially the recommended quantities of vegetables, legumes and fats.  I highly approve of his inclusion of wine and chocolate, which keep the "anti-inflammatory" food pyramid in the realm of a healthy diet instead of an extreme lifestyle choice.  Overall, it seems low in protein--I would include more grass-fed eggs, chicken and lean beef to maintain an active lifestyle and to keep you full and satisfied. All the anti-inflammatory food in the world won't keep you from overeating carbs if you're hungry for protein!

What do you think about the pyramid? How would it fit into your lifestyle--or would it?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Please Donate to Disaster Relief

Photo courtesy of Global Giving

Sometimes the world can seem like a cold, hard place.  Libya is being torn apart by violence and Japan has been devastated by an earthquake and tsunami.  Today seems like a black pit from which we will never emerge.  Are we destined to be tossed from one tragedy to another with no end in sight? 

I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that we can help by providing financial support to organizations competent, willing and able to deal with the destructive aftermath.  Today, like many days, I wish I had the hard skills to be on the ground rescuing the injured and building houses, but in lieu of those skills, I will give what I can to those who possess the requisite expertise.

The World Food Program is collecting donations to support refugees from Libya and Tunisia fleeing the violence of their home countries.

Global Giving is collecting donations to support relief efforts in Japan.

Please take a moment to donate to one of these organizations or another charity of your choosing.  Alone we are weak but together we can save lives.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FoodWise Had Expanded!

Bothell Women's Health
I'm thrilled to announce that FoodWise Nutrition has expanded to Bothell!  Last Tuesday I started seeing patients at Bothell Women's Health with the lovely Lauren Schweizer ARNP and DJ Inouye CMA.  What I like most about this clinic is it's warm atmosphere and team-care approach.  I always try and work with other providers to ensure my patients have the best care possible but it's made so much easier when the other providers are right next door!

If you'd like to make an appointment to see me in Bothell, call DJ at (425) 806-4600.

See you soon!