IF Rating

I have been unusually obsessed with the IF (Inflammatory Factor) Rating when it comes to foods. I’ve watched a lot of crap about diet, exercise, health and whatnot. And all I can conclude is no one knows anything for sure. I believe water, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, beans and non-bread whole grains are a good thing. I’m not sure about oils, meat (of any persuasion, regardless of fat content, including fishor) whole wheat breads. I’m mostly negative about diet soda, dairy products and processed meats (like sausage and deli meats). And the only thing I’ve concluded as bad are processed foods. Processed could be white bread, snack products, candy, cookies, etc. Anything that’s mostly carb-based. Mostly convenience foods. Lots of it loaded with chemicals.

But even with these broad categories, I still don’t cover my beliefs completely. So I just try to make good decisions. And to keep me away from being so frustrated I eat a large pizza and six cookies becuase who knows what’s good or bad anymore, I’ve been using a random rating to guide me. It’s called the IF Rating, and it’s allegedly supposed to rate foods and how they impact inflammation in your body.

Some of the stuff seems obvious, most fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory. Bananas cause inflammation. Potaoes did the same. However, sweet potatoes were anti-inflammatory. All of these things don’t seem weird, and I probably searched out those foods specifically because of the back and forth we get on them. Apples, caused mild inflammation, so do beans of all things! But peppers don’t. Peppers, in fact, are on the very good list! Broccoli is also a good one. Oranges are slightly anti-inflammatory. I could go on and on. The point isn’t to cut certain foods out. The point is to balance everything out so you have a net positive (anti-inflammatory) day. If you’re going to have bread (inflammatory) have it with a salad. Lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, avocados and tomatoes are all anti-inflammatory. As are vinegar (slightly) and olive oil (very much so).

Each food is assigned an IF Rating. Inflammatory foods are negative, anti-inflammatory are positive. Your goal is to get to +50 every day. I made spicy pumpkin soup that had a +340 rating for one serving. But I eat that with a piece of bread or some crackers, and that’s quickly canceled. out. For example, if I have an ounce of saltines it’s -104. One slice of french bread is -134. ONE SLICE. Who eats just one piece of bread? A tablespoon of butter is -44. And if you want cheese? Forget about it! I’m not saying you can’t have any of these foods, but it wasn’t unusual for me to make a healthy soup, have a slice or two of bread (-200), maybe with a little butter (-20) and toss some cheese in the soup (-25).

And if the soup happened to be a recipe I DIDN’T make with the IF Rating in mind, such as chili, then the recipe itself starts out negative. And I add chips (-75) and cheese (-50), and suddenly it’s hard to recover from that meal. Does that mean I should stop eating chili? No. But I should stop thinking I need cheese in everything, and that I need a carb with every single meal! Instead, I should combat this by having a fruit or vegetable with the chili. Maybe adding anti-inflammatory garnishes like avocado. I probably won’t end up eating any less calories, but if my body’s not constantly fighting the inflammation, then maybe it can be doing other things better.

Specifically, I keep reading/hearing/watching that inflammation is the reason plaque builds up in your arteries. The blood cells are trying to fix damage caused by inflammation, and the eventual result is the buildup, and heart attacks. Yikes.

The other interesting thing is the different types of LDL. I’m trying to research both of these topics more! In the meantime, I seem to have at least one horrible “off the charts” decision per day, but for the most part am making some healthier choices. We’ll see if this equates to weight loss, feeling better, more energy, etc. And if you want to play around with the IF Rating, here’s a link. Exepct more to come on this journey!

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