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The Inflammation-Free Diet Plan

Book Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Updated July 15, 2014

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Inflammation causes pain, increases cardiovascular disease risk, and may have a part in speeding up the aging process. Monica Reinagel's book "The Inflammation-Free Diet Plan" explains how the foods you eat can improve your health risks, help you to feel better and make it a little easier to lose weight.

I enjoyed reading this book. The worksheets and tables are easy to use, and her recipes and meal ideas are excellent.

Inflammation Is a Silent Enemy

The first section of the book explains how inflammation increases your risk for chronic diseases. Ms. Reinagel clearly explains how inflammation makes you sick. The problem is knowing which foods trigger inflammation and which foods reduce inflammation.

From her book:

If you want to know how many calories are in a given food, or how much saturated fat or how many grams of carbohydrates it contains, you can find these basic nutritional statistics on the nutrition facts label or look them up in any of the calorie, fat, and carbohydrate counters that are sold in the checkout aisle of your local grocery store. But if you want to know whether a particular food has inflammatory or anti-inflammatory effects in the body, you won't find this information on the label or in a standard nutrition counter.

The Foods You Eat and Inflammation

Ms. Reinagel has researched how foods affect inflammation in your body. She devised a rating system that tells you exactly how much of an impact different foods have on inflammation.

From her book:
Now, for the first time, there is simple way to determine whether the foods you eat are contributing to chronic inflammation. The IF Rating is a single number that represents the total inflammatory or anti-inflammatory potential of a food. A positive number indicates anti-inflammatory tendencies, while a negative number signifies that the food has an inflammatory effect. The higher the number, the more significant the effect.

Reducing Inflammation in Your Body - Using the IF Tables and Tools

A large part of the book is dedicated to tables expressing the IF factor for the different foods. Keep a healthy balance of high IF to negative IF numbers.

From her book:
The IF Rating integrates more than 20 different pro- and anti-inflammatory factors. The amounts of individual nutrients are considered, as well as the ratios between various nutrients. The formula also incorporates the glycemic index, which describes the impact a food has on blood sugar--whether it causes blood sugar to rise sharply or slowly. Different foods affect blood sugar very differently, even when they contain the same amount of sugar or starch.

The effect that each nutrient or factor has on a food's IF Rating depends on three things: 1) how much of that factor is present in the food, 2) the amount of that factor that has been shown to have a positive or negative impact on inflammation, and 3) how strong that effect was found to be.

Recipes and Meal Planners.

Ms. Reinagel's training as a chef comes through as she offers recipes and meals that are simply delicious.

From her book:
Asian Broccoli and Ginger Salad

  • Twelve almonds, coarsely chopped
  • One tablespoon canola oil
  • One tablespoon soy sauce
  • Two tablespoons lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • Two teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
  • One teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • One teaspoon ground pepper
  • One-half clove garlic, minced
  • Four cups broccoli florets
  • Three scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Using steamer basket, steam broccoli over boiling water until just tender, five to seven minutes. Run broccoli under cool water to stop cooking and drain.
  2. Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and one-half teaspoon of oil to hot pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are just toasted, three to four minutes. Add two teaspoons of soy sauce and stir until coated. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Whisk together juice, vinegar, ginger, zest, pepper, remaining soy sauce, and garlic in medium bowl. Add remaining oil to liquid in a thin stream, whisking briskly.
  4. Add broccoli and scallions to dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted nuts.

Nutritional information per serving
IF Rating: 266


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