The Livewell Clinic - June 2019



13375 University Avenue, Suite 100, Clive, IA 50325||515.279.9900

WhenThe Livewell Clinic first began, we beat the drum against dairy- and gluten-filled diets. These were the foods that had been identified as troublesome. But looking back now, if I had to start this practice all over again, I would avoid falling into that trap. Diet Dilemmas WHY CUTTING HIGH-INFLAMMATORY FOODS VARIES BY PERSON Instead, I would shift our focus to the one who we have found to be the most successful atThe Livewell Clinic: the individual. We now avoid saying dairy or gluten is bad for everyone, and instead, we ask, “How does your immune system react to dairy and gluten?” On the whole, gluten and dairy have been shown to cause more inflammation than other foods, and they commonly show up as problem foods for many of our clients atThe Livewell Clinic. If you’re eating anything that is sparking inflammation, you are damaging your tissues and sending your hormones spiraling, which influences every part of your daily life and how you age. But what sparks the inflammation and subsequent degradation of your body varies on a case-by-case basis. You could react poorly to eggs, but that doesn’t make them bad in general. It means eggs are bad for you. We are often asked which diets we promote atThe Livewell Clinic, because it’s hard for people to disseminate the good information from the bad. We often respond by saying that we adhere to an anti-inflammatory diet, which can vary depending on the person. I’m often reminded of one particular client who was adamantly against giving up dairy. Her father was a dairy farmer, and no amount of persuading was going to convince her that she needed to cut out dairy. So, I suggested we approach things differently. I told her I’mnot concerned with the dairy; I’m concerned with how her body responds to it. After she agreed to do some testing, we discovered that she was severely lactose intolerant, and because of this finding, we were able to create a meal plan that fit into her lifestyle Now, hold on. Before you run to the milk section of the closest grocery store, let me finish.

and preferences. When we consider what triggers inflammation, we have to consider what the product we are eating is comprised of. Think of a juicy steak: If that cowwas raised on grain and corn in a feedlot where it never even saw, much less ate, grass, it’s probably going to be filled with toxins that will inflame your body. You are what you eat, but you are also what your food eats. I recommend that if you are considering cutting more inflammation from your diet, consider the proteins and meats you are purchasing. Look for animals that are grass fed and have been raised humanely to avoid harmful additives to your diet. For most people, eliminating those foods that cause inflammation from their diet isn’t that easy. We live busy lives. Between shuttling the kids to and from their activities and managing our own schedules, grabbing something quick and easy becomes a habit. Even I make missteps like this, but no schedule is too packed to not eat right. You can’t rely on taking supplements to ease your inflammation, especially when you are not targeting the root cause. This is why atThe Livewell Clinic, we have health coaching to give our patients guidance and support as they begin this new lifestyle. We set patients up with an affordable grocery list, and we support them as they scale their obstacles. Eliminating high-inflammatory diets is no longer a one-size-fits-all issue. Instead, it’s about transforming each individual person’s relationship with the food they choose as their fuel.

Dr. Zachary Watkins


317-776-9942 515.279.9 00

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