In the weight loss world, there is an endless cycle of diets that are touted to help you reach your goals. In the medical world, it seems there are diets to reach other goals. The specific carbohydrate diet is supposed to help gastrointestinal issues. The DASH diet helps to control hypertension. The newest diet I heard about is the Anti-inflammatory diet. This diet is supposed to decrease our lifetime risk fo obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Let me tell you about it. It’s a combination of the Asian and the Mediterranean diets and thought to be the healthiest way of eating. It’s been studied for 30 years. Sounds good. It encourages fresh fruits and avoiding processed foods, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup. Recommends food with plant proteins and high fiber like beans and legumes. This is supposed to decrease the risk of diabetes. Has fruits and vegetables with important antioxidants which promote anti-inflammation (think heart disease). Spices like ginger, garlic, black pepper, turmeric help maintain a healthy micobiome. Increased magnesium improves cognition (clear thinking).
But, really, is it worth figuring this all out for kids?
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce allergies and asthma. It’s even been studied in ADHD. What? I thought sugar caused…. Children with ADHD are likely to consume more fast food and processed food but no one is sure if that worsens the ADHD or if the ADHD creates a craving (chicken or egg first?) To summarize… I’ve looked at these diets and they have a lot of similarities. I think they’re on to something! But I wouldn’t worry about analyzing it too much yet. Just keep it simple. Encourage your child to eat fish, fruit and veggies. (I’m talking 4-6 servings of vegetables per day) Eat more nuts and avocados (hello guacamole!) For more details:
Information derived from Medscape April 2018. “The Anti-inflammatory Diet’s surprising benefits in Children.”
Susan Badaracco, pediatrician and author of “The Oath” series.