by Sarah Halfpenny
As we age, it becomes even more important to pay attention to our dietary choices, and research shows that preventing inflammation is one of the most important health factors to keep an eye on if you want to extend your lifespan. Inflammation can contribute to the development of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Making healthy food swaps in your diet can be an effective way to reduce inflammation in the body. Here are five food swaps that can help:
- Swap processed snacks for nuts: Processed snacks like chips and crackers are high in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to inflammation. Nuts, on the other hand, are a healthy and nutritious snack that is rich in healthy fats, fibre, and antioxidants. Eating a handful of nuts as a snack can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
- Swap red meat for fish: While red meat can be a good source of protein and iron, it can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Fish, on the other hand, is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. Salmon, tuna, and sardines are all good choices.
- Swap butter for avocado: Avocado is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fibre, and potassium. It can be used as a spread on toast or as a replacement for butter in baking. This swap can help reduce saturated fat intake while still providing a creamy texture.
- Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt: Sour cream is high in calories and saturated fat, which can contribute to weight gain, inflammation and heart disease. Greek yogurt, on the other hand, is a healthy and protein-rich substitute that can add creaminess to dishes.
- Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes: White potatoes are a starchy vegetable that can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and contribute to inflammation, while sweet potatoes are a low-glycaemic index vegetable that are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Incorporating these ingredient swaps into your diet can be a simple and effective way to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health, well-being and longevity.