In 2006, the Chief Nutritionist for NutritionData.com (now SelfNutritionData.com), Monica Reinagel, published The Inflammation Free Diet Plan. It included her IF Rating system which was designed to help identify the inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory effects, of various foods. The IF Rating system has since been expanded to 80 pages and is now available for $5 as a download on her site, Inflammation Factor.com. The system is based on a proprietary algorithm that identifies twenty different factors that potentially influence whether a food is inflammatory. Some of the factors identified as components of the rating system include: amount of fat, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the glycemic index, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
A small study at the University of Sao Paulo in 2010 found that the IF Rating system accurately predicted inflammatory responses in human test subjects. Currently, there is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study using the IF Rating system in a multi-center clinical research project to “improve inflammatory markers in an at-risk population.”
Monica Reinagel has a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition, is a Licensed Nutritionist, and a Board Certified Nutrition-Specialist. Her NutritionDiva podcast has over 18 million downloads and she is a regular contributor on NPR. Ms. Reingel’s blog appears in Scientific American and The Huffington Post.
MY PERSONAL USE OF THE IF RATING SYSTEM
After having been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease causing an inflammatory response in the connective tissue throughout the body, I committed to do everything within my control to limit foods whose properties could have an adverse affect on my health. I purchased Ms. Reinagel’s book in 2009 so I could have access to the IF Rating system and develop my own diet. Over the last 7 years I have sought to eat foods with high anti-inflammatory properties (onions, kale and chard, sardines and salmon are great) and avoid foods that cause inflammation (sugar and wheat). My diet, and The Queen Anne Diet’s foods, have helped me keep my inflammatory markers within normal range and my pain to a minimum.
WHAT THE MAYO CLINIC SAYS ABOUT INFLAMMATION AND ANTI-INFLAMATORY PROPERTIES IN FOOD
“Inflammation is the new medical buzzword,” according to Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic Editorial Board. The Clinic’s July, 2016 newsletter addressed the role that inflammation appears to play in many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular health, auto-immune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and Crohn’s disease. And now, “of enormous interest to researchers is the part inflammation plays in cancer.”
Dr. Bauer goes on to state that, although there is “less evidence that [anti-inflammatory] diets work directly to thwart inflammation, most of the recommended foods are typical of the Mediterranean style of eating and, in principle, are good choices.”