Discover One of the Most Inflammatory Foods on the Planet and How to Swap It Out to Make Fat Loss Possible
Inflammation is a major threat to your health. In this episode, JJ discusses seven reasons inflammation makes fat loss nearly impossible, she reveals the one food you may be eating that can exacerbate your symptoms without you realizing it, and how you can reduce inflammation to feel better again. She also reveals the single most important thing you can do to make fat loss possible again in your body.
00:00:38 – Inflammation is the biggest threat to your health, eliminating it is the key
00:02:00 – Foods like dairy and gluten can be inflammatory
00:02:33 – Seed oils are one of the most inflammatory foods on the planet
00:04:01 – Avoid processed seed and vegetable oils
00:08:13 – 7 ways that inflammation can make fat loss impossible
00:12:20 – Swap out the inflammatory and high-sugar impact foods you’re eating
Mentioned in this episode:
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 515_The “Secret Killer” That Creates Weight Loss Resistance
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Thanks so much for joining me. This is Ask the Health Expert. In each episode, I put the Power of Health in your hands and share ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox, and lots more. So you can look and feel better fast if you'd rather watch the video. Hey, I did put on my makeup and do my hair, so check it out on my YouTube channel.
Inflammation is the biggest threat to your health. Nearly every disease on the planet is connected to inflammation and chronic inflammatory diseases are the most significant cause of death. So if you could easily eliminate one thing in your diet that causes it, you would do that. Wouldn't. So then if that's the case, it would be good to [00:01:00] know what it is.
Hey, it's JJ when Time Magazine called Chronic Inflammation, the Secret Killer on its cover a few years ago that pretty much summed it up. Inflammation is wicked and eliminating it is the key to getting and staying healthy for the longest time. But I'm sure you know inflammation isn't always bad. It's usually just how your immune system takes care of you and helps you heal, right?
Like when you cut your finger and your body seals it up, that's acute inflammation. It's helpful, you need it. It does its thing and then it leaves. But when inflammation is constantly firing in response to real or perceived threats, It becomes chronic inflammation, and that's when things start to go totally sideways.
Now, lots of things can contribute to or exacerbate chronic inflammation, like not getting the right kind of exercise, poor sleep, and being constantly stressed out. But really the biggest thing is your diet [00:02:00] foods like dairy and gluten can be really inflammatory and cause a. some you'll notice right away, and some may take a little bit longer.
Now, if you eat a lot of highly reactive inflammatory foods like yogurt and eggs and soy milk and whole wheat bread, your poor system is just constantly on fire. And if you're eating a lot of high sugar impact foods, they're also usually high in inflammatory fats and oils too, just to compound the problem.
And that leads me to the secret killer that creates weight loss resistance, ready? It's industrial seed oils. Seed oils are one of the most inflammatory foods on the planet, and they're in so many things that you eat probably without even thinking about it, like salad dressings, packaged nuts and nut butters and meats served in restaurants, vegetable oils and damaged seed oils.
Stress yourselves so, so badly they can trigger an inflammatory reaction, and if they're a constant in your. Your [00:03:00] body keeps pounding out this inflammatory response, which puts you at serious risk for chronic disease. Now they're inflammatory because they're loaded with omega sixes as opposed to omega-3s, which are anti-inflammatory.
And the bummer is that seed oils are also used in foods that seem healthy. Like hummus right now. Soybean oil is the biggest source of Omega-6 fatty acids in the United States because it's really cheap and it's found in a ton of processed foods, but they're also made from other plants like corn and safflower seeds.
Now, if you're eating standard American diet, You're getting a ton of processed seed and vegetable oils, so you're probably getting way too many omega-6s relative to omega-3 s. And an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio that's too high can contribute to excess inflammation and raise the risk of disease, including heart disease.
So the single most important thing you can do to reduce your ratio of [00:04:00] omega-3s to omega-6s is to avoid processed seed and vegetable oils, and of course that. Avoid processed foods too and get more omega-3 S in your diet with things like cold water, wild caught fish like salmon and pasture raised, grass-fed and finished meat, and flax seeds and chia seeds and walnuts.
And when you're swapping out that corn and canola and soybean and safflower oils, you can swap in a variety of clean oils. Think extra virgin olive. Avocado oil, grass fed ghee, and coconut oil, and that's gonna really help get that ratio back in balance. Now studies link Omega-3 S to a ton of benefits.
They support neurological function and brain health. They can help stabilize moods and your emotional wellbeing. They help your cardiovascular health. They're great for a robust immune system, and they can help you burn fat and build muscle, and not to mention that they help fight inflammation. So if you're not eating fatty, [00:05:00] wild caught fish or leafy greens or other vegetables, very often think about taking a high quality omega-3 supplement like my Omega Ultras.
Omegas can help with so, so much. And you may know I have some personal experience with the power of Omegas with helping my son recover from a severe traumatic brain injury. So as you can imagine, I am on a mission to get these into regular use. Now you have to be really careful that when you're cooking with oil, you think about the smoke point.
Some oils are just better off on salads than searing your steak. After all the smoke point of an oil is the temperature where it starts smoking. Right. That makes sense. , but there's a huge range. It can be as low as 325 degrees. It could be as high as 520 degrees Fahrenheit. And the reason it matters is that when your oil smokes, it's breaking down and that's when it can release free radicals.
That's when you get those damaged fast. And not to mention that also makes your food taste burnt, so [00:06:00] doesn't taste good either, but doesn't taste good inside your body. Now, unrefined oils like almond oil, flaxseed oil, and extra virgin olive oil, those have low smoke points. These can turn rancid just sitting on the shelf.
So you're gonna wanna only use these for things like salad dressing, and you're gonna wanna buy them in dark colored glass because the light degrades. You also wanna get them in single little, small containers, cuz every time you open them, you're exposing them to. Then you're gonna wanna stay away from refined oils like canola, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and peanut oil.
Now, usually these aren't from organic crops, so first off, they're sprayed with pesticides. And remember, fat absorbs all of these toxins right? Then, To get the oil out, their process with nasty chemicals and a method that involves bleaching, which makes them then oxidize and oxidize oils can produce toxic byproducts.
Experiments that fed oxidized vegetable oils to animals shows [00:07:00] that they can cause damage to brain cells. They can lead to inflammation. They increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, bad stuff. So when oils oxidize. They begin to go rancid. Now to check if your oil is rancid, guess what you gotta lick and if it tastes bitter, sour, or.
It's rancid. If you notice some off flavors, just assume it's bad because rancid oil triggers a release of free radicals and that creates inflammation. Now, on top of that, if you're eating a lot of inflammatory foods that have vegetable and seed oils, your chronic low grade inflammation has likely led to weight loss resistance because inflammation locks the doors on the fat cells and stops fat burning.
So how does that work in people who are obese? Fat tissue creates its own inflammatory environment and that puts you at a bigger risk for diabetes and even cancer. And when you're inflamed, you can't lose weight [00:08:00] and the extra weight causes its own inflammation. So now all of a sudden you're going around in circles trying to figure out why you can't lose weight.
So let me give you seven ways that inflammation can make fat loss possible. Actually, let me give you seven ways that inflammation can make fat loss. Im. So this will not happen to you, right? Here we go, number. Stress, inflammation and stress hormones, they go hand in hand. So chronic inflammation cannot stress hormones like cortisol, out of balance, and then elevated cortisol levels can create an inflammatory response disrupting how our hypothalamic pituitary pathway in the brain works, which controls so many of our hormones.
So it's this vicious cycle. Cortisol follows your circadian rhythm and should be highest in the morning and then taper down throughout the day. But when cortisol stays high all day, your body gets really good at storing fat, and of course, makes you have even more cravings, [00:09:00] especially for sugar. Now, number two, that nasty cortisol inflammation cycle, guess what it does?
It crashes your mood because cortisol, lower serotonin, serotonin is the brain chemical that makes you feel good and sleep. So guts. What else? Low serotonin does well, it makes you crave carbs because you need a mood boost from sugar, and when you're craving that, it's not broccoli, it just won't cut it.
Next up, number three. , you probably have noticed this. If you're inflamed, it makes you hungrier. Inflammation creates resistance to leptin, and leptin is the hormone that lets you know when you're full. So if you are leptin resistant, you are gonna be hungrier because your brain isn't getting the signal to put your fork down so you're piling more food on your plate and you don't even know why.
now number four, inflammation puts you at a really high risk for insulin and resistance. So insulin's gonna move the sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells. When you eat too [00:10:00] much sugar or when your system is inflamed, your body secretes too much insulin and keeps insulin in your bloodstream longer than supposed to be.
So eventually your cells can't even hear that message of that excess insulin, and they become resistant. insulin resistance basically slams the doors to your fat cells shut, and in good luck trying to lose body fat. Now, most experts say if you've got chronic inflammation, you are guaranteed to have insulin resistance, and that's a vicious cycle.
Anything that causes inflammation will cause insulin resistance, and then anything that causes insulin resistance will cause inflammation. It's just this vicious cycle going around Number five. Inflammation makes you bloated and puffy because when your body is inflamed, you're retaining fluids. So if you're feeling bloated, puffy, you're retaining water after your meals, your body is sending you the message that it's in a battle with inflammatory foods that you're eating and what you see and [00:11:00] feel.
It's the fallout. All right. Number six, inflammation disrupts your gut balance. Now, gut related inflammation brought on by unhealthy foods, stress and antibiotics creates gut imbalances or what's called gut dysbiosis. Literally that inflammation disrupts your gut flora, so these trillions of organisms can't work as effectively.
So then you're hungrier. You've got cravings, and you actually can extract more calories from the food you eat. And guess what? You store them as fat. And over time, you might even end up with leaky gut and inflammatory problems outside your gut. And then number seven, inflammation makes you feel sluggish and tired when your immune system is constantly revved up and you are inflamed,
you feel like you've been run over by a truck and all you wanna do is face plant on the couch and stay right there. And then of course, the less active you are, the more insulin resistant you [00:12:00] become. And then of course, that also is going to increase chronic inflammation. Now, if all this seems a little depressing, I have good news.
Now that you know all this, you can get yourself off this ride and take down the inflammation, and here's how. The best way to do it is to start at the source by making swaps to the inflammatory and high sugar impact foods you're eating. So it's really like offense and defense at the same time because you're swapping out the foods that are hurting you and making you inflamed for foods that are going to heal you and lower the inflammation.
And guess what? You'll probably also lose weight as a side effect. And the good news is losing weight lowers inflammation. So I want you to check out the Virgin Diet because this is exactly why I wrote it. It helps you eliminate those seven foods that can cause inflammation, and then gives you amazing, delicious anti-inflammatory swaps.
Because when you eat foods, you're intolerant to [00:13:00] guess what? It can cause inflammation, but half the time you don't even know it because the reactions are delayed. and they're subtle, so you keep piling on these things you think are healthy, right? Like low fat yogurt, egg white omelets and whole grain bread and tofu, but you're not feeling great and the weight just won't budge.
what is going on? It's because these so-called health foods, and this includes the damaged seed oils hidden in them, can sabotage your health by triggering inflammation and causing nasty symptoms like bloating and breakouts and headaches and achy joints and stubborn weight gain. So the Virgin Diet helps you swap foods that hurt you for anti-inflammatory foods that heal.
Now giving up gluten alone, that makes a huge difference. In fact, studies show that gluten-free diets can reduce weight gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. And same with sugar. Sugar [00:14:00] is one of the most inflammatory foods on the planet. But you can retrain your sweet tooth, and I have some serious, delicious, amazing swaps in my free Sweet Treats recipe guide that are gonna satisfy your sweet tooth without firing up inflammation or spiking your blood sugar.
They are literally amazing low sugar impact treats. In fact, you serve 'em to your friends and they won't even know. So I'll give you that link to that below. Now, the best part about all this, only takes three weeks. And can we agree that you can do anything in three weeks? So in just three weeks your immune system calms down and other great things start to happen.
Like a lot of the skin issues and joint aches and fatigue, that inflammation can cause they just go away in a matter of days. So you feel better, you probably lose some weight and I can almost guarantee you'll love the swaps So, you're not gonna miss those other foods and you'll never want to even go back.
Now, here's the bottom line. Reducing inflammation by making simple swaps [00:15:00] can help you lose weight by switching from being a sugar burner to a fat burner by boosting your immunity and reducing your risk of disease. So check out the Virgin Diet so you can see the results for yourself. All right. Thank you so much for joining me and if you don't know me, I'm JJ Virgin.
I'm a four-time New York Times bestselling author. I'm a fitness hall of famer and I got a lot more to share with you to help you get and stay healthy. Also, check out and like my other videos on blood sugar control and do not forget to grab that free Sweet Treats recipe guide and I'll see you next.
For more info on this and other health topics I cover or to rate and review, find me on Instagram, Facebook, and my website jjvirgin.com. And don't forget to subscribe to my show so you won't miss a single episode. Go to subscribetojj.com. Thanks again for being with me this week.[00:16:00]