PART 2 ANTI-Inflammatory Diet- Choosing the Right Food

Hopefully you were able to catch PART 1 of the ANTI-Inflammatory Diet that came out last week.  If not check it out before you read further.  For those that read it hopefully it was a little eye opening and made you take a step back and examine the foods you are consuming and also think about the possible link between any of your medical concerns.

We discussed the link between inflammation and chronic disease but I will tell you from my clinical experience, it is also low grade symptoms most people suffer from daily.  Do you ever suffer from:

Mental fogbrain-fog

Puffy face and swollen hands

Upset stomach and reflux

Joint pain


Dry skin

This is a short list but if you said yes to any of these more than likely you are suffering from dietary inflammation.  If you didn’t get a chance to take the inflammation questionnaire check it out here again.  The Inflammation Checklist

Okay so now that we know we are mostly all inflamed by the food we eat let’s examine what foods are ANTI Inflammatory.

With every bite we take, we are either deflaming or inflaming.

The concept behind choosing food that is ANTI inflammatory is rather easy.  We talked extensively in PART 1 about how the ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 plays a huge role.  Remember to produce the mass quantities of food our obese population consumes, a high percentage of food is produced with INFLAMMATORY omega 6 oils like vegetable oils.  So choosing food that are ANTI-Inflammatory is as simple as keeping your choices to fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and nuts.

Here is a simple guide provided by

  • All fruits and vegetables. Eat fruits raw and vegetables raw or lightly cooked. Red and sweet potatoes are acceptable as long as they are consumed with a protein, such as eggs, fish, meat, or fowl.
  • Fresh or frozen fish. A recent study indicated that farmed-raised tilapia, catfish and bronzini had unacceptable omega-6 to omega-3 ratios, while all other fish had appropriate ratios (17). Shell fish are also a good option.
  • Meat, chicken, eggs from grass-fed animals. Go to to find producers of grass-fed animal products. If you cannot acquire grass-fed products, do the best you can to get lean cuts of regular meats, which are available at all supermarkets.
  • Omega-3 eggs. Common supermarket brands of anti-inflammatory omega-3 (n-3) eggs are Christopher Eggs (600mg n-3 per egg yolk), followed by 4-Grain Vegetarian omega-3 Eggs (300mg n-3 per yolk), Sparboe Farms omega-3 eggs (250mg n-3 per yolk), and Eggland’s Best (110mg n-3 per yolk). Egg whites are also a good choice.
  • Wild game (deer, elk, etc.)
  • Nuts: raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc. As nuts are high in calories, be sure to control your nut consumption if your goal is to lose weight. For example, 1/4 cup of nuts provides about 170-225 calories.
  • Spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, dill, oregano, coriander, fennel, red chili pepper, basil, rosemary, kelp, etc. (sea salt is okay if you wish to add a little salt).
  • Oils and fats: It is best to use organic oils, as it is thought that nonorganic oils may contain pesticides. Use organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Butter is also a healthy choice and the best butter comes from grass fed cows. You will get the best available butter if you buy organic butter (Organic Valley indicates that their butter and heavy cream are from grass-fed cows).
  • Salad dressing: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice), mustard if you like, and spices (Greek, Italian, ginger, dill, oregano, etc.; whatever suits your taste). When eating in a restaurant, use dressings sparingly, as most are made with soybean oil or worse, and most are rich in sugar.
  • Whenever you are thirsty, drink water or organic green tea (non-organic green tea may contain pesticides and should be avoided).
  • Alcohol: Red wine and stout beer are the best choices.
  • Candy: Dark chocolate. Be sure to temper your consumption as dark chocolate is high in calories. Try to eat no more than 50-100 calories per day.

As you can see there are numerous options when it comes to choosing healthier food. I simply refuse to let people in the clinic give me the excuse of not having any options.  Here is a simple example of what a dinner should look like.

ideal plates


Okay so now that you know what healthy ANTI-Inflammatory foods options look like, what else can be done to reduce systemic inflammation?  Supplementation can provide our bodies with nutrients we are unable to get enough of in everyday life.  In PART 3 we will be discussing supplement options for everyone.  In my professional opinion there are basic supplements everyone should consider.  Then, when we look at each individual needs we develop specific supplementation plans based on symptoms and need.

If you are interested in learning more about our nutritional services you can find out more information here.  We are committed to helping our patients get on the right path towards optimal health, so if you have any questions concerning your health or symptoms you may be experiencing, call and set up a nutritional evaluation and find out how we can help!




Anti-Inflammatory Diet Part 1- Why Inflammatory Food is Bad

Here at Central Ohio Spine and Joint we get questions concerning diet and nutrition on a daily basis.  We have multiple services centered around nutritional testing.  One Topic we frequently review with our patients is that is DIETARY INFLAMMATION.

When most think of inflammation they think of the result of an injury like an ankle sprain, maybe even associated with the healing process.  In this context we will be discussing the role dietary inflammation plays in disease (systemic inflammation).  Dietary inflammation should be viewed as a key promoter of degenerative diseases, which kills millions of Americans each year.  To put it in prospective, six of the ten leading causes of death in Americans are coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, and chronic liver disease, all of which have been previously described as inflammatory in nature.

SwollenAnkleFat man with burger and apple






“The “anti-inflammatory diet” is named to describe the metabolic effect the diet has on the body. It is not named for a person (The Atkin’s Diet) or for a time in history (The Paleo Diet), or a location in the United States (The South Beach Diet), or a place – sort of (The Zone Diet).”

Dietary inflammation and improper food consumption is a huge issue in today’s culture.  Is it any wonder we are seeing all time high’s in disease rates?  When we consume foods they either create inflammation or they do not, it’s that simple.  Approximately 65% of the American population is either overweight or obese.  It is hard to walk into the grocery store and not see rows upon rows of processed boxed foods.  In a typical American diet only 10% comprises of fruits and vegetables.  So let’s take a look at what makes food inflammatory.

Let’s start by getting a little terminology under our belts.  Omega 6 fatty acids (linoleic acid and arachidonic acid) are PRO inflammatory and stimulate the release of inflammatory mediators into our system when they are consumed.  Omega 3 fatty acids (linolenic) are ANTI inflammatory in nature and are considered essential fatty acids.  I am assuming most have heard the term omega 3s and their associated health benefits.

Fatty Acid Imbalances

Omega 6 versus omega 3 fatty acids and the associated dietary imbalance is actually thought to be the foundation on which the proinflammatory state develops.  The traditional American diet consists of excess omega 6 and a deficient amount of omega 3s and the literature supports this concept in the development of disease.  An optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 has to be less than 4:1 as we evolved on a ratio closer to 1:1.  Drumroll…what do you think the common ratio is nowadays in our Western Society?

Anywhere from 10:1 to 40:1 depending on the food consumed!

Omega- 3 Fatty   Acids Omega-6 Fatty   Acids
Most Common Forms EPA, DHA, ALA   acids Linoleic acid   accounts for almost 85 percent of dietary omega 6s.
Most common Food
EPA and DHA-   fatty fish such as salmon, white tuna, mackral, rainbow trout, herring,   halibutALA- ground   flaxseed and flaxseed oil Vegetable oils   (eg- corn, sunflower, safflower, and soy), whole wheat bread


So why do we consume such a dangerous ratio? The average American only consumes a ½ serving of fruits and veggies.  Our diet is centered around processed foods, just take a look around the grocery store.  In order to mass produce these products and give them a shelf life manufacturers choose vegetable oils as a foundation.  It is hard to pick up a box in the store and not read some type of vegetable oil ingredient.  Unfortunately, in mass production and with revenues in mind, these oils are very cheap to use.

The last concept we will cover is why grains inflame.  This obviously has gotten a lot of press lately and is a sensitive subject for most people. Most have spent their entire lives consuming bread, pasta, and cereals and the thought of giving up these foods hits an emotional button for some.

“A goal should be to view eating as a mechanism to fuel the precious vehicle (your body) that conveys you through life.  Remember, you can only trade in your motor vehicle, not your body vehicle.  With that mindset we are less likely to be opposed to making any changes that would benefit our body’s vehicle.”

Our genetic makeup makes us adapted to consume fruits, vegetables, fish, fowl, meat, roots, tubers and nuts.  No, I repeat no chronic diseases are caused by consuming these foods.  On the other hand, grain contains problematic substances that promote inflammation and body acidity.  These substances include gluten, lectin, and phytates.  Also, grains are a low fat food. They contain an elevated ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.  Like we discussed earlier omega 6s are converted to chemicals that cause inflammation, chronic disease and pain.  I am not going to go through each of these at this time but be on the lookout in the future for articles about gluten, too much to cover in this article. 😉

OK so the moment you all have been waiting for…let’s find out how inflamed we are!

This is a simple survey to take at home that can indicate your inflammation levels. Take a few minutes and fill this out for yourself:


Click here to download the survey   The Inflammation Checklist

(Survey used with permission from – for more information about dietary inflammation check out

I hope I was able to provide a little more insight into why inflammation is bad for our bodies and why our current diet promotes an inflammatory state… so let’s review

-Inflammation is related to 6 of the top 10 disease in our Western Society

-The foods we consume are directly related to either producing a PRO inflammatory state or an ANTI inflammatory state.

-The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be around 4:1.  Our typical diet consists of ratios of 10:1 or even 40:1. 

– Omega 6s are converted to chemicals that cause inflammation, chronic disease and pain.

-Processed foods contain large amounts of omega 6 fatty acids or vegetable oils and create dietary inflammation. 

-Grains are PRO inflammatory.  

-Most people have an emotional tie to grains (we will talk about this is another post, but sugar and grains are like cocaine to your brain, creating addiction).

-Grains contains problematic substances that promote inflammation and body acidity.  These substances include gluten, lectin, and phytates.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope it was educational.  If you have any specific questions concerning any aspect of this article please feel free to email me at

Be on the lookout for PART 2- ANTI Inflammatory food choices.


Putting YOU First – Evidence Based Practice

One of the defining concepts of Central Ohio Spine and Joint is that we are a patient-centered healthcare facility. So what exactly does that mean to us and what should it mean to you?  We strive to provide the most outcomes driven, cost effective care possible.  A concept surfaced in the early ‘90s that described adding relevant research findings to the clinical decision making process and was termed Evidence Based Practice.  That is using what the literature says in determining the how, what and why we treat patients the way we do.

EBPEvidence based Practice or EBP describes how a practice aligns patient care with the best practices available. EBP integrates four key components into the clinical decision making process: patient values, patient circumstances, clinical expertise and relevant clinical research.

Patient Values: We understand each patient that walks through our door has their own personal preference and concerns.  Dr. Leonard has worked extremely hard to equip himself with a large, effective skill set.  We regularly get patients that request we do not use manipulation as part of their treatment, and we completely respect that and have options for those patients.

Patient Circumstance: The state of the patient is obviously a key competent in the clinical decision making process.  We strive to provide individualized care, not a cookie cutter approach.  In the rehab world it is common to see patients taken through a “low back” protocol which consist of core exercises and a pat on the back.  We take each patients circumstance and condition into consideration when developing a treatment plan.

Clinical Expertise: Clinical expertise includes clinical skills, critical thinking, and proficiency in clinical reasoning. As I am sure you know each condition that walks in the office is different and the demands of the clinical process change.  If everyone walked in with the same aliment and they went right along with what the text books says things would be much easier, but unfortunately this is not how it works. Having a solid clinical background is essential in this whole process.

Relevant Research: Clinical research can be broken down into a few different categories that are all equally important.  While research is a pillar in our treatment approaches it is not the sole factor in the clinical decision making process.

Guidelines: In management of conditions like low back pain and neck pain researchers have developed guidelines that have been proven to be the effective and should “guide” the treatment proposed.  Just like supplements or exercise the term dosage is used is determining the amount of care that will be recommend.  Within the last year new research has been released looking at dosage of treatment in regards to low back and neck pain.

Best Practices: A method or treatment approach that has consistently shown to be superior to other options.

Clinical Research: When a certain condition comes into the office we know from a research stand point what combination of treatment is most effective.  For example we know for mechanical low back pain the combination of manipulation, manual therapy and exercise is extremely effective based on current research.  Again, not every patient that walks in the door has the same body type, healing ability, etc. and thus this where clinical expertise comes in and drives the clinical treatment strategy.

Central Ohio Spine and Joint and Dr. Daniel Leonard are committed to providing the best care possible.  Being an evidence based practice is extremely important to us but as you see it takes a combination of all these attributes to make it possible.  Reading a few research papers here and there does not equate to being evidence based.

We will continue to be at the cutting edge of research and will continue to put our patients first in order to meet the vision of Central Ohio Spine and Joint: Provide a team of highly trained healthcare professionals determined to meet the needs of the individual.



Central Ohio Spine and Joint and Westerville’s Serving our Seniors Event

The Westerville Community held their annual Serving our Seniors event at Westerville South High School.  This is a wonderful event for the residents of Westerville, providing resources and educational opportunities.  This is the second year Central Ohio Spine and Joint and Dr. Daniel Leonard have had the pleasure of participating.  We are always happy to help educate the community on current health trends and options.  Conservative spine care is essential as research states around 80 percent of people will experience back pain at one point in their life and this number is certainly higher as we age.  We provide very effective care for common conditions seen in the elderly population like arthritis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease and osteoporosis.


What to expect as a new patient

What to Expect on Your First Visit

Many new patients are not sure what to expect during their first visit, here at Central Ohio Spine and Joint we are committed to making this process as easy as possible so we have broken down what to expect.

Our Commitment to You: We place our patients first. Each patient that walks through our door is treated like an individual.  We take the time to learn about your unique condition and make our recommendations specific to your health goals. We will only accept your case if we feel we can help.

Consultation: Our providers will start by taking a thorough history of your current complaint as well as a review of your current and past medical history.  We will review any available imaging (x-ray, MRI etc) and/or lab studies that have previously been performed.

Examination:  We will provide an extremely detailed evaluation including a review of systems, neurological, musculoskeletal, and orthopedic tests. Throughout the evaluation process we will also be looking at how efficiently you move. For example, we may have you perform a gait evaluation or a squat test to help us understand why you are experiencing the symptoms

Preliminary Diagnosis:  The combination of the medical history, examination, and diagnostic studies (if available) will enable us to reach a preliminary diagnosis. We will review in detail the etiology of your pain and injury.  At that time, we will also discuss treatment options, treatment frequency and duration.  Patients may also receive advice on home care, lifestyle modifications, exercise instruction and nutritional advice.

You will walk out of your first visit knowing the following:

What is wrong.

            How are we going to fix it.

            How long is this going to take.

If we determine you would be more appropriately managed or co-managed by another health care professional, we will make the proper referral.

Do we perform x-rays on the first visit?

We only recommend imaging studies if it is clinically indicated by your medical history and or examination findings.  It has been a common trend over the years in the chiropractic profession to x-ray every patient prior to treatment.  Based on the current literature and medical research, routine x-rays of this nature are deemed medically unnecessary.  We follow the guidelines and research as closely as we can to provide the highest quality care, in a safe environment for our patients.  If we feel x-rays or other imaging studies are necessary we will make the proper referral to obtain this information.

Will I get treated on my first visit?

Based on your thorough consultation, review of your medical history and examination we will determine the most appropriate route of care.  Most patient that consult our office we be treated on day one. If we feel we need additional medical information and or feel your safety if at risk we will discuss additional treatment options at that time.