picture of the inflammation factor in regard to restless legs syndrome Back to the Home Page. Back to the Home Page.
the inflammation factor book cover In 2006 Monica Reinagel wrote a book called The Inflammation Free Diet Plan www.inflammationfactor.com.

The uniqueness of this diet book was that featured a radical new way to help people lose weight - by eliminating inflammatory foods from their diet.

Out of this book, a measurement to determine to what degree certain foods caused or healed inflammation was born. It's called the Inflammation Factor Rating (IF Rating). A negative rating is given to any food that causes inflammation, and a positive rating to any food that heals inflammation.
For instance, a cantaloupe is +75 (which is really good) and a plain bagel is -180 (which is really bad).

The IF enables RLS sufferers to learn the hard truths about the inflammatory-causing foods they eat. It enables you to determine how you can change your diet and lessen your RLS by eliminating the inflammation-causing foods and replacing them with inflammation-healing foods. what is the inflammation factor
The IF Rating is based on a large number of nutritional factors of each food. It's not an exact science, but it does help you to determine whether a food you're eating (or a liquid you're drinking) is helpful or harmful in regard to your inflammation.

Here is an explanation from the Inflammation Factor website:

The IF Rating system evaluates foods according to over 20 nutritional factors, including antioxidants, fatty acid composition, glycemic load, and many other nutrients. Often a food or meal will have a combination of pro- and anti-inflammatory factors of varying strengths, and the IF Rating is able to estimate the net effect of all these factors. The goal is not necessary to avoid all negatively-rated foods but to bring the diet into balance. Many foods with slightly negative IF Ratings, such as fruits or grains, are quite healthful. In fact, it would be impossible to build a balanced diet without including foods that have negative IF Ratings. Keep in mind that inflammation is a healthy and necessary part of the human immune response; so it makes sense that a healthy diet would include factors that support the inflammatory response. The problem is an excessive inflammatory response, driven by an excess of foods that promote inflammatory pathways. While it's wise to limit or avoid foods that are strongly inflammatory, such as french fries, there's no reason to avoid wholesome foods like fruits and grains. Just aim to have the sum of all foods eaten in a day to have a positive IF Rating, so that the overall effect of the diet is anti-inflammatory.

Foods affect inflammation in complicated and often surprising ways. Some foods have a combination of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects. Others have different effects depending on how they are prepared or what you are eating them with. There are at least two dozen different nutritional factors that affect how a food affects inflammation in the body--most of which aren?t even on the label. To make it easier for people to keep track, I developed the IF Rating system. The IF Rating looks at all the different factors and calculates their combined effects. Each food is assigned a number that tells you its net inflammatory or anti-inflammatory potential.

The Inflammation Free Diet Plan, Monica Reinagel and Lynn Sonberg, Book Associates, 2006. www.inflammationfactor.com

what is the inflammation factor

picture of the inflammation factor website

The Inflammation Free Diet Plan has spawned a nutritional website called Self Nutrition Data www.nutritiondata.self.com

Thousands of different food are broken down into their nutritional components including the inflammation factor for each one.

To find out the IF for a particular food, just type the name of the food (ie: banana) in the search box. If you're not sure which food group your selection falls under, then in the second search window, select "All food categories."

You can see from the above search results that "banana" falls under many categories. Any food that contains banana will be included in the search results (ie: baby food, banana split etc.).

Once you get your search results, there is an option at the top of the web page to "Narrow your search." In the above example you can click on "Vegetable and Vegetable Products" to find out the IF Rating of a regular banana.

I'm not sold some of these values. For instance, all the research I've done supports the belief that peanut butter is inflammatory. Yet the sample ratings I've posted (below) show that peanut butter has high anti-inflammatory qualities?

Here is a sample of some negative press about peanut butter:

Many parents believe that a peanut butter sandwich is a good thing to pack in a lunch box, as it has for long been a nutritional truism that peanuts are a complete meal of proteins, carbohydrate and fats. The medical community however, has known for a while that, as a daily staple, peanut is not an ideal food, especially for children. Peanuts produce the type of prostaglandins which cause and enhance inflammation; they increase the requirement for Omega 3 (w3) essential fatty acids, which are responsible with the formation of brain synapses and maintaining normal brain metabolism; they are likely to contain toxic molds that cause liver poisoning and Cancer; they are highly allergenic; and, last but not the least dreadful, they are atherogenic, that is they cause arterial plaque deposits, increasing the risk of thrombosis (blood vessels raptures).

The Reality Scoop on Peanut Butter, Adam Guild, herbalist.com, www.herbalist.com/wiki.details/458/category/12/start/0/

The IF Rating is a great tool to help you to get rid of the inflammation that is causing your RLS, but common sense is also needed. For example, even though they both have a positive IF rating, I also don't think that starting your day with sausages and a pot of coffee is a solid anti-inflammatory strategy.

So, please use the IF values below as a gauge, and not as absolutes.

what is the inflammation factor
what is the inflammation factor
Corn Flakes (1 cup)
Bagel (plain)
Blueberry Muffin
1% Milk (one cup)
Bacon (1 slice)
Smoked Link Sausage
Sausage (smoked)
Pancake (single, no syrup or butter)
Orange Juice (1 cup, unsweetened)
Apple Juice (1 cup, unsweetened)
Tomato Juice (1 cup)
Carrot Juice (1 cup)
Brewed Coffee (1 cup)

what is the inflammation factor
White Bread (one slice)
Wheat Bread (one slice)
Multi Grain Bread (one slice)
Smooth Peanut Butter (1 cup)
Chunky Peanut Butter (1 cup)
Reduced Fat Peanut Butter (1 cup)
Strawberry Jam (1 tbsp)
Cheddar Cheese (1 oz.)
Hotdog Wiener
Hamburger (with condiments)
Hamburger/Hotdog Bun
Canned Corned Beef
Pastrami (1 slice)
Beef Bologna (1 slice)
Pork Bologna (1 slice)
Genoa Salami (1 slice)
Luncheon Meat (1 slice)
what is the inflammation factor
Green Beans
Spinach (raw)
French Salad Dressing
Olive Oil (1 tbsp)
Atlantic Salmon
Roasted Chicken (with skin)
Chicken Breast (roasted, no skin)
Fried Chicken (with skin and batter)
Fried Chicken (light meat only with skin and batter)
Top Sirloin (broiled, fat trimmed)
Top Sirloin (broiled, 1/8" fat)
Cured Ham
Pork Tenderloin
Ground Beef
Baked Potato
Pasta Shells (1/2 cup)
Fresh Pasta
Spinach Pasta
White Rice
Brown Rice
McDonald's Hamburger (single patty)
McDonald's Big Mac
Wendy's Classic Burger (with cheese)
McDonald's French Fries
what is the inflammation factor
Strawberries (1 cup)
Cantaloupe (1 cup)
Vanilla Ice Cream (1/2 cup)
Chocolate Cake (1 piece)
Apple Pie (1 slice)
Banana Bread
Oatmeal Cookie
what is the inflammation factor
Potato Chips (8 oz, plain)
Reduced Fat Potato Chips (1 can)
Sweet Potato Chips
Tortilla Chips
Popcorn (oil popped)
Pretzels (10)
Granola Bar
Dry Roasted Peanuts
Dry Roasted Almonds

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