Animal fat contains arachidonic acid, which can contribute to inflammation in Psoriasis patients.
Red meat (beef, pork, lamb), egg yolk, and full-fat dairy products (butter, whole milk, whole yogurt, cream, cheese) are the main sources of arachidonic acid.
Statistically, it is known that people who have psoriasis have a higher intake of saturated fatty acids than those who do not suffer from it. It would therefore be prudent to moderate the consumption of saturated fatty acids in psoriasis.
It is recommended not to exceed 15 g per day of saturated fat. As for trans fats, they should eliminate them.
They come mainly from margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and industrial products that contain them.
Arachidonic Acid Role
Most body cells’ cell membranes are covalently bound in esterified form with arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
Arachidonic acid is produced and oxygenated by enzyme systems in response to irritation or injury, resulting in eicosanoids, an important class of inflammatory mediators.
Eicosanoid release’s significance in the inflammatory response is now well understood.
Prostaglandins and other prostanoids, for example, are powerful inflammatory mediators produced by the cyclooxygenase enzyme pathway, and prostaglandin E2 can be found in equine acute inflammatory exudates.
Why Some Foods Are Inflammatory and Can Damage Your Health?
There are two types of inflammation, which occur as a defense mechanism and are triggered by the immune system.
The best known is high-grade inflammation, which occurs after trauma or injury, and is characterized by pain, heat, redness, and edema (swelling).
These symptoms occur because there is an increase in blood vessel dilation to carry the nutrients needed to repair the affected tissue. It is usually localized and short-lived, usually 3 to 4 days.
On the other way, low-grade inflammation can last for years. It is a phenomenon that started to be studied about 10 years ago and has no specific symptoms, being a silent disease.
When the tissue is inflamed, it starts to lose its classic function and contributes to the emergence of metabolic and chronic diseases. Here are some examples:
- The liver begins to metabolize the substances in our blood incorrectly, and produces too much fat;
- The muscles no longer take up glucose and this leads to hyperglycemia, which causes type 2 diabetes;
- The adipose tissue releases fat into the bloodstream and raises cholesterol;
- The veins and arteries capture and accumulate more fat (atherosclerosis) and age faster (arteriosclerosis);
- The hypothalamus, responsible for the metabolism and the feeling of hunger, burns fewer calories and loses its ability to control it, with a pathological increase in appetite (hyperphagia).
So, What Role Does Food Play in All of This?
Diet is directly related to this process of prevention and recovery. Certain nutrients are linked to the production of inflammatory mediators, substances that, when reaching the cells, can promote or stimulate the inflammation process.
An example is the excess of saturated fat. Our body can mistake this nutrient for bacteria since the cell wall of these microorganisms is coated with this type of fat.
The cells with receptors in the defense system detect this type of fat and activate the inflammatory process.
The way of preparation and the amount of consumption of certain products is what most interferes with the inflammatory potential in a diet.
So it is important to understand how this works and which foods create the most propensity for inflammation in the body.
Is Red Meat Inflammatory?
Despite having important nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B, excessive consumption stimulates the continuous secretion of bile acids in the intestine, which attack the colon mucosa and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a microenvironment favorable to inflammation.
In addition, preparation methods involving high temperatures and low humidity (such as frying, grilling, and baking) favor the formation of pro-inflammatory compounds, in this case, heterocyclic amines polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
How Fatty Red Meat Impacts Psoriasis
Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated lipid found in fatty red meats. Because it is rapidly transformed into inflammatory chemicals, this type of fat might aggravate the symptoms of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, and any food that triggers inflammation contributes to a potential flare-up or aggravates existing psoriasis.
In addition to red fatty meat, ultra-processed meats or sausages: turkey breast, ham, sausage, salami, bacon, and bacon contain saturated fat, more specifically arachidonic acid, which is a type of fat with high inflammatory potential in cells.
Other Benefits of Reducing Fatty Red Meat
Eliminating or reducing fatty red meat can have a lot of health benefits in addition to helping to prevent psoriasis or control a flare-up. Here are some more incentives for reducing them:
Doing a Detox
Eating less meat (e.g., twice a week) and more vegetables causes our bodies to accumulate fewer toxins.
This makes it easier to lose weight, and you stay healthier too!
The body may not have enough enzymes to break down the molecules of some types of protein (from red meat and milk, for example), which makes it difficult for the kidneys to eliminate the toxins through urine, and thereby to cause more swelling, so it will help reduce and prevent the appearance of cellulite.
Too much red meat triggers a stress process in the body and thereby unbalances the body’s antioxidants and free radicals.
This leads to changes in the functioning of all cells, including hormones that are responsible for the fertility process.
Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Cancer
High consumption of red and processed meat, such as sausage, frankfurters, bacon, and sausages in general, increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, some types of cancer (especially colorectal cancer), and strokes.
How Much Red Meat Is Recommended?
According to World Cancer Research Fund International, limit your red meat consumption to three servings per week if you eat it.
The cooked weight of three parts is approximately 350–500g (12–18oz).
Processed meat should be avoided at all costs.
The specified amount of red meat is chosen to balance the advantages of eating red meat (as a source of essential macro-and micronutrients) and the disadvantages (increased risk of colorectal cancer and other non-communicable diseases).
Red meat contains important nutrients, including protein, vitamin B-12, and iron. However, evidence suggests that eating too much red meat may increase a person’s risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and an increased risk of inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis.
As long as you opt for unprocessed and preferably grass-fed red meat, make sure to use gentler cooking methods and avoid burnt/scorched parts; there is probably nothing to worry about.