flickr | ed cowburn

flickr | ed cowburn

On the one hand, I love that the recent article on What Athletes Around the World Eat highlights how real food has not surrendered to the powders and pills trying to take over the athlete's plate. The problem, however, is that the author's approach feeds into the population’s endless search for the one magic bullet or superfood that will singlehandedly turn athletes into super athletes. The concern is that this will trigger athletes to go out and start downing bone broth thinking that this is the panacea without addressing broader underlying dietary corruption. This post is designed to bring attention to the criminal activity within your diet that is happening below the surface without you knowing. 

Of course I recommend tapping into as many different real food categories as you can. 

The only snag within that balanced approach is that in the real-world, not everyone likes to be adventurous at the dinner table and some people are resistant to certain foods or food groups. 

If that describes you, don't worry, you still have a powerful but simple option for getting the most out of eating for health or performance. The key is to recognize the corrosive culinary convicts that could be undermining your results and slowly erase them from your diet. 

Dietary most wanted

Enter the pervasive and menacing characters lurking behind false health claims in a grocery store near you: inflammatory/toxic oils. Inflammatory oils (vegetable, soy, canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and anything hydrogenated) cause more harm to athletes (and everyone else for that matter) than most people acknowledge.

These oils are connected to inflammation and devastation of DNA/RNA, tendons, joint surfaces, ligaments, arteries, vital organs, your skin (premature aging/wrinkles) and even the immune system. 

Additionally, these culprits have been linked to obesity by scrambling the systems our body uses to know when to stop eating.

Identify & Minimize

Before you panic about how much of these oils you regularly consume and imagining the damage they have done, relax. Nobody can eat perfectly all of the time but identifying these oil outlaws and minimizing them in your diet can have a much greater impact on health, healing, recovery and performance than any "superfood" ever could. The beautiful thing about cutting back on toxic oils that you won't miss them.

I don't know many people who rave about how much they love the taste of canola oil.

Who knows, maybe ridding your diet of inflammatory oils is your magic bullet...

Note: As the article on what athletes eat around the world suggests, we do guide our players on the benefits of healthy fats but butter, bacon and bone broth, though these make up only a tiny piece of our approach to fueling and healing through real foods.


@tdathletesedge #TDAE #nutrition #health

Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and Founder of TD Athletes Edge, where he provides fitness, recovery and nutrition guidance to aspiring and professional athletes. For training advice, visit and follow him on Twitter/Instagram through @tdathletesedge.

References:, N. (2015, April 20). What Athletes Around World Eat. Retrieved April 22, 2015.

Kim, J., Lee, Y., & Watkins, B. (2013). Prostaglandins & Other Lipid Mediators. Elsevier, 104-105, 32-41. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from