Researchers found that as people in the developing world see their incomes go up they also tend to adopt unhealthier, calorie-rich diet choices. A new study reveals that the unhealthy Western diet gains rapid ground worldwide, but that doesn’t mean that it is beneficial to people’s health.
Surprisingly, researchers found that the more people switch to a Western diet the more malnourished they are. That’s because fast-food, high-calorie treats and fatty foods are deprived of essential nutrients and lack any nutritional benefit, researchers noted.
Prof David Tilman, lead author if the study and ecology expert at the University of Minnesota, said that even processed foods have poor nutritional value. Those foods are packed with “empty calories,” and if they are not combined with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables we have a recipe for disaster.
And we already known that the Western diet relies on processed foods and the supermarket chains that market and sell them. Additionally, the diet’s dominant features are overconsumption of unhealthy food such as those with added-sugar, saturated fats and red meat, and a low fiber intake from plant sources. As a result, Westerners have a diet that is rich in harmful fats, meat, added sugar, salt, and has almost no fibers.
“Too many calories in general,”
concluded Ian Myles of the. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the U.S.
In their study, researchers also mentioned the health risks the Western Diet involves. They explained that processed foods and highly refined food items usually turn the immune system upside down. Dr. Myles believes that the most harmful ingredients for the immune system are palmitic acid and fructose.
Dr. Myles argues that our bodies usually take palmitic acid for bacteria such as E. Coli, thus launching an attack against the phony bacteria and sustain a low-scale inflammation. But if the immune system is constantly kept busy by false alarms, it will be less prepared for a genuine infection, researchers explained.
Hopefully, the situation is reversible and the immune response can get back to normal as soon as we change our diet choices.
Processed foods found in Western diet can also mess with your gut bacteria. Countless of studies had shown that the well-being of gut bacteria is crucial for the rest of the body. A recent research even suggested that gut bacteria can influence memory and cognitive skills, as well.
The gut bacteria is also connected with the immune system and how the latter controls inflammation.
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