Effects of our Western Diet and Processed Foods

At this point there is a lot of information out about how bad the western diet is. I was just reading an article that talks a little more about this. In the article, physician Kevin Patterson. Dr. Patterson worked for a while in Afganistan and her remarked how most of the Afgans he worked with had little to no body fat. But most the soldiers from western countries had at least some fat on them and, more pertinently, had more abdominal fat, and fat surrounding thier internal organs. He also talked about how he practices in Canada near the Artic Circle. There he works with mostly indigenous Inuits. For many centuries the Inuit’s main diet consisted of caribou, artic char, whale, and seal. While these animals have a lot of blubber to keep them warm in the cold weather, the meat is pretty lean, and is not processed.Recently though, Patterson has seen the Inuits trade in their traditional diet for a more western diet of Kentucky Fried Chicken and other highly processed foods. Part of the problem is that calorie for calorie, processed foods are a lot cheaper than more natural foods. Especially in the Artic Cirlce where it can cost up to 10 dollars for a gallon of milk, because all of the food needs to be flown in. The processed foods are just a lot cheaper.This is seen in the inner city as well, especially in lower income areas. In these areas fast food restaurants are on almost every corner, but grocery stores with fresh fruits and vegetables are few and far between. So there are people with little money, who have very easy access to highly processed foods that are inexpensive. So it is easy to see why people would pick cheap, easy to get food. Rather than more expensive, harder to get food.Eating processed foods over time can do a lot of bad things to your body. Usually eating this way is accompanied by not exercising, or very minimal excercise. Prior to the last century type 2 diabetes was virtually unheard of. Now it is becoming an epidemic. These processed foods are easily digested and absorbed right into the body. When they are digested so quickly, they spike blood sugar. This spike in blood sugar causes an insulin reaction, to process the sugars. Over time the insulin receptors become overused and eventually get worn out. When this occurs, your body can not process excess sugars, and it starts to affect your body in many different ways. Thus becoming type 2 diabetes.I believe that fast foods are also addictive. Most fast foods have a ton of sodium in them. So when you eat processed foods, you get a big spike in sugar and huge rush of sodium into your body. This gives you an almost euphoric feeling that can last up to an hour or so. The food is digested and processed in your body very quickly and after an hour you’ll get a drop in blood sugar and therefore a drop in energy levels and even your metabolism will slow down. Thus making you want to seek out another sugary or processed food fix. It becomes a big cycle.I think that processed and fast foods are okay every once in a while. But if you are eating them more then once a week, it is affecting your health, and can affect your health for years to come. Also make sure to dampen the effects of eating badly with exercise. If you exercise consistently, then eating fast food once a week, or even twice a week, will affect your body a lot less. It can help prevent the onset on type 2 diabetes, can prevent weight gain associated with eating like that, and will keep you feeling good for years to come.



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