The developing world is rapidly changing from an agrarian society into one of full urbanization. Half of the world’s population now lives in cities with this figure expected to rise into the 70% range by the 2050s. Inevitably, this “progression” into urban areas also comes with it reduced physical activity and more demands on a person’s time. This results in the consumption of more speedy foods, prepackaged foods, and not surprisingly a more “Western” diet.
Dr. David Tilman, a professor in Ecology at the University of Minnesota, noted that as incomes rise, so do the consumption of calories and meat. These are typically more expensive ingredients, things that are high in sugar and meat or fish. As such, these desirable foods are eaten more once a person has more income to expend on food. As this rises, in a contradictory manner, a person becomes increasing malnourished. In addition to these problems, access to processed foods also increases. Diets deficient in natural fruits and vegetables have significant negative impacts on health.
What Is the Actual Diet of Westerners?
There’s no one answer to this, as people vary, but by far the differences between Western and Eastern diets is the consumption of refined sugars, highly saturated fats, protein from meat, and a reduced intake of vegetables and natural fibers like in fruits. Colloquially, this ‘Western’ diet is know as the “meat-sweet” diet, coined after its two primary constituents. In emerging economies, many of these foods are rare, and people have the time to cook, or live in a more rural area where the only foods available are vegetables and fruits which are locally grown.
The Health Consequences
Increasing your risk of infections – Ian Myles from the US National Allergy and Infectious Diseases office notes that eating foods high in sugar and fat, particularly processed foods, through the immune system for a tailspin. Palmitic Acid in particular is confused by our immune system as the bacteria E. Coli, which can cause an immune response. This lowers our immune system’s ability to cope with diseases, and increases our risk of falling ill.
Changing Your Gut Bacteria Flora – The bacteria in your stomach and intestines is of critical importance in everything from your mental health, to your metabolism. Every person has about 1 kilogram of bacteria in their bodies. The ones in your stomach and intestines are highly sensitive to the foods you eat. Eating the wrong things can actually kill “good” bacteria and allow the “metabolism slowing” kind to flourish in their place. It’s very difficult to fix this once the bacteria have been completely removed, which makes good diet practices that much more important.
Obesity and Diabetes Risks – As of 2014, over 600 million adults are obese worldwide, and 2 billion are now overweight. This is a complete transformation from just a few decades ago when malnutrition and lack of access to food was far more commonplace. A multitude of diseases are associated with obesity, including type 2 diabetes, inflammation of joints, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Heart disease is now the number one killer in America, even surpassing smoking related illnesses for the last decade.
Many of these issues can be resolved through proper dieting and more due care being paid to what foods we eat each day. In addition, proven treatments like the HCG plus drops protocol, have shown themselves to be a great benefit for users looking to lose weight and stay healthy. HCG has been demonstrated in numerous studies to boost metabolism and decrease appetite, which are two of the key causes of weight gain. Yet, ultimately, this diet also employs a total transformation of the person’s eating habits, and what foods they are permitted to eat. Fruits and vegetables are a critical part of the diet, and all foods are converted to more natural ingredients.
There’s no quick fix to weight gain, and no quick fix to eating healthy foods. Both things are critical to get under control, even if a person chooses a proven aid to help them achieve their weight loss goals. Ultimately, the changes that are occurring with the Westernization of the world will result in obesity and poor health unless we select natural fruits and vegetables as the major stables of our diet again.