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What Is the Western Diet and What Does It Mean for Your Health?

You have heard of different popular diets. However, the “Western Diet” is a generalization regarding the poor diet many Americans are thought to eat on a regular basis and what it might mean for your health, overall.


The Western Diet

The Western diet is a modern diet where prepackaged foods, refined grains, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, processed meats, conventionally raised animal products, red meat, eggs, potatoes, corn, high-sugar drinks, and candy and sweets are common and consumed in large quantities (think “super-size”). Healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish, and pasture-raised animal products are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein and important nutrients.


The Impact on Digestive Health

Everyone likes something a little fatty, sweet or fried every so often. However, a regular diet high in those types of foods is considered unhealthy. These food choices tend to be low in fiber and high in fats and refined sugars. High fat diets harm your gut microbiome and can increase inflammation markers, making your body more prone to obesity and subsequent chronic diseases. The low fiber content in processed foods makes them less filling and satisfying, and can lead to constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and stomach pain among other digestive ailments.


The Health Implications of the Western Diet

The overall health implications of eating poorly can be alarming. It has been linked to conditions such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes. It can also lead to liver disease and cardiovascular disease.


What about nutrition? The foods common to the Western diet tend to be very calorie dense and low in nutrients. Over time, which can cause a person to suffer from being under-nourished, which is distinct from being underfed, in this case. Poor nutrition negatively impacts your health and quality of life.


Change Your Diet to Change Your Health

Learn as much as you can about food and the impact it has on your health. Use what you learn to make smart decisions that will benefit your health and well-being, and help you get the most nutritional value out of the foods you put in your body.


Your Granite Peaks gastroenterologist can help you determine whether your diet is helping or hurting you, and what you can do to improve your digestive health conditions.