Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at Risk - vegetarian recipes

Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at Risk

July 13 2015 Meatless Monday 

Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at Risk
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Recently CNN reported on a high-risk trend: around the world, communities are adopting the so-called Western diet. Ian Myles of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases describes the hallmarks of the Western diet as “...overconsumption of over-refined sugars, highly refined and saturated fats, animal protein and a reduced intake of plant-based fibers.” Globally, more and more people are living and working in cities and adopting a Western lifestyle – a trend thats starting to negatively affect diet and exercise habits. City life can lead to a larger income, but it leaves little time for exercise and supports convenient, rather than nutritious, food choices. “People around the world, as incomes go up, choose more calories and meat in their diet,” says David Tilman, professor of Ecology at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, as the Western diet spreads, so do the risks and diseases associated with it. Eating larger quantities of meats, processed foods, and refined sugars can lead to increased obesity and diabetes rates, higher cancer risks, and problems with the natural gut bacteria that aid in digestion. The diet packs a problematic one-two punch, simultaneously increasing health risks while decreasing fiber and nutritional value. The good news? According to Tilman, maintaining health while communities develop more Western appetites will be based on the “... voluntary choices people make.” Making conscious changes in diet can have an immediate impact on health; removing foods that strain the digestive system will start reducing inflammation right away, lowering the risk for many related concerns. Making healthier eating (less meat, fewer sugary/­­processed foods, more plants) a habit has even more long term health benefits. While the dietary habits of the West are becoming an international trend, making conscious choices about what and how much we consume is small, sustainable step we can make to keep ourselves and the planet healthy. The post Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at Risk appeared first on Meatless Monday.

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