The Pros And Cons Of Western Diet

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Over the years, the American diet has been praised for its convenience. This convenience, however, has resulted in a growing consumption of process foods, saturated fats, and low quality protein. It has quickly given rise to an increase in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, chronic diseases, and cancers across the board. There are currently several studies taking place that aim to decrease the surprising amount health problems present throughout society, yet their approach focuses on single nutrients and attempts to cover the problem with medications. Nutrition, although taken seriously, is studied in a form that fails to incorporate all aspects of one’s diet and lifestyle. The foods Americans consume today, which are part of the Western diet,…show more content…
There are, however, select studies that aim to reveal the negative impacts of processed foods, high fat, and high protein intake. In a study conducted by the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, researchers examined the dietary intake of remote communities living in Nunavut, Canada. Their original hypothesis assumed adults of these locations did not obtain adequate nutrients because of their lack of modern foods. Contrary to their assumptions, “Inuit have survived the extreme environmental challenges of the circumpolar habitat for thousands of years on a diet comprised entirely of nutrient-dense animal products, wild plants, and berries” (Sharma 578). When the Inuit began modifying their culture to mirror that of the Western world, their disease rate increased rapidly (Sharma 582). This is a major shift from the minuscule amount of disease previously found in their community (Sharma 582). As protein, sugar, and carbohydrate levels exceeded daily recommendations, micronutrients levels dipped below the minimum, and physical activity reached a sedentary state, the Inuit population quickly became a reflection of the American society (Sharma 583). This example provides Western civilizations with proof that their diet is not only harmful to themselves, but has the power to take a…show more content…
The solutions popular today focus on the introduction of medicines, supplements, or individual “super foods” into one’s preexisting diet, instead of changing or eliminating parts of their harmful lifestyle. Americans have fallen into the trap of convenience, and quick short term fixes. Dr. T. Colin Campbell of the Nutritional Sciences Department at Cornell University states that, “Nutrition has long been viewed through the lens of reductionism, which focuses on parts instead of a whole” (Campbell 1077). This is the way nutrition has been practiced for several years, yet it has failed to improve the health of society. The only way for people to change their health is through long term measures. Through his extensive research, Dr. Campbell presents a life long solution that is not only proven to prevent disease, but also reverse it at almost any stage. Dr. Campbell explains that his findings reveal the direct connection between the overabundance of dietary fat and animal protein present in the Western diet and the amount of disease and cancer that develops as a result (Campbell 1078). Using this evidence as a guide, it appears the only lasting solution is to remove, or at least substantially reduce, the excessive animal proteins, fats, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods from one’s
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