Chicago Health | Homepage
The Western diet affects immunity

The Western diet affects immunity

By Sharon Palmer, R.D.N., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter

If you need one more reason to avoid the Western diet — our nation’s typical highly processed eating style — here it is: It may compromise your gut microbiota and immune function. A recent National Institutes of Health review of the science on this topic reveals that there are many factors in the Western diet — high in sugar, sodium and saturated fat; and low in omega-3s — that can negatively impact the gut microbiota, which then diminishes the immune system. Even more disturbing is the knowledge that this diet can affect our genes, creating havoc for future generations.

Obesity creates an inflammatory response that can dull the immune system’s ability to protect the body. Dietary factors, such as processed sugars, sodium and saturated fats have an inflammatory effect, while omega-3s (of which we don’t eat enough) have an anti-inflammatory effect. This leads to an altered host environment, shifts in immune cell functions, and changes in nutrient availability for the gut microbiota, thus compromising the immune response.

A mother’s diet can influence the gut microbiota of her unborn child, leaving the child with an impaired immune system — prone to infection, and autoimmune and allergic diseases. Just one small change in your diet can have far-reaching effects. Ditch the Western eating style and focus on whole, minimally processed foods — fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)

(c) 2015 BELVOIR MEDIA GROUP. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Similar Articles

Easy Tips for Anti-Inflammatory Eating, Plus a Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card to True Food Kitchen

Easy Tips for Anti-Inflammatory Eating, Plus a Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card to True Food Kitchen

By Eve Becker What do a new restaurant in River North, the anti-inflammatory diet and a

Slow Eating May Help You Consume Less and Lose Weight

Slow Eating May Help You Consume Less and Lose Weight

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN Slowing down can be a challenge in our fast-paced society, but

Not Drinking Enough Water? Bloated Belly and Sweet Cravings Can Result

Not Drinking Enough Water? Bloated Belly and Sweet Cravings Can Result

By Rhonda Alexander You know that you’re supposed to drink plenty of water every day, but

The MIND Diet

The MIND Diet

New eating approach can help your brain By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN  Your brain health is closely

Cultures for Health: The Benefits of Fermented Foods

Cultures for Health: The Benefits of Fermented Foods

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN For centuries, fermented foods have played a large role in many

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

December 2016
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
November 27, 2016 November 28, 2016 November 29, 2016 November 30, 2016 December 1, 2016 December 2, 2016 December 3, 2016
December 4, 2016 December 5, 2016 December 6, 2016 December 7, 2016 December 8, 2016 December 9, 2016 December 10, 2016
December 11, 2016 December 12, 2016 December 13, 2016 December 14, 2016 December 15, 2016 December 16, 2016 December 17, 2016
December 18, 2016 December 19, 2016 December 20, 2016 December 21, 2016 December 22, 2016 December 23, 2016 December 24, 2016
December 25, 2016 December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Categories

Recent Comments

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

A Hazy Shade of Healthcare: What does tort reform

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives