Immune

Is the Standard Western Diet bad for your immune system?

The Standard Western Diet (SWD)  is characterised by the consumption of highly processed and refined foods, with high contents of sugars, salt, and fat and protein from red meat. Burgers, fast food, processed meat and ready meals are typical examples. In this weeks podcast we discuss the impact of this diet on your immune system. 

 

This discussion is transcribed from a natural conversation within the podcast, so the grammar might reflect that.

Julia - In scientific literature they term it The Standard Western Diet. It tends to be a diet that actually isn't good for the immune system. It promotes inflammation and causes inflammation at really low level. It can also and drain the immune system in the longer term.

We're thinking more low in fiber, low in colours, quite low in variety -
actually in diversity. And pretty high in your starchy carbs like breads and pastas - Oh also meat as well. 

Ollie - I'm assuming you're also talking about pre-made food too?

Julia - Of course, you've got the processed foods that are pre-made in factories and a lot of the ingredients are not even recognisable things. The issue with the immune system is that these foods contain more like the chemical aspect of food and that does impact the immune system in a negative way. 

It can cause strain on your liver because your toxic load goes up, so you're eating all of these things and your body has to process it in some way. So it doesn't just think - I'm gonna eliminate all of that because it's not useful in a nutrient way to the body. A lot of that toxicity will get absorbed into your system, even though your body doesn't need it and then it burdens you.

Also when you've had a lot of food that's been pre processed. It doesn't carry its own digestive enzymes with it. So when you're eating plant foods and particularly raw foods, they contain a lot of natural enzymes with them - so you're eating the enzymes as well as the food. If you're having food, that's sort of like 'dead food', that's been pre-made and it once was a plant but it's been treated to such degrees of temperature and processing, that there's just nothing left that's living in that then it's it's sort of pointless really. 

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Julia Davies
Julia Davies

Julia Davies is one of the leading functional health practitioners in the UK. She is a senior lecturer at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, a Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner & host of The Gutology Podcast.