“A diet loosely defined as one high in saturated fats, red meats, ‘empty’ carbohydrates—junk food—and low in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, poultry. The Western diet has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, obesity,and colorectal cancer.“ Western diet. (n.d.) Segen’s Medical Dictionary. (2011).
The definition says that our diet is crap, basically! It is reduced in diversity, packaged – not only the plastic around it, but the way it is presented to us in general – in a way that tricks us into thinking that it provides a wide range of ingredients and nutrients. A look at the ingredient list shows that it is the opposite!
Why would anybody eat that kind of “food” (if we can still call it that)? Michael Pollan, a defender of the traditional diet, hesitates calling it “food”; for him, it is just “foodlike substances”. The reason for that is the way those industrially-prepared meals are made. They are reduced in micronutrients (e.g. minerals, vitamins, antioxidants) to make them more durable, but are dense in energy.
He says: “The human animal is adapted to, and apparently can thrive on, an extraordinary range of different diets, but the Western diet, however you define it, does not seem to be one of them.”[Read more…]