Unhealthy Diet: Global Dietary Changes Threaten Health

Unhealthy Diet: Global Dietary Changes Threaten Health
World Health federation Factsheet

Introduction

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Global Unhealthy Foods
World Heart Federation’s factsheet on unhealthy diet warns us how the global dietary changes from natural healthy food to unhealthy diet threatens global health and that something need to be done now.This awareness has to be reach each and every person on the earth. Everyone should know what is difference between healthy and unhealthy diet. Understanding the difference will help people to know that it is ultimately diet and nutrition that is linked to their well being. we are what we eat. to spread this awareness  amongst people i thought it worthwhile to post this article on this website.

If the trend continues the whole world will be habituated with people suffering from one or many chronic diseases.



Factsheet Point #1—- Unhealthy Diet Kills
Unhealthy diet is linked to four of the world’s top ten leading risk factors causing death:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood glucose
  • Overweight and obesity and
  • High cholesterol.

What actually constitutes unhealthy diet is discussed under what is unhealthy diet?


 Factsheet Point #2: Dietary trends threaten health in low- and middle-income countries  
In low-income countries, unhealthy diet is linked to three of the ten risk factors causing death:

  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood glucose

Average food energy intake has shifted enormously in the past decades. While in the mid-1960s, 43 percent of the world’s population lived in countries with average intake of more than 2,200 kcal/day. By 2000 this proportion had more than doubled to reach 90%.


Factsheet Point #3:To improve diets and save lives, we must act now:
  The following action points have been suggested:• Promote consumption of fruit and vegetables.(http://ifava.org/toolkit/)      
                                              
• Support trade and agricultural policies that make fruit and vegetables accessible and affordable.

• Promote food preparation methods that minimize the use of fat (baking, grilling, broiling, boiling,                         steaming, frying with little oil) and salt.

• Promote breastfeeding and good weaning practice.

• Promote institutional changes towards healthier oil/fat (moving from saturated and trans-fats            unsaturated oil/fats) and reduction of salt content.

• Support campaigns and policy changes that limit marketing of foods high in saturated and 
and trans-fats, salt and sugar and sugary beverages, particularly to children:

— European Network on Reducing Marketing to Children. (http://www.helsedirektoratet.no/marketing )

– http://www.retireronald.org/

• Promote healthy diets in schools, workplaces and communities.

• Find out about risk factors in your own country. (https://apps.who.int/infobase/Index.aspx                                 http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/interactive_charts/ncd/mortality/cvd/atlas.html )


Factsheet point #4: What is an unhealthy diet?
Diets high in sugars, saturated and trans-fats, low fibre foods and high-sugar drinks contribute to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other health problems. High intake of fast food and processed foods increases these health risks. According to the World Health Organization, an optimal diet includes:

  •  A balance between energy intake from food and energy expenditure from physical activity;
  • Energy from fats less than 30% of total intake, shifting fat consumption away from saturated fats;
  • Eliminating trans-fats;
  • Limiting intake of sugar and salt and
  • Increasing consumption of fruits, legumes, whole grains and nuts.

Factsheet Point #5: What is causing the shift towards unhealthy diets?
The reasons for causing the shift towards unhealthy diets are: 

  • Healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables are often unavailable or unaffordable among poor communities in both developed and developing countries.
  • Increasing urbanization causes people to move away from producing and cooking their own food and turn to prepared foods that are often high in sugar, salt and fat.
  • Marketing influences food choices, and unhealthy foods are the most heavily marketed, especially among children.

Factsheet point # 6: Who is most affected?
Learn who are the ones that are affected by shift in global dietary changes:

  • Globally, poor communities are often the ones hurt most by unhealthy diets. In many countries, fat and sugar have become the cheapest and easiest way to get calories, more accessible than fruit and vegetables and often cheaper than traditional staples like grains, beans, lentils.
  •  Low- and middleincome countries form the largest growing markets and therefore are fertile ground for aggressive marketing of unhealthy foods like soft drinks and fast foods.

Factsheet point #7: What can be done?
World Heart Federation has formulated the following action points to be done on priority basis:

  • Policies regulating food prices, production, processing and distribution can make healthy foods cheaper and more accessible.
  • Legislation and other policies that restrict marketing can reduce the promotion of unhealthy foods, especially to children. 
  • Health professionals can emphasize the importance of healthy diet and they can advocate for policies and practices that promote healthy diet.
  • School health programmes and community campaigns can educate children, parents,teachers and community leaders about the impact of diet on health and show how these groups can change the conditions that promote unhealthy choices.


For detailed references visit http://www.worldheart.org/children Fact sheets developed by the World Heart Federation in collaboration with:Made possible through funding from Medtronic Foundation.


The Big Question: What You Should Do?


Question #1: Is the definition or your understanding of unhealthy diet clear to you? …. Perhaps Not.
Does this mean you are consuming unhealthy diet:

  •                     Inadequate consumptions of fruits and vegetables;
  •                     High dietary intake of salt &
  •                     High consumption of saturated fat and trans-fats

This means increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, decreasing salt intake and reducing consumption of saturated fats indicate that you are consuming a healthy diet.

If this is so simple then why the people suffering from chronic diseases is increasing globally in both developed and underdeveloped countries. There is no shortage of fruits and vegetables in developed countries.
Consuming all the nutrients and in adequate amount constitutes healthy diet.


Question #2: If the above assumption is correct why the incidence of chronic diseases and heart disease are increasing worldwide?

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Pellagra
World Health Federation has rightly pointed out that consumption of sugars and low carb diet has increased. Almost 90% of the people consume more than 2,200 kcal/day. This has led to increase in obesity, diabetes and other diseases. 
 Eating a higher quantity of sugars and carbohydrates or a diet rich in carbohydrates leads to acidosis. This means your body pH is acidic. Under acidosis you are more susceptible to infection as the immunity power decrease. More toxins accumulate in the body. You will be deficient in certain nutrients and will be a victim of nutrient deficiency disease.
By eating more of a certain group of nutrients you are depriving your body of certain nutrients. If this continues over a long period of time symptoms of nutrient deficiency disease start appearing.
Pellagra, scurvy, beriberi are examples of vitamin deficiency diseases
.The following educational video “How do we know what we need to eat to stay healthy” gives an idea of nutrient deficiency means and the importance of different nutrients for our well being.

If you like the above video share it with your friends

Question# 3: Avoiding saturated fats and switching to low-fat diet is widely recommended. 
Has this strategy helped in reducing the incidence of high cholesterol and heart disease? 

The answer is no.
Several studies have proved that saturated fats are very essential for us. Reducing its intake leads to certain oil soluble vitamin deficiencies. Saturated fats contain oil soluble vitamins like Vitamin D, E and K and they act as carriers of these oil soluble vitamins.

They also contain essential nutrients.For example egg yolk contains lecithin which is essential for dissolving oils and fats in water and carry to all the parts of the body. Besides lecithin is very essential for proper brain functioning.

Question#4: Is high cholesterol really the culprit in causing heart disease?The answer is no.  Consumption of saturated fats containing cholesterol does not increase your bad cholesterol levels.
Avoiding saturated fats also does not reduce the cholesterol formation in the body. 
This is because cholesterol is made in the body from simple nutrients like Acetyl Coenzyme A. 
The real cause is high cholesterol levels and heart disease is actually a multiple nutrient deficiency disease, the main deficient nutrient being ascorbic acid (Vitamin c)


Question # 5: Have you ever thought what our body needs and how it works?Several biochemical reactions take place in the body. For each biochemical reaction a set of nutrients and enzymes and micronutrients are required to perform their work optimally. 

What it means is no nutrient works alone. If any one of the nutrient is absent the system cannot work optimally in spite of other nutrients being present. 

The basic principle is that our body needs various nutrients to perform their activity properly. There are about 45 nutrients that are needed and oxygen is one them. If our body gets all the nutrients that it requires in the quantities that is required then it will work smoothly.
If these nutrients are not provided to the body then the problem starts. This understanding helps you understand what is healthy and unhealthy diet.


Question#6: What is the true meaning of healthy and unhealthy diet?Avoiding excess of sugars, decreasing salt intake, decreasing saturated fat and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables is a healthy diet. Is it true? Partially yes. The correct answer is:

Healthy diet.
A diet that provides all the nutrients needed by the body for its optimum functioning and in adequate quantity and in such a manner that the blood ph is maintained on a slightly alkaline side (between 7.4 to 7.5) is called as healthy diet.

Unhealthy diet.
A diet that that does not provide all the nutrients needed by the body for its optimum functioning and in inadequate quantity and in such a manner that the blood ph is not maintained on a slightly alkaline side (between 7.4 to 7.5) is called as unhealthy diet.


Question #7: Does intake of cholesterol rich food  increase LDL cholesterol and cause heart disease?

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Cholesterol Rich Food
Eating cholesterol rich food like eggs and meat increases LDL cholesterol levels. This is what you have been hearing from all the sources-doctors, friends, relatives, food industry, food labels, media and so on. Who is correct? What is the right answer?The right answer is: It is chronic Vitamin C deficiency that is linked to heart disease and even many other chronic diseases. Dr Matthias Rath has shown that deficiency of this vitamin is even linked to flue, HIV/AIDS, cancer and many other diseases.

It is because of multiple nutrient deficiencies including vitamin c deficiency that plaque is built up in the arteries and leads to atherosclerosis. And it is not LDL (bad) cholesterol that is attached to the arterial wall. It is lipoprotein (a), structurally similar to LDL cholesterol that attaches to the walls of blood vessels and forms a plaque.

It is lp(a)-the real cause of heart diseaseLowering lp (a) is the best approach to prevent heart disease, normalize cholesterol levels.



Question #8: Our body relies on Vitamin C from food we eat!

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Rich source of Vitamin C
Our body does not make its own vitamin c unlike other animal that can make their own vitamin c. It is necessary for the synthesis of collagen. It acts as a surrogate in collagen synthesis. Collagen is the main connective tissue present in our body and makes up to 70% of our body. Eating foods that contain plenty of Vitamin C is highly recommended. If sufficient amount is not obtained through food then it should be obtained through supplements. Foods rich in Vitamin C include fruits and vegetables. Kiwi fruit is a rich source of vitamin C. Indian gooseberry is the richest source of vitamin c.


Question#9 : Importance of micro nutrients.Vegetables are rich source of certain minerals and enzymes. Trace minerals are very essential for certain enzymes to function properly and for controlling blood pressure.

Trace quantity of element Zinc is essential for insulin to work properly. In the absence of zinc it cannot perform its function.

Similarly magnesium and potassium are essential for controlling blood pressure. Vegetables are the main source of magnesium and potassium. Therefore WHO and World Heart Foundation rightly recommended that the consumption of fruits and vegetables should be increased.

The best way to know how serious is the case with micro nutrient deficiency, you should look into an example from plant kingdom. 


Question#10: Can chronic diseases can be prevented with proper nutrition?Yes, most of the chronic diseases are preventable through proper nutrition. This is what World Health Organization is trying to educate the people by way of guidelines, factsheets, special programs, making policies etc.

Heart disease is reversible and preventable :
Yes, now you can reverse heart disease by using nutritional therapy. This therapy reduces lp(a) levels, removes arterial plaque, promotes collagen synthesis and increases immunity.

If you are wish to prevent heart disease or chronic disease it is possible only with therapy. Your collagen synthesis will not be interrupted as result lp (a) levels will not rise. You can keep your cholesterol levels under normal conditions.

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