This is bang on trend in research and health intervention at the moment, and for good reason too, growing evidence suggests systemic inflammation could be at the root of many chronic condition such as heart disease, Diabetes and more.
A recent study due to be published in Cell could go some way to explaining why we feel so darn crappy on a high fat, sugar and calorie diet…Inflammation.
Another nail in the coffin for man-made sugar and fat?
The study led by the University of Bonn was performed on mice before the ‘mice police’ jump at me. By no means am I saying this evidence is categorical and is the answer to reducing inflammation by itself…but it is quite compelling.
You can choose to treat it as another nail in the coffin to man-made fat and sugar packed diets, and a potential cause of ‘generally feeling groggy’ if you like, but that’s up to you.
Like a Bacterial Infection…
The study found that the immune system, our bodies internal and external defence, reacts similarly to a high fat and high calorie diet as it might do to a bacterial infection.
We expect to feel like crap when we have a cold don’t we, bacterial infections are ‘bad for us’ so naturally we expect to feel bad with it.
So why is it that we are surprised to feel like crap after ‘eating crap’?
Making the Healthy shift
The vast majority of my clients will say how they notice feeling more energised, less lethargic and generally brighter once they shift from a typical ‘Western Diet’ that’s high in fat and sugar but low in fibre, to one that is, frankly, low in processed fat and sugar and high in fibre.
The benefits of a low sugar and fat diet could be for a number of reasons, but IF high fat and sugar diets trigger a similar reaction by our immune system to that of bacterial infections, it would stand to reason why these improvements come about.
“Army of Immune Cells”
Fast food thus causes the body to quickly recruit a huge and powerful army of immune cells, says Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze. Interestingly, once the high fat, processed diet returned to a lower fat, sugar and higher fibre diet…the immune cell levels returned to normal.
Immune System Memory
It may not end there though, our first line of immune defence, known as the innate immune system, such as our skin, chemicals in the blood and immune system cells, seems to have memory!
Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze explains “After an infection, the body’s defences remain in a kind of alarm state, so that they can respond more quickly to a new attack.”. Makes sense right?
Problem is, this is usually the response to a bacterium, but in the case of this study…it was due to the poor diet. They are attributing this to the NLRP3 inflammasome, which they are calling the “fast food receptor”. Uh oh, it’s got its own name for goodness sake!
So worth reducing the man-made sugar and fat filled crap?
Definitely. Why? Because inflammation accelerates the development of vascular diseases or type 2 diabetes. You know, those troublesome arterial plaques known technically as atherosclerosis?
These plaques worsen dramatically over time because they are mainly made up of…you guessed it, immune cells and lipids (fat).
If the plaques are allowed to grow too large they can burst, causing clots to flow to the brain, lungs resulting in stroke or embolisms. They also narrow arteries making it harder to deliver oxygen around the body, increasing risk of heart attacks…just for good measure!
NOTE: This isn’t referring to ALL fats, the healthy fats of this world such as avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts and oily fish (to name a few) can help to reduce inflammation and cholesterol, and in turn reduce risk of heart and vascular disease and diabetes.
Need direction with all of this?
Link to Reference