We know fast food can change individual health. Now it looks like it can affect our future in a bigger way: Routinely eating fast food could permanently alter our internal ecology and DNA, according to a new study published in Nutrition Journal.
Besides its association with chronic health issues like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers, the Western diet–particularly fast food–can be destructive to the immune system. Consumption of excess refined sugar, fat, salt, gluten and genetically modified food, may result in changes to the body such as increased inflammation, increased risk for auto-inflammatory and allergic disease, and alterations to the digestive tract’s “good bacteria” (called the microbiome).
Habitual over-consumption of fast food changes the bacterial environment in the digestive tract and works against our immune system. Long-term changes in our microbiome could actually change the structure of our DNA. We can pass on this distorted DNA to our children. That could result in a shorter life expectancy for future generations.
Alternates to Fast Food
It’s possible to keep a healthy immune system and maintain a long life expectancy for future generations, by following some basic guidelines.
- Fresh, natural and whole foods.
- Fruit, berries and vegetables.
- Foods that naturally contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Try fatty fish like salmon, ground flax seeds and walnuts.
- Complex carbohydrates and fiber via whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day.
- Monounsaturated fat via olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
- Lean protein like skinless chicken, fish and low-fat dairy.
- Activities such as aerobic training, resistance training and stretching.
- Refined sugar and refined grain.
- Foods heavy in trans fat or saturated fat.
- Fried food.
- Commercially baked products.
- Processed snacks, hard margarine and hydrogenated oils.