Eating fast foods is very convenient these days as they’re popping up everywhere. However, a new study suggests that it could also compromise health. Researchers found that fast foods trigger the body’s immune system in alert mode.
Immune System – The Army Inside Our Bodies
Our body’s immune system can easily be compared to a military organization like an army. It acts as the first line of defense when an infection happens. The immune system treats the infection as an invasion of the body’s healthy cells.
Therefore, it activates a certain group of cells for the purpose of identifying the infection, and eventually neutralize it. Our body’s immune system is complex to understand. But, thankfully, here’s a nutshell on how it works inside our body.
As an additional comparison, consider the immune cells as border guards. They’re alert around the clock to make sure no intruders can pass. These are the macrophages, huge cells that act as border guards in our bodies.
The body’s immune system is both awesome and complex. The immune cells are intelligent on their own. However, when they’re often triggered and put into alert mode, some of these cells remain active for a time.
We can call these specialized cells as special forces int the army or military. And, when the body has enough of these false triggers, it can create chaos in the body making the immune cells fight for the wrong enemy.
This is exactly what happens when fast foods are consumed such as pizza, burgers, hot dogs. Pretty much anything about fast foods including, of course, sugary drinks like soda. Dr. Trom O’Bryan explains this well in one of his interviews about gluten sensitivity.
Burgers and Pizzas Are Like Infections To The Immune System
The Western diet is full of highly processed foods like burgers and pizzas. Unfortunately, these foods including hot dogs are bad for health. In fact, hot dogs are health risks. These foods are also bad for the heart.
In one study1, researchers found that Western diet triggers the immune system respond the same way it does to bacterial infections.
Although the study has been done in mice, researchers say mouse and humans have almost similar genetic makeup2. This is the reason why mice are mostly used as models in most studies.
Alarming Findings on Fast Foods
One of the researchers found that unhealthy diet increases the number of certain immune cells in mice blood unexpectedly. Specifically, these immune cells include white blood cells like granulocytes and monocytes.
Moreover, the scientists discovered that these white blood cells contain genes progenitor cells. Feeding the mouse with Western diet activates these genes, which are responsible for alerting the immune cell army.
Why this matters? Scientists say that progenitor cells have some kind of memory. It means, it makes themselves as specialized cells dealing with biological attacks. Consider them as the special forces in the military.
Unfortunately, once these cells have memory and able to respond to fast food diet, switching to a healthy eating lifestyle is not enough to undo the changes. These cells stay the same as they’re set ready to respond to another attack, which has some implications for overall health.
In this study, even after a month of feeding the mice back with a healthy diet and no more inflammation, the genetic reprogramming is still there. These are the immune cells programmed to respond future attacks. This also means the mice are sensitive and eating a food in a Western diet, the immune cells are ready to fire.
How Would This Happen In Humans?
If you’re thinking this only happens in studies such as in mice models, think again. This is already happening inside the human body especially those who are eating the Western style of dieting.
The reaction inside the mice bodies happens sort of similarly inside the human body. Somewhat, we can see more evidence between the link of unhealthy diet and various health problems, which are now very common these days.
Today, unhealthy diet is linked to metabolic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and various heart issues. Interestingly, the scientists discovered what is known as “fast food sensor” inside the 120 bodies of mice during the study.
This sensor or signaling system is NLRP3 inflammasome. It looks like this is one of the army guards who continuously looking for changes in the diet. The scientists are not yet clear and understand how it works.
However, with these findings, it’s a good caution for us especially to those who are eating a lot of burgers, pizzas, hot dogs and pretty much everything found in fast foods.
For those who consider fast foods as their daily staple, these findings may be difficult to accept. However, just look at yourself and how the fast foods you’re eating are affecting not only your performance but health, as well.
You may not be able to notice it at this time but the time comes you’ll be. Instead, don’t wait for something bad to happen to yourself but observe the people around you who do the same as yours but for a longer period of time.
As matter of fact, it might be familiar to you how obesity and metabolic diseases like obesity are very rampant these days. If you don’t think differently, you might just accept that similar thing will happen to you.
On the other hand, look those people who are health conscious and pick their foods meticulously. It’s worth starting a healthy lifestyle, right now. Start with what you eat and make sure they’re nourishing instead of damaging.
If you don’t have any idea how to start, check the latest diet trends. You might even start eating the number diet, which is the DASH diet a derivative of the original Mediterranean diet. When it comes to physical activity, check out high-intensity interval training. It’s the top fitness trend, as well.
Simple dietary and lifestyle changes can make a real difference in the long run. You’ll be healthier and happier.