Processed foods can offer convenience and while not all of them are bad, many of them are filled with hidden fat, sugar and salt.
“Additives such as salt and fat are there to make the food safe for consumption. Preservatives are also added to increase the food’s shelf life. When it comes to sticking to a healthy diet, though, the pros of these additives may not outweigh the cons,” Healthline reported.
The Western-style diet lacks fiber, a carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. That carb is required to support gut microbiota. It’s believed that dietary changes — particularly those without fiber — are thought to have added to the higher pervasiveness of chronic inflammatory diseases. They include metabolic syndrome, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
During their study, researchers discovered that changing mices’ diet from a standard grain-based rodent chow to a Western-style diet led to a swift decrease in the number of gut bacteria. Often, mice that consumed the Western-style diet couldn’t clear the pathogen Citrobacter rodentium from the colon. Additionally, they were inclined to develop a chronic infection from the pathogen.
“We observed that feeding mice a Western-style diet, rather than standard rodent grain-based chow, altered the dynamics of Citrobacter infection, reducing initial colonization and inflammation, which was surprising. However, mice consuming the Western-style diet frequently developed persistent infection that was associated with low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance,” Andrew Gewirtz, Ph.D., lead coauthor of the study and professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences said in a press release. “These studies demonstrate potential of altering microbiota and their metabolites by diet to impact the course and consequence of infection following exposure to a gut pathogen.”
Added fellow lead coauthor and assistant professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences Jun Zou, Ph.D., “we speculate that reshaping gut microbiota by nutrients that promote beneficial bacteria that out-compete pathogens may be a means of broadly promoting health.”
To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.