How Our Modern Diet Is Making Us Fat and Sick

healthy eating habits for childrenOur diet has changed radically over the past century and has become a significant cause of disease and illness as animal based foods account for a quarter of our calories. Processed foods which didn’t exist 100 years ago make up more than 60% of our present diet while naturally healthy vegetables and fruits provide less than 5% of our daily energy.

The food we eat influences our genes and is the leading cause of the rampant rise in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and obesity seen today. It’s possible to prevent and even reverse the damage from a poor dietary lifestyle by eating naturally high nutrient density foods.

A Diet of Processed Foods Leads to Illness

We need both calories and nutrients to survive. Modern food manufacturing techniques have removed most of the nutrition from the processed foods which represent such a significant portion of our calories. Vitamins, minerals and a host of essential nutrients provide the fuel we need to neutralize free radicals, facilitate DNA repair, counteract carcinogens and provide an effective immune response. After decades of nutrient deficiency our natural reserves are depleted and the stage is set for the onset of chronic disease often leading to a shortened lifespan.

Antioxidants From Food Predict Risk of Disease and Death

The results of a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals the protective effect of a number of antioxidant nutrients against all causes of mortality. The study authors specifically concluded “Evidence that subsequent all-cause mortality may be predicted by vitamin C intakes and/or status has been obtained in several previous studies, and similarly for carotene and selenium.”

The results of this study and other similar research demonstrate that the concentration of a specific nutrient can be used to accurately predict risk for disease and death. This information underscores the critical importance of eating a natural diet which supplies a wide array of nutrients to lower the risk of chronic illness.

Children Develop a Taste for Junk Food Early in Life

Many children are fed a diet of processed junk food from an early age and they quickly develop a taste for salty, sugared and fried foods. The instinct to eat vegetables, fruits and meats in their natural form is erased as their taste buds become satiated with a refined diet impregnated with artificially manufactured chemicals which are more pleasing to the taste.

An analysis reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that 800 of 2200 calories consumed by a typical child each day are attributable to solid fats and added sugar. These macronutrients are commonly known as `empty calories` as they provide scant nutrients and contribute to the growing childhood obesity problem. Children who acquire the taste for junk food early are much more likely to develop weight problems in later life and suffer from early onset chronic illness.

A Natural Food Diet Reverses Disease Progression

The vast majority of children and adults eat less than a quarter of the fruits and vegetables they need to provide minimal protection against disease. Include a minimum of five and optimally ten or more servings each day of fresh vegetables and leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, lean protein sources and protective monounsaturated fats. Prepare foods raw or minimally cooked and avoid overheating as this quickly removes nutrients. The human body has an amazing capacity to repair and reverse the effects of a poor diet. Health conscious people view natural foods as medicine which leads to a long and healthy life.


Article References:

“Antioxidants Extend Longevity, Protect Your Health,” Natural Health News,, Sep 30, 2010

“Antioxidant effects of natural bioactive compounds,” Curr Pharm Des., 2009;15(26):3063-73.

“Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats,” Nature Neuroscience, Volume: 13, Pages: 635–64, Year published: (2010) DOI: doi:10.1038/nn.2519

“Dietary Sources of Energy, Solid Fats, and Added Sugars among Children and Adolescents in the United States,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 110, Issue 10 , Pages 1477-1484, October 2010

The following two tabs change content below.
John Phillip

John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

Please let us know what you think about this article. All comments will be moderated before being posted publicly.


  1. Anonymous OVER 9000 says

    I have gone to eighty percent raw vegan diet. My blood pressure dropped from 184/84 down to 106/70, cholesterol went from 255 down to 139, and lets not forget the ninety seven pound that I dropped. There is no substitute for disipline! Also jice fasting for sixty days did not hurt! Good luck to all!

  2. Anonymous says

    I became the black sheep in my family about 6 years ago when I gave up all forms of processed foods and stopped eating at all restaurants. I have other health issues to deal with (NF2) and decided to improve the one area that I had total control of: my diet. Now I weigh the same at age 42 as I did when I was 20 and the last time that I checked my blood pressure it was 92/68.
    The SAD (Standard American Diet) will kill you if you don’t die from it first.

  3. Gertrude "Trudy" says

    The important thing is to combine fresh with processed or cooked or frozen food items in the same course–not salad as a separate course, per some article I read lately. The body doesn’t recognize cooked/frozen/processed/non-natural foods as food, and it produces massive amounts of white blood cells to fight off these “invaders”–but combining natural with the non-natural and eating both at the same time fools the body into thinking it’s all natural, and the inflammation-causing white cells don’t gear up for war. Inflammation reduction is, I hear tell, a big part of staying healthy. Secondly–also from what I have read various places–animal-based foods are ok–so long as they are naturally grown and naturally fed–like free-range grass-fed beef–on organic or all-natural pastures, with plenty of nutritious natural forbs as well as the inescapable hybridized pasture grasses (the forbs info is from a veterinary journal and dates back 20+ years to when I used to be a sci-tech journals quadrilingual proofreader for a state-wide research-oriented university educational system). Bottom line: eat fresh with non-fresh, and properly raised animal products don’t hurt you but in fact are good for you, and organic has to start at ground level with sunshine and natural (non-fluoridated) water and soil and whatever natural plant life grows on it. (Is anyone still listening?)

  4. Anonymous says

    You start out saying “animal based food account for one-quarter of our calories” as if that is the cause of processed foods. Most of the processed foods that are eaten are not animal based at least at our house. We eat real beef, pork and fish. Why are not the companies that provide these processed foods required to make changes to provide healthy foods without all of the carbs, fats and sugars. People buy what is available and convenient so the change needs to be made so that healthy choices are the best option.

  5. Boomer12k says

    Denatured Food leads to deficiencies, leads to not enough for the body to work with, leads to diseases. Not all disease is deficiency, some are due to toxicity. It comes down to what a person is sensitive to, and susceptible to.
    And eventually Everybody is susceptible…..
    So be aware. It is an education problem.

    Be well and happy.

  6. Mercedes Lackey says

    ….I don’t eat 10 servings of ANYTHING in a day. And yes, I DO know what a “serving size” is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *