Western food is the cause of weight gain and obesity. Overtime, the consumption of a Western diet causes the development of Western lifestyle disease such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. The reason that Western foods cause weight gain and disease is because they are addictive and contain metabolic poisons. The addictive nature of the foods ensures that consumers come back for more, and the metabolic poisons they contain gradually poison the individual until they get fat and succumb to one of the Western lifestyle diseases.
Under normal circumstances the hypothalamus can regulate body weight to within a few grams despite large fluctuations in daily food intake. The reason for this is because it has regulatory mechanisms at its disposal to allow changes in the utilisation of energy. If energy intake increases, the hypothalamus can increase the heat produced following eating and exercise and this burns extra calories. In addition, the appetite is down regulated to reduce subsequent food intake and the resting metabolic rate increases to burn more energy.
Western style diets contain metabolic poisons. Such poisons include fructose, trans fatty acids, oxidised fat and certain food additives such as aspartame. Once absorbed these substances interfere with normal metabolic regulation. The reason they act as metabolic poisons is either because they are not normally naturally present in the diet or because they are not normally present in the diet in the quantities ingested. The metabolic dysfunction they cause leads to insulin resistance and changes to the regulation of energy balance.
Insulin Resistance And Energy Balance
The insulin resistance that develops through eating Western diet causes leptin resistance in the hypothalamus. Leptin is a hormone that reports to the hypothalamus about how much fat we have. Leptin allow the hypothalamus to regulate energy balance accordingly. However, if the hypothalamus becomes resistant to the leptin signal, it thinks fat reserves are low, when actually they are very high. This makes the hypothalamus conserve energy and increase appetite, because the hypothalamus perceives a state of starvation.
Restricting calories when leptin resistance is present is very bad news. Because the hypothalamus perceives a starvation state, cutting calories further restricts the utilisation of energy further. As calories are restricted, the hypothalamus lowers the amount of body heat produced from both exercise and food ingestion, and rapidly reduces the resting metabolic rate by decreasing production of the active T3 version of thyroid hormone. In addition, hyperphagia (hunger) is upregulated. The end result is that it becomes inevitable that at some point, you will gain weight.
It has been shown using animal experiments and human studies that consumption of Western style diet causes activation of the reward pathways in the brain. This is exactly the same response as is seen during consumption of certain addictive drugs. The stimulation of these pathways is because they foods contain high concentrations of salt, sugar and fat, all of which are naturally imprinted to activate these pathways. The result is that consumption of diets containing these foods causes physical addiction and ensures overeating of metabolic poisons.
If the Western diet is the cause of obesity then it follows that avoiding Western foods will reverse the process and restore correct body weight. Consuming foods containing low amounts of fat, sugar and salt is beneficial because it prevents activation of the reward pathways of the brain, and food becomes food again, rather than a drug. At the same time, avoiding Western foods eliminates a major source of metabolic toxins and this allows metabolic pathways involved in energy utilisation and balance to function correctly once more.
The Bland Diet
Eating bland foods causes weight loss. Tuna, chicken, rice, legumes, nuts, fish and green leafy vegetables are bland foods. It is virtually impossible to overeat them unless considerable effort is made and discipline is high. Such foods do not stimulate the reward pathways of the brain and are therefore not addictive. They are also absent of the metabolic poisons present in the Western diet. Eating a diet containing such foods causes weight loss because energy metabolism returns to normal and overeating is very unlikely without the presence of leptin resistance.