Life In The Fast Food Lane

Fast food.  Yes, we know it’s not good for us.  But do we understand how bad it is for us?  Do we understand the why behind it?  Do we truly understand its deleterious effects?  I don’t think we do, because if we did, we’d either A.  Never use it for our meals, or B.  Use it only very sparingly in a case where we have no choice but to eat it..  (And on the second point, I’d suggest that we really need to evaluate whether or not we truly have a choice. I’d bet many times we do have a choice, but it’s just not convenient).

So recently, a man named Tim Spector, a professor of epidemiology, decided to find out what the true effects of fast food on the gut are.  He used his son as a test subject (how nice).  Now before you get too upset about him using his son, his son was a college student at the time and agreed to the experiment.   He had his son spend 10 days eating ONLY McDonalds food. The results were that the good bacteria that we need to digest our food, and keep our immune system functioning well was decreased by 40%.   40%!!!!  In case you missed that, the number was 40%!!

That’s huge friends.  They are suggesting these days that the health of our gut is responsible for a majority of our immune function.  As the health of the gut goes, so goes our immunity.  And a decreased immune response doesn’t just mean you get a cold or the flu.  Our immune system fights off infections, colds, flu, and even cancer.  We’re now talking a life threatening ordeal!

The study also found that the subject’s gut bacteria didn’t immediately return to normal. It was checked 2 weeks after discontinuing the McDonalds cleanse (joking there), and his gut bacteria was still diminished significantly.  This suggests that it has a long term negative effect.  And in case you think you don’t have to worry about this because you don’t eat fast food at spots like McDonalds, Burger King and the like, go take a look in your pantry.  If the lion’s share of what you eat is sitting on the shelf, and could be there for several months and still be edible, guess what?  You’re eating fast food.

And remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet either.  Eat well my friends, your gut health, and your overall health, depend on it.

Until next time….Be Well!
Dr. Bruce