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What is the Western Diet?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/7/2010

There’s a new term on the diet market, and it’s called “the western diet.” The only problem is that this may be one diet you don’t want to start following.

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    Western Diet

    You’ve probably heard of the Sonoma Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and the Detox Diet, but what about the Western diet? The term “Western Diet” has been thrown around a lot lately, and it’s often used in varying context. Still, the basic definition of the Western Diet remains the same.

    The Western Diet is a diet that consists of packaged foods, junk foods, and foods that contain a lot of sugar, salt, and chemicals. While this definition may not surprise you, the fact that hundreds of nutritionists, specialists, and general journalists around the globe are now using this term may shock you.

    Why? As it stands, the rest of the globe currently recognizes the fact that Westerners do not follow a healthy diet. Instead, Westerners are viewed as a good example of a diet that shouldn’t be followed. There are many people within the western world that are trying to change this worldview, but so far this change has not taken affect.

    A recent article in the Journal of the American Heart Association cited that nearly 30 percent of heart attacks are caused by the Western Diet. The shocking fact is that this percentage of heart attacks is on a global level. In short, many around the world are now following the Western diet…and paying the price.

    Other Diets

    Aside from the (now well-known) Western Diet, other parts of the world enjoy various diet trends as well. Comparatively, the Western Diet falls short on a number of different levels. Consider the following two diets as examples of diets that should be followed.

    The Oriental diet includes a high amount of tofu, soy, and various other soy related products. The Prudent diet consists of many different fruits and vegetables, and the Mediterranean diet consists of fish, olives, olive oil, and healthy grains.

    While those within the western world aren’t likely to switch to an all fruit and vegetable diet any time soon, the Western diet is certainly responsible for numerous heart related deaths. Why is nutrition so poor within the Western world? This question still plagues researchers, though there may be a few possible answers.

    The amount of fast food and take-out restaurants within the Western part of the world is vast. Additionally, Western grocery stores tend to stock far more packaged and processed items than anywhere else in the world. These things directly lead to a continent of people that are not taking health seriously.

    While the Western Diet is one diet trend that you certainly don’t want to follow, it helps to know about the diet itself…along with the foods that should be avoided at all costs.