Does a Western Diet make autoimmune diseases worse?

The right diet can have a good impact on your health and wellbeing. However, eating the wrong foods can have the opposite effect. A number of studies are looking specifically at the Western Diet and whether it is a promoter of autoimmune diseases. While there is no definitive association between the two, there are plenty of signs that there are links.

What is a Western Diet?

You may be wondering what this kind of diet includes and why it could be bad for you. The nutrition patterns here include eating more foods that are high in fat and cholesterol. Foods with high amounts of salt and sugar are also common in this diet. In addition, people in Western countries also tend to eat more fast and processed foods.

The trend

In recent decades the amount of people in western countries who suffer from autoimmune diseases has risen. At the same time, the diseases are less prevalent in Eastern and developing countries. On top of this, there can be a steep increase in countries that develop and Westernise quickly.

Now, these patterns may not be purely because of diet. It can also be because of environmental and lifestyle factors. The latter can include things like stress, alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise.

Issues to note

The wrong food intake could be causing a number of issues in people who suffer autoimmune diseases. For example, people with MS may feel more fatigue if their diet does not contain the right things. In addition, people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may find some of the wrong foods make their pain and diarrhoea worse.

Talk to a nutritionist about autoimmune disease

Principal Nutrition is a great source of information about diets and healthy lifestyle changes. Our goal is to help people to understand what factors can be making their conditions worse or even causing them. To do this we use a functional medicine approach to look at their health history, diet, current lifestyle, and more.

If you have any questions for us, please get in touch.