Why Today’s Diets are Inflammatory

 

Our genes were designed to respond to the types of stress that our hunter-gatherer forebearers would have encountered. However, our foods & lifestyles today look nothing like those of our ancestors. Mismatches between our ancient genes and modern diets are contributing to increases in whole body inflammation and inflammatory disease.

Our Genes Were Designed for a Different Time

 

The adaptive stress response is a survival mechanism—a vestige of our hunter-gatherer ancestry, when 99.9 percent of the genes that make us human took shape.

But dramatic changes in our lifestyle and our food supply—particularly the overabundance of empty, easily available calories in affluent countries—have removed many of these beneficial stressors from modern existence. Twenty-first-century conditions not only deprive the body of adaptive stress, they actually drive the needle in the other direction toward overactive inflammation and the overweight and obesity, poor health, and premature aging that go along with it.

Our Ancestors Wouldn’t Recognize 70% of Today’s Calories

To give an example, over 70 percent of our calories come from foods that would have been unrecognizable to our ancestors. Our food supply contains far fewer polyphenols, bioactive compounds that regulate the genes that keep us healthy. Polyphenols are a casualty of modern agricultural practices—much like fiber, another bioactive that’s all but stripped from processed foods. Still other bioactive compounds, like the omega-3 and saturated fat concentrations in our meat and fish, are radically different than they would have been 100,000 years ago. At the same time, we are getting way too many of the wrong types of calories (mostly from sugar and high-fructose corn syrup) and getting much less (and the wrong type of) exercise than our ancestors did.

The Problem with Abundance

Our other problem is abundance. When they had the opportunity, our ancestors ate as many calories as they could. Their bodies stored the extra calories as fat for later use—a biological process that would have saved them from starvation during famine. The excess fat also produced over 100 inflammatory messengers, which would have boosted their immune systems to protect them against infection and disease.

But packing on the pounds is no longer a survival mechanism. In fact, obesity-related disease is our number-one public health issue, largely because it kicks our immune systems into overdrive. You see, overactive inflammation—the result of an overaggressive and chronically activated immune system—is the central driver behind not only an array of human diseases but the aging process itself. Our eating habits and lifestyles switch on precisely those genes that trigger overactive inflammation.

We’re Overfed and Undernourished

Food in America is filled with empty calories. Although we eat all the time, we too are in a state of malnutrition: the foods we eat do not contain the ingredients our bodies require to properly regulate our immune, endocrine, our brain and emotional responses. Make no mistake about it, there is a severe price to be paid for this malnutrition in the form of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, skin disease, poor cognitive function, excessive depression and perhaps most of all, exaggerated aging.

What’s more, the shifts in our lifestyle and food supply, in combination with our ancient genes, put every single one of us at risk. These changes have robbed the human body of the protective stress response that it so desperately needs to maintain itself in peak health and at an optimal weight. The genes that would have been so highly advantageous for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, especially during their reproductive years, are quite literally killing us today.

Gene Smart is the first diet to give us the ability to control the inflammatory genes, reducing inflammatory signals—and stopping overweight, disease, and premature aging before they start.

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The Gene Smart Team

What Is Gene Smart? At Gene Smart we provide health news, information and scientifically researched supplements. Our supplement formulas are cutting-edge and meet the highest quality assurance standards in the industry, to help you with a variety of health conditions....


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