The acronym SAD stands for Standard American Diet. But it is indeed “sad” because it produces many negative health effects. It is referred to as the Standard American Diet because it is what the average American is eating. Not only is it the average American who is eating this diet, but also many people in westernized society where we rely upon processed foods.
This compares to A Wellness Diet which is anti-inflammatory and the opposite of the SAD diet. It is low in:
- sugary foods
- trans fatty acids
- saturated fats
- foods that are low in nutrients.
It is high in:
- vitamins and minerals
- essential fatty acids such as fish oils
The Wellness Diet subsequently has an anti-inflammatory effect. An anti-inflammatory diet also tends to be a low reactive diet (low in allergy producing foods) and has less foods exposed to chemicals.
For long term good health, the Wellness Diet is recommended to boost health, prevent and treat the myriad of health problems that go hand in hand with inflammation.
?For more wellness information, take a look at How to Fix Fatigue: The Energy Makover.
The problem with the SAD diet is that it is pro-inflammatory. Inflammation is best explained as being like a “fire within”. Or if you can imagine what inflammation on the outside of the body looks like, such as a cut, it is red, sometimes swollen or hot and indicates an immune reaction is taking place. On the inside however it is marked by the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines which are produced by the lymph cells. The job of the pro-inflammatory cytokines is to protect the body against infection and invasion. Inflammation that is happening inside the body will eventually causes health defects – it is yet another promoter of fatigue and sickness behavior in the body.
So what is this Standard American Diet?
The Standard American Diet typically consists of foods that are high in simple sugars, trans fatty acids (the type that are found in margarines and most commercially produced bakery produce), saturated fats and refined foods. These foods have a high glycaemic load (see How to Stop Metabolic Syndrome Book to find out more). These foods are also low in nutrients.