Boost Your Immunity Simply by Avoiding Fatty Foods
Ok. Raise your hand if you are unclear on the subject of whether foods that are high in fat are good for you or bad for you. Go ahead and take a couple of moments to think about. Fat. Good thing or bad thing? BAD! And not just for your waistline. In fact, new research is suggesting that you can actually boost your immunity to colds, the flu and other dangerous health conditions simply by avoiding fatty fare.
That’s right. Too much fat in your diet is not such a great thing for the overall optimal function of your body, its component parts OR your mental health. That said, one can never hear this enough. You can never hear enough reasons why you should put down the fish and chips, skip the fried anything and instead reach for a lean piece of chicken or salad. And now there’s one more . . .
New research out of University of Gothenburg is reinforcing this truism and comes to you with research containing fresh evidence that eating highly fatty foods, especially over long periods of time, can significantly weaken your body’s natural immune system.
The research was conducted on mice (who, if we’d just leave them alone, would probably never dream of eating too much fat). At any rate, the mice were fed a lard-based diet over an extended period of time. Over that same time period, those mice displayed a decreasing ability to fight off bacteria in the blood. The fat content in their diets was significant; about 60 percent of calories came in the form of fat. The immune system function of these mice was compared to a control group of mice who were fed a diet of approximately 10 percent total fat content.
Not surprisingly, the mice that ate the high fat diet began to put on a few centimeters around their waistline. But the surprising finding was in the extent to which the high fat diet appeared to have suppressant affect on their immune systems. White blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off bacteria, became increasingly incapable of fighting that fight. Researchers believe this caused many of them to die of sepsis.
Again, it’s important to not that a mouse left to his own devices would likely not choose this as his path. But not so with humans, which is why these studies can be particularly useful.
"Obesity is usually associated with inflammation that does not result from an infection, which simply means that the immune defences are activated unnecessarily," says doctoral student Louise Strandberg who wrote the thesis. "Ironically, the mice on the high-fat diet seem to have a less active immune system when they really need it."
"So there are all kinds of links between the immune system on the one hand and obesity and diet on the other," says Strandberg.
This is but one more important piece of research that will hopefully help us to understand the direct connection between diets high in fat and consequent poor health.