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Stress Management for Health Course

Western Diet

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The Western Diet


The three major killers in modern society, coronary heart disease, cancer, and strokes can all be linked to what people eat and drink. (Dr Bhetzel)


Researchers say that two thirds of the disease we suffer in the West are preventable and are caused by:


        Poor diet


        Lack of exercise

        Chronic stress

        Excess alcohol



In the last century the average British diet has changed enormously.  In general we eat far less bread, potatoes, vegetables, cereals and far more meat, dairy, sugar, white flour, refined cereals, fats, oils, etc.

(The Family Medical Herbal)


Suffering chronic stress has been shown to put us at increased risk of certain diseases.  I believe these diseases occur because the western diet and lack of exercise make us more vulnerable and then the effects of stress add further to this load.  By eating a healthy diet, exercising and lowering alcohol we could reduce stress and our disease risk.  (No Ref)  A healthy diet is a vital part of stress management.


The average UK diet consists of 272 grams of Carbohydrate, 85 grams of Protein, 102 grams of Fat, and 25Grams of alcohol a day providing 2,450 Kilocalories. (Teach Yourself Nutrition)


Western Diet


        28% Carbohydrate

        40% Fat

        20% Sugar

        12% Protein

Caveman Diet


        65% Carbohydrate

        18% Fat

        0%  Sugar

        17% Protein

Healthy Diet


        70% Carbohydrate

        15% Fat

        0%   Sugar

        15% Protein


Research has shown that the average person is deficient in 8 out of 13 vitamins and minerals compared with the EC recommended daily amounts, according to national food surveys. (No Ref)

The National Food Survey (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 1993) surveyed food diaries from 8,043 British households.  The conclusion was that the average Briton is deficient in 7 essential vitamins and minerals compared to the EC RDAs the bare minimum, recommended for maintaining health.


These were:










50% of the population were getting too little B6 and 40% to little calcium.


The MAFF survey showed that only 1:10 of us gets enough zinc.

(Wilson E., Lewith G. (1997) Natural Born Healers, Channel 4 Books p113)


A government study of 1,275 people over 65 living independently and 412 living in institutions has found that although average intakes of most nutrients were above the RDA, as many as 1:14 were suffering serious deficiency in one or more vitamins, notably Vitamin A, B2, B6, and folic acid.  Intakes of magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium and Iodine were also deficient.

(Food Magazine 43, 1998, Quoted in SPNT News Autumn 1995/1999)


Excess coffee, tea, alcohol and sugar are the main culprits, but dont eliminate them overnight or you could feel worse. 

(Health and Fitness July 1998)


Doctors receive very little training in nutrition while they are in medical school, (6 - 8 hours).


A healthy diet can help to lower blood pressure.  In one case a man who was over weight and changed his diet to a more healthy one lowered his blood pressure in only one week from 155/102 (high) to 144/95 (upper end of normal), and he lost 5 lbs in weight.  All of this achievement was gained in only a week.

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