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How The Western Diet Influences Health

The Rise of Chronic Disease

For millions of years civilisations and communities have thrived when they have consumed a natural, unprocessed diet appropriate to their region of the planet. Inuits, for just one example, inhabit the most Northern regions of the world and still largely consume a diet that is natural to them. They enjoy a diet that is rich in animal meat and fat with virtually no plant produce. The communities that inhabit the Northern most reaches of these tough areas have almost no chronic disease, virtually no tooth decay, no allergies and no mental disorders. It is only when they are exposed to foods that have been processed that their health starts to rapidly deteriorate. 

Western Food - The Trojan Horse of Chronic Disease

When the human being finds food from the land and consumes what Nature provides, they largely live a long and natural life - untouched by modern diseases which are now plaguing are planet. The diseases which are now prevalent amongst our communities are easy to spot and a whole industry has sprung up to help deal with them by alleviating the symptoms. Up until just a few hundred years ago, there was no requirement for dentists as we didn't suffer from any tooth decay or other mouth problems. Dentists can now be found in all towns, and even the practices that are found in rural communities are overrun with patients, resulting in long waiting lists. For the dental industry this is a great position to be in, but it is a sad reflection on the overall state of our oral hygiene. As is the underlying theme with the mainstream treatment of modern health issues, the solution is to treat the symptoms with very few so called health professionals trying to understand the root causes of the problem. Modern trained physicians, GPs and MDs spend more time understanding which drug will treat a particular condition, than they will being taught the basics of what constitutes a healthy eating regime. This is largely because of the various vested interests of the companies that are responsible for the training at the medical establishments. What is clear, if anything is clear in the murky world of medicine, is that the 'health' authorities of most modern countries have become multi billion pound businesses that are dependent on large numbers of people being sick. Patients have become customers, and they not in short supply. The NHS (National Health Service) for example is one of the largest employers in Europe and have a very successful business model. The sales and referral process couldn't be better put together and if we stand back and take an objective view, we can see exactly how it works. At the highest level, let's imagine that a particular pharmaceutical company is keen to upsell some of their products in a drive for new sales. With the power they have developed from their previous successes, they now have incredible influence within most government agencies and so 'persuade' the various ministerial influencers that a national campaign is needed to roll out a testing process that could help a certain section of society identify and a certain health issue, that they have no idea that they may have. This is sold on the premise of - 'early detection + early treatment = removal of illness to save lives'. And this is the type of marketing that has been used across most industries for many decades. At a local level, surgeries will promote check-up clinics to encourage both existing customers and new customers to attend. Adverts will be used nationally and regionally in the national media and this will in turn drive people to contact their local GP surgery to subscribe. The check up clinics will be labelled accordingly - 'Over 50s well man clinic' for example. Many people subsequently contact the surgeries and book appointments accordingly. Many tests and checks are carried out at the appointment which will result in a large number of people receiving follow up messages that will require them to re-attend the surgery for further tests or discussions, or will refer them to a specialist department at their nearest hospital. The first thing to realise is that this is guaranteed to be a run-away successful campaign due to many reasons. But if we take just one of the many reasons, we can see how successful this scheme will surely be. The eating habits of a large percentage of the UK population.

By eating a diet that, ironically, the government are advocating as healthy, the health of the nation will undoubtedly deteriorate, this in turn will guarantee that a high number of campaign attendees will return tests that will require further investigation. Some of these will turn out to be very invasive and may, inadvertently, cause damage to the body of the person who is subject to the particular medical procedure.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the Western World have adopted diets that are high in heavily processed foods, especially highly refined carbohydrates which are deficient in vital nutrients.


Many people start their day with a breakfast of high sugar cereals that not only deplete the body of vital vitamins and minerals but also provides a blood sugar spike which puts the system under an enormous amount of physical and hormonal stress, resulting in a rapid release of insulin to remove the sugar from the blood stream before it can do any harm. A typical lunch may include a sandwich which has a similar metabolic effect as the breakfast, and once again the body has to work hard to bring the elevated blood sugar down to a healthy level. 

As these eating habits are repeated day-after-day, the body will gradually become overloaded by oxidative stress resulting in an imbalance of microbes, possible yeast overload and the gradual increase in inflammation within the digestive system, which will affect the integral structure of the gut wall. These bodies are now well on the pathway to chronic disease, and true wellness cannot be achieved until the gut health is addressed, treated and restored to balance. 


When Dr Natasha Mc Bride began the

GAPS treatment protocols

(Gut and Physiology / Psychology Syndrome) it helped many people realise that the vast majority of chronic diseases could be treated and, through patience and time, often reversed in a natural way which was largely free of toxic medications. By working with patients and clients with methods based on the GAPS protocols and treatments, we, at South Downs Nutrition, get to the root cause of illnesses unlike a large section of allopathic, mainstream medicine, which purely provides relief from the symptoms. This is akin to putting a small sticky plaster on a gaping wound. It just won't work.


Helping others realise that they can help heal themselves and escape the feeling of being a victim of disease, is very humbling indeed.

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