I guess that the US is very different when it comes to the quality of their food from other countries. This actually surprised me. The first bit of information I had regarding the differences between US and other countries and the quality of the same types of foods was when I wrote a small piece about the mom bloggers who started a petition on Kraft Mac and Cheese.
They are asking that Kraft remove the fake coloring additives it uses in the US version of Mac & Cheese and use the more natural and healthy version they use on the same product over in Europe, which has tighter restrictions regarding food additives.
I was shocked to learn that a company would do something differently overseas, but I really shouldn’t be that shocked since Johnson and Johnson was not using a toxic chemical in their overseas version of baby shampoo but they were here. They relented and removed the chemical from the US version eventually by the way.
Which brings me to the story today. Apparently scientists have found some pretty good evidence that the salt content in our processed diet over here in the US has lead to a huge spike in autoimmune diseases, including asthma (which I have, and I’ve written about how I notice when my diet has crap in it, I get more attacks), alopecia and MS.
Here’s the interesting part. There are junk foods overseas, and a lot of the same fast food joints that started off over here domestically have migrated overseas. However, when researchers compared the sodium content of the US versions of these fast foods to the sodium content in the fast foods overseas, the results were pretty astounding. And they tell a story of why we may be unhealthier over here than our overseas counterparts.
They found that the foreign versions of fast foods such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut and other popular restaurants had literally about HALF the sodium content that our foods have over here. We had double the salt content they did in other words! That’s crazy, and it certainly explains why we have more heart disease, autoimmune disease, and other related diseases over here.
Why Does Salt Cause Autoimmune Disease?
Scientists found that when helper T cells, actually a subset of them that play a pivotal role in autoimmune diseases, became a lot more aggressive when they were exposed to refined salt. Autoimmune disease is just that. It is the over aggressive, overactive tendency of some of our immune responses that cause the disease, thus making it an autoimmune disease (caused by your own overactive immune system).
This may also explain why it causes flare ups in people who have things like asthma. Like I mentioned before, I notice that at a heavy meal, or a splurge on fast foods, I tend to have asthma more. This was a huge learning experience for me personally!