What Is Southern Diet? Here's Everything You Should Know

Southern diet has many potential negative health effects. Here's everything you should know about this type of diet from an expert. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Sep 28, 2021
What Is Southern Diet? Here's Everything You Should Know

Do you know what is the Southern diet? It is a kind of diet that includes fried foods, added fats, processed meats, sugary drinks and eggs. Even if the diet includes chicken and eggs, but the processing makes it an unhealthy option. The foods are high in sugar, salt and can be a huge risk for heart health. Moreover, southern diet has many other negative health effects as well. According to a few researched, the foods and drinks included in this diet can be a major risk factor for healthy men and women, and can worsen health conditions. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Anjali Phatak, Director Nutripulse and Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Nutripulse, Jaipur, to know everything about southern diet. 

Southern diet side effects

People who eat a southern style diet are at a higher risk of several chronic diseases. And to lower your risk of cardiac death, it is important to eat less fried and processed foods. You can take your dietician's advice about the quantity suitable for your body regarding such food items. As per Dr. Anjali, here are the main side effects of southern diet: 

1. Affects kidney

kidney health

Image source: cdc.gov.in

Besides the heart, southern diet can also leave a negative impact on your kidney. In fact, if people who are already suffering from kidney disease eat such foods, then it will make them reach at a life threatening stage. Processed meats and high salt foods can be extremely harmful for your kidney health. You should drink plenty of fluids to reduce the negative effect on your kidneys. 

2. Risk of heart disease

People who have a southern style dietary pattern are at a higher risk of heart disease as compared to those who eat it less. Fried foods have the tendency of increasing the cholesterol and blood pressure levels in your body. Eating too much processed meat can also eventually lead to cardiovascular problems such as stroke, heart attack, etc. Instead of having these foods, one should prefer including fruits and vegetables in his/her diet. 

Also read: 6 Ways To Reduce Your Processed Food Intake For Healthy Options

3. Obesity and inflammation

If you are overconsuming fried foods and sweetened beverages then obesity is a health problem that comes first in line. The high sugar content of this diet can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation in the body. Due to this major negative factor, many experts are completely against these foods. Both quantity and type of food matter when it comes to weight management. According to a study, southern diet is considered as one of the most unhealthy diets in the world. 

Southern diet foods and drinks

fried foods

Image source: Mercurynews.com

According to studies, in contrast, mediterranean diet is healthier than southern diet. It is characterized by a good amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and limited meat and dairy. Southern diet does not provide many health benefits as it includes mostly processed food items. These should be consumed in moderation instead of binge eating all at once. Here are some foods that are included in this diet:

  • Fried foods
  • Organ meats
  • Processed meats (like bacon and hot dogs)
  • Sweetened beverages
  • Eggs

According to Dr. Anjali, to strike the right balance, one needs to understand the side effects of hollow calories. For example, you should eat eggs but do not process it in various forms by the time it is in your plate. One should take low fried and sugary foods and drinks to prevent life threatening health conditions. Even if you are consuming these comfort foods once in a while, it should be balanced out with exercise or some other physical activity. 

Image credits: Onegreenplanet