Articles and blogs have been appearing recently stating that the American diet is getting better. Do you agree or disagree?
In a recent video blog, Dr. Pam Popper, founder and executive director of the Wellness Forum in Columbus, OH, shared some statistics that would cast serious doubt on the claim of ‘improvement.’
For example, in the 70’s, Americans ate 2.6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. More recently (2009-10), that number has dropped to 1.9! Amazingly, this number includes french fries as a serving! In the 70’s, about 12% of Americans would admit that they did not eat any fruits and vegetables. Today that number is about 25%! We have gone from eating 3.9 times a day to eating 5.6 times a day. That in itself wouldn’t be bad, however, the quality of what we are eating is severely compromised. Pizza calorie consumption has increased from 453 to 666, per capita, per day. Have you had your pizza today? I think if you haven’t, it must mean that someone else is really pigging out!
What are some specific tactics you can employ to improve your diet as well as your family’s diet? Keep reading.
1. Read the labels.
Know what information is provided and decide what is the most important to you (calories, sugar, fiber, fewest number of ingredients, etc).
Understand that ingredient order is based on weight. Unpronounceable ingredients should trigger red flags.
2. Choose the best quality food that you can afford. Be aware of when you need to buy organic and when it is optional. Know the Dirty Dozen List, and the Clean 15 List. This listing is based on pesticide residue.
3. Increase the number of veggies in your daily diet: Add sliced veggies to sandwiches. Add chopped veggies to casseroles or pasta sauce. Prepare individual containers of veggies for lunches. Add petite-diced veggies to rice, pasta, or quinoa. Serve veggies instead of chips with dip.
Eating healthy does not have to be an impossibility. It doesn’t have to be achieved overnight- actually, I can guarantee it won’t be achieved overnight! In fact, it might be a process to clean out the cabinets, refrigerator and freezer of unhealthy choices- but it will be a major step in the right direction! If you need some help with this, give me a call and if you are local (Phoenix East Valley), we’ll set up an appointment and do this together.
I believe there is a small revolution going on as more people that I talk to are definitely taking responsibility for their own health, and are eating better. Are you with us? If there is anything I can do for you, please give me a call.
American Diets: Better or Worse? I’d love to read your comments below.