If there is any accuracy at all to the adage “you are what you eat” then Americans are very much in trouble. What we are, more than anything else, is overweight or obese. But it did not use to be that way. To learn more, read Obesity Epidemic in America – How Did It Begin?
I can recall when McDonalds used to have a tally on their signs alerting everyone who drove by or drove in just how many burgers they had sold nation wide. Millions and millions. That number has since skyrocketed into the billions.
Billions and billions of cholesterol raising, artery blocking, fat producing McDonalds hamburgers that remain the staple on a menu where, tucked among all the quadruple bypass selections, is a salad choice or some other such nonsense for those who wish a more healthy option.
If you truly are seeking a healthy option, then try somewhere besides McDonalds although they are hardly the only fast food culprit out there.
We have become a sedentary generation, our bottoms rooted to office chairs in our professional lives and deep-cushion sofas in our home lives, all the while stuffing some type of junk food into ourselves. A good read on breaking out of our sedentary roles is Exercise is a Way to Prevent Obesity, even Genetic Obesity.
If we are, in fact, what we eat, then we are junk food wrapped beneath flesh and held together by bone.
The Benefits Of a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet has a number of benefits including maintaining a healthy and desirable body weight, maintaining an acceptable blood cholesterol level, and maintaining a normal blood pressure. A healthy diet also helps to reduce the possibility for chronic health problems such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer.
There are currently many diets that stake a claim for prevention of obesity, but many of these diets do not have an appropriate macro and micromanagement balance. For instance, the Mayo Clinic Diet continues to cause confusion. Representatives from the Mayo Clinic have disavowed this diet, which pushes high amounts of grapefruit, bacon and eggs, and cabbage soup among other foods. This diet is neither associated with or has been endorsed by the Mayo Clinic. Such a diet may result in weight loss but tends to be high in fat, which can increase LDL cholesterol and promote heart disease. Plus grapefruit interferes with many medications.
Healthy Diet Guidelines
In 2005, the United States Department of Health and Human Services along with the United States Department of Agriculture released a set of dietary guidelines that are meant to promote good health as well as reduce the risks of chronic disease.
Recommendations included eating more dark green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, eating more orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and eating more beans and lentils.
Eating a variety of fruit was also recommended. On a diet of 2000 calories per day, 2 cups of fruit will be necessary.
Calcium rich foods such as low-fat or fat-free milk, low-fat yogurt or low-fat cheese should also be part of the daily menu.
They also recommend at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, or rice per day. However, I disagree with that and I am among a large and growing group of people who do not eat grains. In fact, I was advised by my nutritionist not to do so. The result? I lost weight, a lot of weight. Read about my experience: My Primal BluePrint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.
Lean meats and poultry and fish are also recommended and should be baked, broiled, or grilled. Read my 10 simple steps to Build a Healthy Plate.
The final recommendation is to limit both saturated fats and salt. What to read next: Avoid these Four Foods that Contribute to Obesity.
Center For Healthy Living - http://www.wwu.edu/healthyliving/education/obesity/prevention.shtml - accessed 8/4/12
Calorie Count: McDonald's Nutrition http://caloriecount.about.com/mcdonalds-nutrition-m36 accessed 8/5/12
eMedTV - http://weight-loss.emedtv.com/obesity/obesity-prevention-p3.html - accessed 8/4/12
You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.
Published On: August 05, 2012