According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 Eight Edition released January 9th, by the The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s website most Americans eat poorly. Based on the findings, the average American diet is mainly compromised of high calorie, sugary, fatty, and grainy foods. Sorry to say, cookies, burgers, juice are some of the culprits. The truth is these foods taste good, but in the long run a combination of them eaten on a regular basis can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and are a result of the average American over eating. Hello, obesity.
Here is a breakdown of American Dietary Trends:
- More than half of Americans have a diet low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils.
- Also more than half are meeting or exceeding total grain and total protein recommendations. Not entirely bad! But we do over consume and choose unhealthy grain and protein types.
- Most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Alert! Added sugars average for almost 270 of our calories!
- Many Americans consume food too high in calories, and at times are low in nutrients.
- Americans under consume in the following nutrients; potassium, dietary fiber, choline, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, D, E, and C.
In order to improve the current status of the American Diet, here are simple shifts recommended by the Dietary Guidelines that anyone can incorporate into their lifestyle:
Shift 1 – Increase your vegetable intake by replacing over-consumed foods with a vegetable.
- Example: switch up a favorite food like the burger – replace the buns with iceberg lettuce, replace the burger patty with a leaner meat like turkey. What you will be doing is increasing your vegetable intake while decreasing the over consumed food such as white grains and red meat. Score!
For those who are not a fan of raw vegetables, quick tip – roast your veggies!
Roasted Carrots Recipe:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
- Line baking tray with foil and use 1 tsp of olive oil to spread across tray.
- Cut carrots in half , and use unsalted seasoning like paprika, oregano or cinnamon to season them.
- Throw seasoned carrots in and roast for approximately 20 minutes.
- Boom! Tasty vegetables
Shift 3- Switch Fruit Snack Products to the Actual Fruit
- A Nutri-Grain Apple and Cinnamon Bar seems healthy, but compared to a regular apple it doesn’t stack up. The Nutri-Grain bar contains 120 calories, whereas a medium apple contains 95 calories!
Shift 4- Switch from White/Processed to Whole, Unrefined Grains
- Most Americans get their recommended grain intake from white breads and sugary cereals. Instead, choose whole grain breads and cereals low in sugar such as Oatmeal. Quick Tip – if oatmeal is too plain, jazz it up with fresh fruits and spices such as cinnamon and ground ginger.
Shift 5 – Switch From Solid Fats to Oils
- Most fats are eaten in a solid form, such as butter and full fat dairy. Instead of butter, use olive and coconut oil for preparing foods such as stir-fries and sautes. Reduce the intake of full fat dairy products by opting for the reduced fat version. Tip – make sure to read the label to see if sugar was added, you will also want to avoid these foods!
Let us know what you think about your diet and what steps are you taking to improve it!