Americans are eating too much of nearly everything including sugar, fat, protein, salt, and calories. These are drivers that cause coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, overweight, and some cancers. Let’s take a look at each of these culprits:
Sugar – The National Research Council reports that up to 20% of many people’s daily calories come from sugar. Our bodies cannot deal with excessive amounts of sugar. High fructose corn syrup, molasses, concentrated fruit juices, are just some of the sweeteners hidden in processed foods. One 12 oz. can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar! According to a Harvard study, one soda a day increases the risk of type II diabetes by 83%. Sugar is empty calories.
Fat – On average 35% of our calories consumed is from fat. Fat comes in many forms – saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, hydrogenated fat, transfat. Again, these are found predominately in processed foods.
Protein – Americans eat 2-3 times more protein than is recommended, resulting in more than a healthy dose of cholesterol and fat. Eating less protein, fat, and cholesterol will improve our health and longevity.
Salt – We consume on average 2-4 teaspoons of salt a day. It doesn’t sound like much. But we only need about ¼ teaspoon a day. Much of the salt consumed is in canned, frozen, and processed foods. Look for products labeled “reduced” or “no salt”.
For optimum health, be sure to include more fruits, vegetables, bean dishes in your diet. By doing so, you will automatically eliminate excessive amounts sugars, fats, proteins, and salt.