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America's Dangerous Food Trends

By HERWriter
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Obesity related image Photo: Getty Images

Hold the burger and fries and start seeing green. Food choices need to go from an afterthought to a conscious choice if you want to reach your ultimate weight loss goal. Fast foods are often loaded with excess sodium and saturated fats causing risk factors for many diseases. HealthyEatingGuide.com has compiled some alarming statistics about our eating trends. The first one, according to the American Heart Association and World Health Organization: you shouldn’t consume more than 7 percent of your total calories from saturated fat. However, one of America’s staples is still the fast food drive through.

We love convenience and grabbing something off the shelf that is quick and easy is also one of America’s favorite pastimes. It is important, however, to avoid pre-packaged items that contain additional calories and preservatives. Many pre-packaged and deli meats contain a ton of sodium which can contribute to many health problems. Another statistic found that in a National Institutes of Health study, men and women with pre-hypertension who reduced their sodium intake by 25 to 35 percent had a 25 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the 10 to 15 years after they had made this dietary change.

It is a “wrap” for simple carbohydrates and time to swap out “white” carbs for whole grains. A further statistic shows that by just doing this you may be able to lower your risk for heart disease by 33 percent.

Statistics also showed that by eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day, you can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease by 30 percent, lose weight, and enhance your immune system so you don’t get sick as often. I like to pack fresh veggies and dip them in natural peanut butter. Cucumbers dipped in salsa or baby carrots dipped in guacamole are also a delicious treat.

Sometimes it is not what you eat but what you drink that contributes to negative side effects. The average American drinks 526 12-oz sodas per year which is approximately 1.5 cans each day. Healthy Eating Guide suggested swapping those empty calories for water and to cut out over 6,000 calories per month. Their findings show that this could amount to 21 pounds of weight loss in a year!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy eating is associated with reduced risk for many diseases, including the three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Children learn from their parents, so it is up to you to set an example with your food choices.
The CDC stated, “Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and can prevent health problems such as obesity, dental caries, and iron deficiency anemia. Most young people are not following the recommendations set forth in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: of U.S. youth aged 6-19, 67% exceed dietary guidelines recommendations for fat intake, 72% exceed recommendations for saturated fat intake.”

Online References:

Reviewed July 1, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Alison Stanton

Joanne Sgro is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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