Standard American Diet – We Really Are What We Eat
From our ever-popular Wellness Workshops to individual discussions with patients, it seems like there has been a lot of discussion about food at Carlson Chiropractic Center lately. As the saying goes, “you are what you eat” and while we’ve all been working to clean up our diets and help our clients live healthier lives, we’ve also been recognizing that it’s hard to learn how to eat healthily.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is blamed by many for America’s obesity crisis and overall declining health. SAD is characterized by high intakes of sugary desserts, high-fat foods, refined grains, high sugar drinks, and processed meat products. Made up of numerous processed carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, sugars, chemical additives, and processed fats, SAD is severely lacking anything that can really be considered healthy.
We also cook at home, less and less, and have become a fast-food nation. As a result, 35.7 percent of Americans 20 to 74 years old were obese in the period from 2009 to 2012, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control. That’s up from 31.1 percent a decade earlier and 13.3 percent in 1960-1962. The standard American diet is impacting our children too as the CDC reports the percentage of children aged 6–11 years who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5 percent to nearly 21 percent over the same period. In 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese
The problems go far beyond the waistline, one in five American deaths are now associated with obesity. Obesity also seriously increases the risk of illness and death due to diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, and kidney and gallbladder disorders. The more overweight a person is, the higher the risk becomes. Obesity has also been implicated in an increased incidence of certain types of cancer.
What to do? It’s a good idea to look back because just 30 years ago the food available was mostly fresh and grown locally. Today, the majority of foods served, whether at home, in school, or in restaurants, are highly processed. That means we need to simplify the way we eat. We need to look for whole foods, with all-natural ingredients. We need to cook at home more. And we need to celebrate every change.
For those wanting to take healthy eating to the next level, we also offer Food Sensitivity Testing, and help our patients learn which foods they can and can’t eat, how to dine out safely, and learn how to read food labels and check the ingredients for problems. To learn more about how food sensitivities may be impacting your health and well-being, give us a call. Wellness, and yes, maybe even weight loss, can be yours with just a few simple changes.