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Tags: The New American Diet

The New American Diet

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 04:02 PM EDT

When I think "American diet," hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, Coca Cola, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, barbecues, canned foods, frozen dinners, ice cream, and fast food come to mind.

Of no surprise: It’s exactly what we ate and fed our kids in the 1970s and '80s. Margarine, artificial colorings, and chemical preservatives were not considered dangerous to our health. They were just regular food ingredients. We never questioned if processes that allowed perishables to no longer perish might possibly make us perish instead.

In the 1990s I was the school physician for the Irvington School District in New York and vividly remember a life size poster of the food pyramid in the nurse’s office facing me each time I came into the school to do physicals. Heavy in starches and sugars, meats, and dairy, the food pyramid was and still is to a limited degree the standard of what the American diet consists of.

While millions of Americans are still eating too many starches, animal meat, dairy, and saturated fats, many no longer do.

Over the past two decades our awareness has shifted and many of us have made the connection between food and health. It is now clear that what we eat directly affects how well our bodies function.
Some foods cause disease while others prevent it. We have demonstrated scientifically that certain foods heal while other foods aggravate medical conditions. Allergies are now commonly connected to gluten and wheat, dairy, and chemicals included in many foods.
Trial and error, decades of scientific research, and clinical evidence based medicine have proven that if we eat fewer carbohydrates, starches, dairy, animal meat and fat, alcohol, caffeine, soda, and fried foods we feel better.
We now know that the healthy American diet has to be high in vegetable protein and unsaturated fats like avocadoes, beans, vegetables, olive oil, fruit, and fish. These foods have anti-inflammatory qualities and provide antioxidants that remove toxic waste from our cells keeping us healthy, thin, and full of energy regardless of age.
That’s all good. We know when we order in a restaurant or buy food at the supermarket which foods are good and which aren’t. We make informed decisions and live with their consequences.
What is a little less obvious is where we should go next. Once we have a good diet, what do we need to do to create and secure a better diet, a great life?
Going from bad to good we understand. Good to great we need a few more lessons in.

Here is some advise on how to make the jump from good to great once you are following our new American diet.

• Limit the portions. Calorie restriction is the only scientifically proven way to extend life span. Use small plates instead of dinner plates. You’ll feel full faster, enjoy food better, and of course, live longer.
• Shop only the outer aisles of the supermarket. That’s where vegetables and fruit are. Do not go into the middle aisles unless you are buying olive oil. The canned products contain chemicals and preservatives. You already know them to be dangerous to your health.
• Add exercise to your daily routine. The way you improved your diet and eliminated toxic foods, improve your life by strengthening your cardiovascular system, maintaining flexibility, and increasing your muscle mass and strength.
• Sleep at least eight hours a night. With age, we need more sleep. It renews and rebuilds our resources. Our adrenal glands and all other hormone production occur at night. Hormones in balance translate into healthy you.
• Limit stress in your life. While we all have to deal with stress, we don’t have to bring stress into our bodies and souls. Train yourself to relax, meditate and de-stress. Alcohol or drugs do not relax you, they knock you out and make you age prematurely and increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, accidents, and chronic illnesses.
• Take supplements. Add Vitamin C 1000 mg, Omega-3 fish oils 2000 mg, vitamin D 3000 IU, L-carnitine 1000 mg, and Coenzyme Q10 100 mg to your regimen. Purchase from health practitioner offices or specialized health food stores, those products are higher quality.
Finally, the new American diet and our way of life are work in progress. Keep your mind open to learning new ways to eat better and lead a better, kinder life. With this mindset you’ll enjoy every minute.

© HealthDay

When I think American diet, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, Coca Cola, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, barbecues, canned foods, frozen dinners, ice cream, and fast food come to mind. Of no surprise: It s exactly what we ate and fed our kids in the 1970s and '80s....
The New American Diet
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 04:02 PM
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