#2: Baby Boomers: Our Unhealthy Eating Habits

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Sometimes, in the United States, I think the food industry is out to kill us. Scratch that. Not sometimes. All the time. Then again, I suppose they feed the people what the people want, what the people will buy, which is an even sadder statement on the American diet. This is one of many things the baby boom generation does wrong if it wants to keep itself young. We don’t eat right.

Here are a few interesting facts and figures. We eat around 2,775 calories per day. Only 205 of those calories are fruits and vegetables. About 600 of those calories are in a category called “added fats and oils.” Those are not found naturally in our food products. They are what is added to processed foods like crackers and other off-the-shelf products. Bread and other grain products, like rice and corn, are around 610 calories. We have increased our grain consumption 45% since 2000.

The lack of consumption of vegetables, particularly, and fruit has depleted our essential nutrients, compromised our immune systems, caused us to gain weight, and inhibited our digestion. Only 22% of adults report eating vegetables daily. In all but three states, the average servings of vegetables were less than 1.7 per day.

The wheat we eat today does not contain the minerals it once did. It is not as nutritious as it used to be which has led to a plethora of health problems including gluten intolerance, magnesium deficiency, and lack of absorption of calcium and zinc, among others.

The fats and oils category indicates that we have decreased our use of saturated fats but increased our use of hydrogenated fats and oils. We were told for years that saturated fats were bad for us. While we still should limit our intake, they are far healthier than hydrogenated fats. Eat real butter instead of margarine. Use olive oil on your salads. Instead of canola oil or sunflower, peanut or corn oil, use coconut oil to cook with.

Then there is salt. We average 3,400 mg per day. Twice the daily recommended amount and seven times more than our body needs. No wonder so many people have to take high blood pressure medication. Too much sodium may lead to stroke and heart attacks.

Maybe the worst statistic of all is this one. Of that 2,775 calories per day that we average, 25% comes from animal products, 12% from plant products, and a whopping 63% from processed food, sugars, hydrogenated fats, and oils.

We wonder why insurance costs and prescription drug costs are high. #amwriting #writing #blogging #HealthyLiving

 

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