The American Diet: A Serious Health Concern On The Globe
The American Diet, or as scientists call it, the Western Pattern Diet, represents a modern approach to meal plans. It consists of high intakes of processed and pre-packaged foods, along with fried foods, red meat, and a lot of sweets. Overall, this diet can pose serious health risks due to the tremendous amounts of chemicals, sugars, and artificial sweeteners present in those foods. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the American Diet.
What can we call the American Diet?
Mostly, the American Diet consists of red meat, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. It has little to no nutritional value, since fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish are present in small quantities.
The standard American diet comes with up to 2,500 calories per day, with 50% of calories from carbs, 35% from fat, and 15% from protein. Even though this might appear like a balanced intake, studies show that the specific foods in this meal plan compromise the macronutrients and offer little to no value. Besides, Americans tend to consume more than 13% of their daily calories in the form of added sugar.
What are the principal health concerns associated with the American Diet?
Several studies done on the American Diet reveal that this meal plan is the leading cause of obesity on the globe. Also, it can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome.
#1 Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It favors the inflammation of the digestive tract and results in severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, malnutrition, and weight loss. Studies reveal that the American Diet might take a toll on the symbiotic bacteria in the human gut, leading to the early onset of Crohn’s Disease.
#2 Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that prevents your body from using insulin as it should. Patients with this health problem experience insulin resistance, and it can pose serious health risks. The research identified that one of the leading causes of developing diabetes is incorrect nutrition. Following the American, Diet exposes you to type 2 diabetes due to the imbalanced nutritional intake and high amounts of sugars.
The American diet is rich in inflammatory foods, which increases the chances of developing some types of cancer. Overall, most people that follow this meal plan develop colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
A Western pattern diet is linked with an increased risk of obesity. Such a meal plan increases HDL cholesterol, insulin, and leptin. And studies suggest this leads to excessive weight gain, especially among women and young adults.
Why shouldn’t you focus on an American Diet?
Specialists in nutrition revealed that there are 14 critical components of the American Diet that lead to disease, disability, and death. Some of the main motives why you should focus on an American Diet include:
- It is low in fruits and vegetables
- It is low in seeds and nuts
- It is low in omega-3 fatty acids
- It is low in whole grains and fiber
- It is high in sodium
- It is high in processed meats
- It is high in trans fats
- It is high in sugar-sweetened beverages
How to move on to a healthier meal plan?
No matter the reason why you might eat more American Diet foods, there is a recommended approach to make it healthier. All you have to do is:
- Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet to make sure you get vitamins and minerals
- Include low-fat dairy products to prevent vitamin D and calcium deficiencies
- Drink plenty of water
- Pay close attention to your food’s labels
- Try to avoid eating out too often
- Try to remove processed foods and cook your own meals
The bottom line
There is nothing new in the fact that the American Diet leads to serious health concerns. Still, many people indulge in it. This might happen due to the addictive effects of some chemicals featured in fast foods and processed foods. Also, keep in mind that sugar is addictive, too. It is best to avoid sweetened products, sweetened beverages, or any foods that come with high contents of artificial sweeteners.