Obesity rates have ballooned in the United States in recent years. 15 percent of the population was obese in 1980, compared to 34 percent today, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These figures, along with the rising cost of healthcare for obesity-related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, call out for a change in behavior.
With one quick look it’s easy to see that we humans were never meant to eat the types of foods we consume every day.
There is a direct link between nutrition and heart disease. Poor eating habits could very soon lead to the fist generation of Americans to live shorter lives than the generation before them.
Do yourself a favor. Here are 7 types of foods you should avoid (or be aware of so you consume them in moderation):
1. Excess Sugar ~ Too much sugar in the diet causes the body to release more and more insulin, the hormone the body needs to convert sugar into energy. With insulin overload, eventually it becomes less and less effective, and you develop insulin resistance, and diabetes.
2. High Fructose Corn syrup ~ Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol), which is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects up 60% of our population.
3. Simple carbohydrates ~ In short, we’ve got way too many processed carbohydrates from starch-and sugar-rich foods in our diet, and we are consuming far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn (a grain, not a vegetable), rice, potatoes and cakes, with grave consequences to our health.
4. Vegetable oils ~ Vegetable oils are extremely high in Omega 6 (linoleic acid). An elevated intake of Omega 6 is associated with an increase in all inflammatory diseases – which is to say virtually all diseases, including but not limited to: diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
5. Anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated (trans fats) ~ Hydrogenation is the process of heating liquid vegetable oil and combining it with hydrogen gas. Hydrogenated fats or oils are also called trans fats, a term which refers to the changed bonding arrangement of carbon atoms. It it great for “emulsifying” foods, or making them “nice and creamy”. The better taste and texture comes at a high cost, as these man-made fats have no health benefits, and are known to raise cholesterol and contribute to coronary artery disease.
6. Saturated Fats ~ One of the biggest culprits we unwittingly consume whenever we eat foods with saturated fats is a fatty acid called palmitic acid—a gooey, sticky substance that’s found in meats, butter, cheese, and other dairy products, particularly ice cream. Allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, palmitic acid and its sodium salt, sodium palmitate, find wide use in the food industry—especially in fast foods since they are inexpensive and add texture, taste and stability to processed and enriched foods.
7. Foods with GMOs (Genetically modified organisms) ~ GMOs are present in almost sixty percent of all processed foods including vegetable oil, soya flour, lecithin, and soya proteins. GMO corn products make up approximately fifty percent of processed foods including corn, cornstarch, and corn syrups. Beets, sugar, dairy products, and soybeans are also produced through genetic engineering.
How can I possibly do that? It’s overwhelming!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Take it one step at a time.
Try it. Use a Healthy Eating Plate based on the latest and best science.
Avoid or consume in moderation excess sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, trans fats, and saturated fats.
Shop around the sides of the store. Venture carefully down the aisles containing all the processed foods (if you venture at all).
Eat less fast food and more real food: fruits and vegetables, lots of them in every color. Preferably from your own garden, from your local farmer’s market, or in the organic section of your favorite grocery store.