Speaking of breakthroughs, breakdowns, and breakouts , I recently saw a report card on America’s eating habits over the past 35 years. The results were not encouraging when it comes to the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. We truly need to break the trend if we hope to live healthy and well. Here are the highlights:
The consumption of cheese is at an all-time high, at close to 32 pounds per person per year. Full-fat ice cream has stayed the same (16 pounds per year), as has low-fat ice cream (8 pounds per year). Given the saturated fat in dairy products, not to mention the digestive problems with dairy proteins and sugars, these trends are alarming. Better to break the trend and eliminate cheese and ice cream from your diets altogether. The consumption of yogurt is up to more than low-fat ice cream, which at least represents the lesser of all dairy evils. ï¿½ The consumption of added fats and oils is also at an all-time high, to nearly 90 pounds per person. Most of this comes from salad oil, cooking oil, and shortening. Oils are another food worth avoiding or minimizing. At our house, we have gone to cooking most of our foods with water and seasoning our salads with either balsamic vinegar and Baba Ghannouj or non-fat / low-fat organic dressings. Shortening with hydrogenated vegetable oils, along with beef tallow and lard, clog arteries and provoke inflammation.
The high-caloric value of fats and oils is another reason to be concerned. ï¿½ Sweeteners, such as corn syrup and sugar, have taken a dip in the past five years but we still consume far more than we did in 1970. At 140 pounds per person per year, we are not only adding excess calories to our diets, we are also setting ourselves up for problems with diabetes and Syndrome X. So don’t do that! If you need to sweeten something, you may want to try small amounts of Stevia — a natural, low-calorie sweetener. Want to guess our most popular beverage? It’s not clean, filtered, no-calorie water. At more than 50 gallons per person per year, it’s carbonated, high-calorie beverages with all their concomitant problems. Coffee, milk, and beer each come in above 20 gallons per year, along — for the first time — with bottled water.
That’s the good news, although it may not mean that people are drinking more water than before. It may just mean we are drinking more bottled water than before. Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces (2 quarts or approximately 2 liters) of water per day. Beef continues to be the most popular meat, at more than 60 pounds per person per year, even though it’s higher in saturated fat and additives than other meat. That’s the bad news. The good news is that chicken has climbed to the second most popular meat, at just under 60 pounds per person per year. That’s a good trend if the chicken is baked, roasted, or poached, with a minimum of salt. Unfortunately, most of that chicken is battered and fried in partially hydrogenated oil, which means we are actually doing worse. Fish continues to rank last in the meat department, even though the healthy fats in fish are known to benefit cardiovascular health and other conditions. When it comes to grains, wheat flour, both white and whole wheat, top the chart at 125 pounds per person per year. Given the problems with grain, gluten, and glycemia, it’s no wonder our health is suffering. All other grains pale in comparison, with corn being next at 30 pounds per person per year. Rice comes in at 20 and oats come in at 5. The decision to be gluten free, which eliminates wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt from your diet, is a great way to reduce your total intake of calories and to increase your intake of more healthy foods.
Speaking of health, it’s great to see that our total consumption of fruits and vegetables is up, way up, over 35 years ago. Americans now consume about 425 pounds of fruit and 325 pounds of vegetables, not counting potatoes. Potatoes (most often fried) represent another 100 pounds. The potatoes we can do without, but the other fruits and vegetables represent a great, nutrient-rich trend. There’s no way to eat too much fresh fruit and vegetables. At our house, our daily routine includes a fruit smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a colorful, steamed vegetable for dinner. Coaching Inquiries: How could you break the trend of rising dairy, fat, oil, sweetener, soda, and grain consumption? How could you help your loved ones to do the same? Do you eat an abundant amount of fresh fruits and vegetables on daily basis? Do you drink enough clean, filtered water on a daily basis? Who could assist you to eat better and eat well?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com 2010-2011
President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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