Listening to the news this morning rates of obesity in American adults has hit 40% and 20% for children, with higher numbers for teenagers. Ironically the report praised initiatives because the rate of obesity has actually slowed. If as a nation we are satisfied with almost half of our adult population being obese than read no further. If you are horrified how we let this happen and what we can do to change it, read on.
Obesity isn’t about body image or ego, it is about health. Whether we want to talk about Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Arthritis, and even Cancer, we will find the root causes of these chronic degenerative diseases in the diet we fondly refer to as the American diet. The American diet consists of a large amount of animal products, meat and cheese, refined grains and sugary drinks, a completely unhealthy and quite frankly unsustainable way of eating.
How have we as a nation tried to address these problems? All you need to do is look at a magazine rack and you will see cover after cover touting some new diet secret or quick fix to a problem that probably had years to take hold. The latest trend made popular is the Whole 30, a low carb trend not much different than the Atkins diet popular 30 years ago and is helping many lose weight but is this the right way?
Years of working in the food and nutrition world I have deduced some simple facts about weight loss.
#1 Eat less of EVERYTHING but vegetables, simply put most of us eat too much, it isn’t just what we eat but the amount
#2 If you want to eat meat, drastically reduce grain consumption because you can’t have both, but remember as soon as you reintroduce carbs you will gain back some of that weight, you can’t isolate carbohydrates out of the diet
# GO VEGAN: believe it or not this in my mind is the simplest and best way to shed pounds, improve health outcomes and protect the environment. In relatively short amounts of time , 2 weeks, people have been able to improve health outcomes enough to be taken off many pharmaceutical drugs, simply by avoiding animal products.
Historically meat was a luxury and as a result eaten sparingly. It was also in the early winter when most societies feasted on meats, slaughtered a pig or hunted for deer and cured and conserved the meat to sustain them through the winter when other foods become scarce. This is not an issue for humans anymore and we need to recognize that the way we are feeding ourselves is killing us.
The great thing about diet and lifestyle is with some commitment and little financial investment you can make significant changes in just a short time.