Our diet has hijacked our taste buds for the ease of processed food and the cheap thrill of sugar. By default, the typical American diet does not taste as good as whole foods and will make you and your child unhealthy and overweight. You can take back your food if you are willing to honestly look at what you and your child are eating.
What We Know
In 1977 a US Senate Committee report recommended everyone follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet to control weight. The food industry responded by taking the fat out of processed food and adding sugar. People got fatter. From 1975-2016, obesity tripled worldwide leading to a rapid rise in heart disease and type-II diabetes.
- The typical American diet includes a substantial amount of processed food, and 74% of processed foods contain added sugar. On average, that adds up to 22 teaspoons or 88 grams of added sugar—an extra 350 calories—every day.
- A 15-year longitudinal study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that individuals had more than twice the risk of dying from heart disease if they consumed 25% or more of their total daily calorie intake from sugar. (JAMA Internal Medicine)
- It has been found that added sugar and fatty food empty calories make up of 40% of the average American daily intake calories. (Journal of American Dietetic Association “Dietary Sources of Energy, Solid Fats, and Added Sugars Among Children and Adolescents in the United States”)
What Can You Do
- Don’t panic. Don’t impulsively throw away everything in your house with sugar. Don’t run out and buy $100 worth of organic vegetables. Don’t decide it doesn’t matter what you do because everything is bad for you. Don’t feel like you will never be able to eat sweets again. Don’t hate sweet foods or sugar. Don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t think you will change your eating habits overnight.
- Start by becoming aware of how you eat WITHOUT JUDGMENT and without thinking you will never be able to eat certain foods again if you must make a change.
- Think about food in terms of the ingredients, all the ingredients.
- Start to read the ingredient label, be curious about what you are going to put in your body. You only need to know how to read.
- Expect your food to be made from ingredients that you know and can pronounce.
- The less ingredients, the less processed, the better for you.
- When you are preparing packaged food (also known as ready to eat food, instant mixes and canned food items) think of how you would cook it from scratch- it is not nearly as hard as the food industry wants you to think and you will know exactly what is in it.
- Make Sundays “Family Cooking Funday”- Click on the Full Text for details.
- Embrace the concept of the Treat- \ ˈtrēt \ noun- an especially unexpected source of joy, delight, or amusement //
- A treat is something you don’t get to have often- less than daily, but when you do, you recognize it is something special and really savor and enjoy it. Food with added sugar should be considered a treat, even soda.
- Make sweet foods a treat you enjoy weekly or every few days