7 Common Problems with the North American Diet

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Common nutritional practices in today’s society include a lot of poor habits that are actually NOT beneficial! It is because of these habits that people have such a hard time adjusting to new nutrition programs as these habits are widely accepted as being the average practice.

The 7 habits that people commonly follow:

  1. Eating too little protein with each meal: It is common in the North American culture to consume a very carbohydrate dense diet with little to no real protein. Throughout the day, every feeding time should include a portion of lean protein such as:
    • Turkey
    • Chicken
    • Fish
    • Beans
    • Eggs2. Drinking empty calories: We fall victim to sugary beverages that add on unnecessary calories and sugar into our diets. Combat this with drinking more water – add some pizzazz with fresh squeezed lemon juice or infuse it with cucumbers, lime, and citrus fruits!

    3. Not consuming enough fruit or vegetables: As with consuming too little protein, we also tend to not consume enough fruits or vegetables. Fruits are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that we need to maintain our very best health!

    4. Eating 3 meals a day: 3 meals a day is a good starting point, but in reality, it isn’t enough to sustain an active individual! You’ve heard it before I’m sure, but it truly is better to eat smaller, well portioned meals throughout the course of the day! Just be sure to incorporate the proper portions of protein (about 4 oz. for the standard individual) and vegetables (2 servings of leafy greens!)

    5. Falling victim to processed foods: Convenience stores are a blessing and a curse; there are more processed food items available in our supermarkets and convenience stores today than ever before – it can be so difficult keeping track of what is legitimately healthy and what is simple marketing tactics! Knowing what’s on your nutrition labels is key to a happy and healthy life – if you don’t know what an ingredient is or can’t pronounce it, it’s safe to assume you shouldn’t be eating it. Eat only natural ingredients you trust, understand, and feel good about putting into your body!

    6. Avoiding food in order to lose weight: This is a major issue we face in our culture today – the idea that “if I don’t eat anything, I’ll naturally grow thinner” is becoming a more and more popular misconception. Food is more than just FOOD. It is nourishment to sustain us and keep us healthy, happy, and in homeostasis. Food is healing, that is why it’s so important to eat nutritionally! Skipping meals will throw the body into a starvation mode where it will begin to use fat, muscle, and energy stores to sustain itself. It is NOT the ideal to be healthy!

    7. Skipping Breakfast: Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day; eating a well-balanced meal of protein, vegetables, and complex carbs is a great start to the day. Not only will it keep you feeling great and refreshed, but it will also kick your metabolism into gear. Because it is the first meal we consume after an 8 hour fast (it SHOULD be 8 hours ideally!) it is essential that it is packed with dense nutrients to start your day. Breakfast helps to stabilize our Blood Glucose in order to avoid the development of diseases such as Diabetes and high Blood Pressure.

Beware: Consuming too much fruit (or too much of anything for that matter) can have negative health consequences because fruit is loaded with natural sugars; while these sugars are more easily digested than manufactured sugar, they can still spike our blood glucose and lead to conditions such as Diabetes. It is best to eat one serving of fruit in the morning as it will provide us with energy, but it is also easier for our bodies to process these natural sugars as we use them throughout the day.

Vegetables: I cannot emphasize enough how important consuming vegetables is for us! They provide essential vitamins and minerals while also helping us meet our quota for dietary fiber. Fiber aids in preventing heart disease, Diabetes, and digestive issues!

Being aware of these 7 common problems is the first step toward achieving your dietary goals and taking that first step for change! Keep these in the back of your mind every time you enter the grocery store, go out to eat, or prepare your meals!

 

2 thoughts on “7 Common Problems with the North American Diet

  1. Unless you pre-plan a shopping menu and plan all of your meals, it’s very hard to create and make fully packed meals that balance everything, especially protein. How do you recommend managing if you have a busy life (kids, work, multiple jobs, etc.)

    Also, what are your thoughts on eggs? Good and bad cholesterol? And can you overdo them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Theresa!
      My best piece of advice is truly to meal prep on a day you have some down time (normally sunday is the best for most people) and while you may be cooking different things during the week, keeping a store of cooked meats such as chicken or turkey and a store of veggies (Brussels sprouts, string beans, asparagus for example) etc. having something prepared for all occasions make things significantly easier when you’re exhausted and getting ready for bed with no desire to cook – just grab some chicken, weigh it out, and toss it in a tupperware with those veggies and you’ve got yourself a meal! When in doubt, boil up some rice (preferably brown) and measure out a 1/2 cup portion to give you those energy inducing carbs. 🙂

      As for eggs, there is a lot of mixed media about them. According to recent studies, eggs DO contain cholesterol, but it is predominantly HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol. This is the stuff that travels through your blood stream, cleaning the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from spots it doesn’t belong. Cholesterol gets a bad name, but when it’s the good kind, it’s an essential fatty part of the diet! Like everything, moderation is key – I tend to eat eggs 6 days a week, but I love to switch it up with some smoothies, “overnight oats”, or a mixture of black beans, turkey bacon, avocado, and onion sauteed an thrown in a wheat wrap. 🙂

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