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- We're drinking less milk, but we've more than doubled our cheese intake. Cheese now outranks meat as number one source of saturated fat in our diets.
- We've cut back on red meat, but have more than made up for loss by increasing our intake of chicken (battered and fried), so that overall, we're eating 13 pounds more meat today than we did back in 1970's.
- We're drinking three times more carbonated soft drinks than milk, compared to 1970's, when milk consumption was twice that of pop.
- We use 25 percent less butter, but pour twice as much vegetable oil on our food and salads, so our total added fat intake has increased 32 percent.
- Sugar consumption has been another cause of our expanding waistlines. Sugar intake is simply off charts. People are consuming roughly twice amount of sugar they need each day, about 20 teaspoons on a 2000 calorie/day diet. The added sugar is found mostly in junk foods, such as pop, cake, and cookies. In 1978, government found that sugars constituted only 11 percent of average person's calories. Now, this number has ballooned to 16 percent for average American adult and as much as 20 percent for American teenagers!
Unfortunately, it would seem that days of wholesome and nutritious family dinners are being replaced by fast food and eating on-the-run. We have gradually come to accept that it's "OK" to sacrifice healthy foods for sake of convenience and that larger serving portions equate to better value.
It's time recognize that we are consuming too many calories and time to start doing something about it! Each of us can decide TODAY that healthy eating and exercise habits WILL become a normal part of our life!
We can begin by exploring our values, thoughts and habits... slowly and deliberately weed-out unhealthy habits and activities and start living a more productive and rewarding life. And remember, it has taken a long time to develop bad habits, so be patient as you work toward your goal! The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.