Continuing with our discussion of
our final myth addresses the food industry and the types of food they push.
30% of Americans eat at least one meal in their car a week, and I don’t think they are packing a healthy meal to eat on the go! That is a lot of fast food. With the busy schedules of work, soccer practice, and activities, adults and kids are forced to eat convenience and fast foods out of necessity. With the recent attention put on the food pyramid and educating Americans on nutrition, we may think that the government only creates policies that benefit us and our waistlines.
Unfortunately, the truth is that so many people benefit from Americans overeating and eating out that the food industry and the government are motivated to spend enormous amounts of money advertising and pushing us to crave processed foods that are bad for us. The food pyramid that we are all accustomed to seeing on cereal boxes and food packages is a recipe for pre-diabetes if we eat the recommended amount of carbs. The other recommendations are also way off in terms of the types of foods and the amounts we should be eating. In fact, the food pyramid has contributed to the increased rates of obesity in our nation.
The government is becoming aware of what measures they need to take to address these issues, but the money tied to the food industry is so powerful these changes are a long way off. Fast food needs to be labeled with nutrition information, advertising should be regulated so junk foods do not target children, and junk foods should be taxed. Most of our foods contain harmful ingredients to increase their shelf life, which can affect our waistlines and overall health.
What can we do in the meantime? Awareness is really the key to making healthy food choices. Now that you are aware that the government suggestions for healthy eating may not be sound nutritional advice, you can use your own knowledge and research the dietary choices that are best for you. Remember that eating whole, unprocessed foods in the best way to combat obesity and fuel your body. Eating mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, fish, and lean meats is healthier than loading your plate with carbohydrates and processed foods.
In summary, the seven dietary myths common in our culture are as follows:
1. Eat less + exercise more = weight loss success
2. Counting calories always works.
3. Eating fat makes you fat.
7. The government helps you eat healthy.
We hope these posts are nutrition challenged some of your current views on nutrition and helped you make some healthy choices regarding your diet.