Not all diets are created equal – make healthy choices!
Many people assume that the Standard American Diet is healthful. That assumption is inherently accepted by the majority of citizens because of our heavy reliance on the expertise of government authorities such as the USDA. We need to take a closer look at their recommendations in relation to the general declining health in American society.
The SAD is centered on chicken, red meat, cheese and other animal products, sweets, and processed grains, particularly wheat. To make matters worse, the typical person eating these foods consumes a tremendous amount of extracted vegetable oil. Not only does oil supply lots of empty calories, it also contains a suspected carcinogen – called 3-MCPD, monochloropropane – that forms when we heat extracted oil. Many of us cook all vegetables with oil, use it for dressings and add it to almost everything we eat, even the good foods. Keep this in mind – all oil contains 120 empty calories of fat per tablespoon.
Oil gets absorbed quickly into fat, including olive oil, coconut oil and soybean oil. Excess body fat increases the likelihood of cancer. Vegetable oils are calorically dense, low-nutrient foods that contribute to obesity and chronic disease and also interfere with our immune system. Similarly refined grain products like pasta and white bread are poor sources of minerals and vitamins, especially antioxidants. They are also rapidly absorbed and converted into body fat.
The USDA’s suggested guidelines for almost twenty years – the infamous food pyramid – encouraged a diet that was way too low in whole plant-based nutrients and fiber. Though the USDA recommendations have become significantly better in recent years, they still fail to emphasize fresh fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and raw and cooked vegetables as the major source of calories. Unrefined plant foods must supply the vast majority of calories for any diet to be safe.