Featured Image Caption: Mixed Frozen Vegetables in a Glass Bowl on Table
What is the Healthiest Diet?
The American diet is full of unhealthy choices. The average American consumes 11 times more calories than recommended, and has an intake of saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium that’s almost three times the amount recommended for the average person. And that’s not all! The foods we eat have a big say in how our bodies age, disease, and function. So, how do you know what foods are the healthiest for you?
There are multiple ways to go about this. You can try eating an extremely low-fat, high-salt diet, or you can go with a Mediterranean diet. You can also try a low-fat, high-fiber diet, or a low-fat, high-fat diet. But before we get too deep into how to make healthier food choices, let’s first discuss the differences between the two diets.
Low Fat vs High Fat
If you’re new to the low-fat diet, you might be surprised to learn that high-fat foods actually make up only about 15% of the average American diet. The remaining 85% consists of low-fat foods. The number one rule of thumb when it comes to fat is this: if your body can live without it, then it doesn’t belong in your diet. So, while you might enjoy butter, cheese, fatty meats, and full-fat fattier dairy products, the body cannot properly metabolize them without the necessary fats. And while you can certainly consume a healthy amount of fish without breaking a sweat, eating fish three times a week is a much healthier choice than eating it just one time.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
As tempting as it is to go with the low-fat route every time, or to simply skimp on the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals, doing so could have serious long-term effects on your health. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables are important in boosting various vitamins and antioxidants our bodies need. If you find yourself struggling to consume enough fruits and vegetables, try a juice cleanse from a reputable juice cleanse delivery company to get you started. The government recommends that children get at least a 1% RDA for iron, zinc, and vitamin A, but only about 10-15% of children are getting that amount in daily meals. And for those who don’t, long-term negative consequences could occur.
Children who don’t get enough iron develop red blood cells that are less dense and strong, which can cause them to grow larger, have higher blood pressure, and have a reduced ability to create red blood cells. Similarly, vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness and deformities in the fetus and newborn infant. A healthy level of vitamin B-12 and folic acid is essential for healthy babies, and children should get a set amount of vitamin C.
Cholesterol and Fatty Metabolism
Because our bodies need cholesterol to function properly, it’s a good idea to consume foods that contain it. Unfortunately, foods that contain cholesterol also contain saturated fat. And while saturated fat is somehow “healthy” when consumed in moderate amounts, it’s not something we want in our bodies all the time. The body doesn’t need saturated fat to make cholesterol; it’s derived from animals, so when you eat meat, you’re consuming saturated fat. And when you skimp on the amount of fats you’re consuming, you’re likely going to experience higher blood pressure, increased cholesterol, increased body fat, and increased levels of harmful triglycerides in the blood.
Fat Loss vs Weight Loss
This is a tough one, because there is no “right answer” when it comes to the best way to lose fat. But research shows that a combination of diet and exercise is the key to losing fat, and keeping it off. However, there are a few things you can do to make overall dieting easier, and make weight loss more likely. For example, if you’re not hungry (even if you’re really hungry), you’re likely not going to feel hungry again soon. Also, don’t stress about what you eat. You need to eat when you’re hungry, but also choose food that will make you feel full until dinner is done. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you have a hard time accepting that you can’t eat whatever you want, or that you can’t have dessert every day, just keep at it and you will get there.
Choosing the healthiest foods for your diet isn’t easy, especially when you have a hectic schedule and limited time for grocery stores. The best way to go about it is to choose the healthier choices at every opportunity. You can also try to substitute healthier foods for unhealthy ones if you’re short on time.
By Maggie Bloom
– graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in communication and writing. In her spare time, she loves to dance, read, and bake. She also enjoys traveling and scouting out new brunch locations.
Member since November, 2021
View all the articles of Maggie Bloom.
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