Health experts are giving sugar a reprieve in the case against obesity. While sugar and its many processed variations are running amok in the food we eat at home or away, fats, oils, flour and cereal are more to blame for America’s continuous bloat.
According to the CDC, 25.6% of Americans have a BMI greater than thirty, firmly planting them into the obese category. Since we tend to lie about how tall we are and how much we weigh, the figure is probably a bit generous, but it’s a 10.3% increase since 20 years ago, and that’s alarming.
A New York Times article reports that Americans are consuming 448 more daily calories— or 20% more—than they were in 1970. The Department of Agriculture says 242 of those calories are from fats and oils, 167 are from flour and cereal, and only 35 are from sugars.
“More than half of added calories, 242 a day, come from fats and oils. Another 167 calories from flour and cereal.”nyti.ms/10foc2A
— NYTimes Health (@nytimeshealth) May 20, 2013
The meteoric rise in calorie intake is partly to blame on where Americans eat. Once women became integral members of the workforce, men chose not to pick up the slack and the family meal went out to pasture. No longer is dining out a luxury; our chubby population is eating out 4-5 times a week. Fortunately, there is a mini-wave of health conscious eateries washing over the country, but the average person will dine at an unhealthy establishment where no nutritional information, or alternatives, are available.
Now we’re conditioned to crave the huge portions we’re served at restaurants with the meals we enjoy at home. Everything from pizza, sandwiches, and pastries are now bigger than your face and loaded with empty calories. Often, when you think you’re enjoying a healthy snack like oatmeal or yogurt, there is an exorbitant amount of hidden fat or sugar.
It’s become evident that the food and food service industry is not tailor made to meet our health needs. There are ungodly chemicals lurking in our food pantries, feces contaminating our grocery store meats, and a new fast food joint opening every day. To best serve your health and dietary needs, preparing food at home is the only way to go. Studies have shown that organic food truly is a trustworthy identifier for unprocessed and healthy food.
If you want to see improvements in the size of your waist or your physical health in general, you have to commit to a healthy lifestyle and prioritize your goals. Summer is a great time to kick start a healthier you, as it’s ideal for all sorts of strenuous and casual outdoor exercise. Barbecuing is an exercise in and of itself, and you have knowledge and control over the ingredients you use to grill. Make going to the Saturday morning farmer’s market a routine so you can have reliable and fresh food to use in the kitchen.
Preparing food at home will help you lose weight and save money. It’s more work, but nobody said overcoming half a century of gluttony and food opulence was easy. The next time you go out to eat, remind yourself that one weekly meal away from home can add an extra two pounds a year. So stop being a stranger to your kitchen, get to know your food.