DIET – WHAT NOT TO DO
Professor Tim Crowe reporting on the Australian Health Survey said, “Few Australians show a dietary pattern that is anywhere near what is considered an optimal dietary pattern for health. We eat too much junk food [discretionary food] and too few vegetables, fruit and other fibre foods. . . . . The power of good health rests within each person by making improved food choices” Reference – www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/what-australians-are-really-eating/
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has produced the following summary of what Americans as a whole generally eat. Australians have a diet that in many respects is not dissimilar to the Standard American Diet (SAD)
SAD statistics as published by the USDA – Sourced from: www.healthylunches.org/nutrition101.htm
Processed food consist of refined or processed foods: the calories are empty of nutritional benefit and may well injure the body
Animal foods: examples are red meats, dairy products, fish, and poultry including eggs.
Processed plant foods: fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional value through being processed, eg cornfakes (not maize), steel rolled oats (but not steel cut oats) and apple pieces in an apple pie.
Whole plant foods: fresh fruit and vegetables. These contain numerous micronutrients (eg natural vitamins, minerals locked into soluble compounds) and macronutrients that contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats each with contributing energy (calories). Plants must be grown in soil that is nutritionally rich and plants and soil must be free of toxic substances. Certified organic food meets that standard.
Consequences of the Standard American Diet
The consequences of SAD are diabolical. Like Americans, Australians are now in the middle of a chronic disease pandemic – Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Cancer , Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis and bone fractures, and Dental disease are rife in our community and all the worrying symptoms have been brought about by our unhealthy dietary and exercise lifestyle. The consequence is the early onset of inflammation, pain and stiffness, inevitably followed by a downward morbidity spiral. There is a very high risk of chronic disease, premature ageing and mortality.
The morbidity and mortality statistics speak for themselves.
Thankfully there is some very good news. The fact that chronic diseases are preventable, they are also treatable and for chronic complaints like obesity they are reversible.
References – “Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health” see pp 1-4 from World Health Organization (WHO), and “Chronic Disease Overview” from CDC.gov
In the final analysis the power of good health rests individually with each person. However communities as a whole can exercise considerable influence on its members when they decide to make improved food choices.
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