The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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America is known for its fast food, greasy meals, and high fructose-filled snacks. While certain foods are safe to eat every now and then, sticking to the standard American diet all the time can be dangerous. With just 9.3% of adults meeting the daily standard for vegetables and 12.2% meeting the daily standard for fruit, anyone hoping to improve their eating habits would do well to avoid the average American diet entirely. Read on for four ways to start eating healthier.

Use Meat as a Garnish

With burgers thought to be the all-American meal of choice and a hearty helping of meat served with every meal, the average person tends to eat the equivalent of 2.4 burgers a day. As the heavy consumption of processed and red meat can lead to conditions like type 2 diabetes, avoiding excessive amounts of meat is a healthy decision for everyone. Many people hoping to limit their meat intake and transform their diets are doing just that by including meat as a garnish rather than the main entree in their meals.

Avoid Highly Processed Foods

Overly processed foods like breakfast cereals, canned vegetables, cheese, hotdogs, salami, bacon, and certain bread may seem like the American standard, but these foods are also high in salt, fat, and sugar. Offering little to no nutritional value, these foods can lead to hypertension, high blood sugar, and an increased risk of obesity. By working to eliminate all processed foods from their diet, anyone hoping to eat healthier will feel the effects of eating cleaner almost immediately.

Eat More Legumes and Vegetables

With clean eating in mind, a well-balanced diet should include vast amounts of legumes and vegetables. These foods include the likes of chickpeas, beans, dried peas, lettuce, broccoli, kale, bok choy, potatoes, onions, and more. According to experts, adults should aim for five servings of vegetables every day for a balanced diet.

Cut out Dairy

With the increased availability of alternative forms of milk like oat milk and nut milk, there are many tasty options to use in place of dairy. Though many people opt to cut out dairy due to ethical reasons, others choose to do so for their health. In addition to weight loss, others have noted an increase in energy and a decline in gastrointestinal issues when switching to other types of milk and cutting out dairy completely.
Sticking to the standard American diet has its consequences. To eat healthier and enjoy a better quality of life, be sure to take these four tips to heart.

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