Obesity in the USA is a major problem, with two-thirds of Americans either obese or overweight. Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years. What is causing this problem? And what is the solution?
Why We Are Obese
If you are struggling with weight loss, you have probably been told that it is all your fault.
You have probably been told to simply exercise more and eat less. Right?
But maybe we should blame this obesity crisis on Uncle Sam. Here’s why.
The American agricultural system promotes obesity because it subsidizes low quality food that is largely devoid of nutrients.
Much of the food sold in supermarkets is jam-packed with unhealthy ingredients.
Part of the problem is, farmers only get about 8 cents out of every dollar for the food they harvest.
The rest of the money goes towards packaging and processing that food to make it look pretty, taste good, and last longer on the shelf.
In other words, whenever you buy pre-packaged food at the store, you are probably spending 92 cents out of every dollar of your hard-earned money to pay for food coloring, preservatives, and artificial flavoring.
Synthetic vitamins and minerals are also added to make those foods seem healthy.
Though this point is certainly controversial, many advocates of healthy living do not believe our bodies can properly utilize synthetic vitamins and minerals.
The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) would have us believe that our diets should consist largely of grains, bread, and pasta.
However, there is mounting evidence that shows these products turn into sugar and promote obesity, along with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Part of the problem is, farmers are paid more money to grow grain versus fruits and vegetables.
There are few subsidies available to grow vegetables, even though they are much healthier.
In fact, farmers are paid more government money to grow corn, soy, and wheat than anything else.
Yet these are three of the most unhealthy staples of the processed food industry.
Is it any wonder that countless processed food products contain high-fructose corn syrup?
Not All Fats Are Bad
Though dieters are often told to avoid fat if they wish to lose weight, some fat is vital for good health.
Most individuals would benefit greatly from getting at least half of their daily calories from healthy fats.
Examples include: avocados, coconut oil, nuts, and raw butter.
Nevertheless, the majority of every diet should definitely be vegetables.
This is especially true for anyone wishing to lose weight.
Veggies are low in calories and they provide many nutrients critical for optimal health.
Next in priority are high quality proteins and a moderate serving of fresh fruit.
Grains and sugars should be at the very bottom of our priority list.
In fact, your health just might improve if you eliminate them entirely.
Cutting out grains and sugars may seem impossible.
Nevertheless, numerous dieters have done it and usually their bodies adjust.
By eliminating carbohydrates, the body will begin to burn unwanted fat.
Magically, carb cravings will disappear.
Five Common Myths About Dieting
Here are five things that many people believe about dieting that are simply not true:
- Contrary to popular opinion, all sugar is not the same. The body utilizes glucose and burns up much of it. Glucose is good. Fructose, on the other hand, gets stored up as fat. So when we eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as up as fat. Eat the same amount of calories of fructose and 40 calories are stored up as fat. That’s over 40 times as much. Fructose (as in high-fructose corn syrup) promotes obesity and high blood pressure. Therefore, too much fructose is definitely bad.
- Contrary to popular opinion, there is more to losing weight than just expending more calories than you take in. This is outdated advice because not all calories are the same. Counting calories does no good if you consume the wrong kind of calories.
- Contrary to popular opinion,diet foods do not always help you lose weight. For example, even if you control the number of calories you eat, if those calories come primarily from fructose and grains, you have an increased risk of obesity. Also, though artificial sweeteners like Equal, NutraSweet (aspartame), and Splenda (sucralose) have zero calories, that does not fool the body. When we get a sweet taste, we expect calories to follow. When that doesn’t occur, distortions take place in the central nervous system that often lead to weight gain.
- Contrary to popular opinion, avoiding saturated fat does not necessarily protect your heart. Most people need between 50% to 70% of their diet to come from healthy fats, such as organic pastured eggs, avocados, coconut oil, and real butter.
- Contrary to popular opinion, lower cholesterol levels are not always better when it comes to avoiding heart disease. This is simply a theory that has never been proven. In fact, if your cholesterol level gets too low, you may have serious health problems, including mood swings and violent disorders. Ironically, if your cholesterol level gets too low, it could even result in heart disease.
Obesity in America is a result of agricultural subsidies that are based on industry profitability, not nutritional science.
Obesity can be avoided by eating more fresh vegetables (preferably organic) and less grains and sugars, especially fructose.
Organic food is almost always better than non-organic food.
Since it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get all the essential vitamins and minerals we need from diet alone, whole food organic nutritional supplements are often a vital addition to a healthy diet.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article is based upon the opinions of the author. This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. The author encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.