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Ugly Side Effects of the American Diet, Say Dietitians

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You may not know the term, but you probably know the concept of the Standard American Diet (SAD). Imagine all of the typical “American” foods and put them all together – burgers, french fries, pizza, soda, sugary cereals, packaged and processed foods, ice cream, the list goes on. While occasional consumption of these types of foods is fine for an overall healthy, balanced diet, regular consumption can have some ugly side effects on your body’s health.

According to a report entitled “Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols” The Standard American Diet includes a diet high in calories, saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. It includes a very low intake of essential nutrients for the body such as fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

The main benefit of the Standard American Diet is that it lacks fruits and vegetables, which are the best way to include a wide variety of nutrients in your diet.

“A 2010 report from the National Cancer Institute found that nearly the entire US population was eating a diet that was not as recommended,” said Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, CDN, owner of Full Plate Nutrition. Gentile also points out from the American Cancer Society that about 18% of cancer cases are due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.

Developing a serious chronic illness like cancer isn’t the only ugly side effect of consuming the Standard American Diet regularly, which is why it is considered the No. 1 worst diet for Americans.

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“The SAD is the quintessentially American diet that emphasizes red meat, processed foods, refined grains, sugary foods including sodas, with low consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, beans, and legumes,” said Lisa R. Young, PhD , RDN, author of Endlich Full, Endlich Slim and a member of our panel of medical experts. “It’s low in fiber, antioxidants, and high in calories, saturated fat, sugar, and salt.”

Because of the types of foods included (or absent) from the SAD, weight gain can easily become a side effect of consuming such foods on a regular basis.

“It contributed to the high rates of obesity and overweight in the United States (nearly 75% of the population are overweight or obese),” says Young. “It has also led to chronic diet-related diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.”

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“Most Americans don’t get enough fiber, which is needed for healthy digestion,” says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD. “The SAD is low in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and other such foods. This is just one of the digestive problems that can arise.”

The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend adults consume between 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day, but reports show that Americans only consume an average of 10 to 15 grams per day. A lack of fiber can cause problems with the digestive tract as well as the colon.

“Fiber is essential for heart health as soluble fiber (found in oatmeal and foods made from oatmeal, almonds and seeds, fruits you eat the skin in, etc.) is MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member our medical expert panel. “Fiber also plays a role as a prebiotic for gut health by nourishing the good gut bacteria and helping push things through your system to improve regularity.”

Here are the dangerous signs that you are not eating enough fiber.

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The types of foods typically consumed in the SAD are foods linked to chronic inflammation which, according to Balance One Supplements’ Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, can have devastating effects on physical, mental, and emotional health .

“Low-level chronic inflammation causes oxidative stress in the body, which leads to many of the chronic diseases common in Western nations,” Best says.Foods known to be flammable include gluten, refined carbohydrates, and sugars, and in general all processed foods from refined or fortified sources – all of which are the basis of SAD. form. “

“These foods are flammable because the body has a hard time breaking them down through natural meals like enzymes and good gut bacteria,” continues Best. “This leads to an inflammatory response in the body’s immune system, which is usually a natural and deliberate response, but in some cases an overreaction to otherwise harmless foods.”

Best points out that inflammation can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

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“With popular foods like hamburgers, deli, and fried foods, the Standard American Diet contains excessive amounts of saturated fat and sodium,” said Mackenzie Burgess, RDN and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. “This can be problematic as too much saturated fat has been found to increase blood cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Too much sodium can also be a problem as it is linked to high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for the heart is. ” Illness.”

Burgess recommends looking for ways to reduce the saturated fat and sodium in your diet with small swaps. Focusing on healthy sources of fat like fish, avocados, and nuts can promote heart health, and buying low-sodium items from the grocery store (soups, sauces, unprocessed meat, to name a few).

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While chronic inflammation and too much saturated fat or sodium play a big role in causing chronic illness, simply overdosing on calories can also put you at increased risk.

Shannon Henry, RD of the EZCare Clinic points out four different diseases that can develop from a high calorie diet – either from eating high calorie foods or simply from consuming too many foods or beverages in general. These include Type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, and kidney and gallbladder defects.

“Above all, our passion for fast food is sad,” says Henry. “For example, although the federal government recommends consuming at least two to five cups of fruits and vegetables a day, surveys show that the average American only eats three servings a day, and 42% say we eat less than two servings.”

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Many Americans suffer from the concept of overfed calories but undernourished of valuable and essential nutrients“says Amy Goodson.” The calories they consume are mostly from saturated fat and added sugars, while they consume very little fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and more. “

These types of foods are high in vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body’s health and usually add the “color” to your meals.

The typical American diet often lacks colorful fruits, vegetables and other whole foods“Says Burgess. “This means that most Americans miss out on the myriad benefits of fruits and vegetables, such as their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. In addition, a diet with few colored fruits and vegetables can contain insufficient amounts of important nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C. “

Burgess recommends finding simple ways to add fruits and vegetables to your meals, such as: B. Berries with yoghurt, peppers with pasta or leafy vegetables in your lunch wraps. Plus, these 15 best frozen fruits and vegetables are easy to use.

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“Following SAD can lead to poor bone health, as these foods are typically low in bone building nutrients like calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin D,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN.

“In addition, a diet low in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables can influence the metabolism and digestion,” continues Schlichter. “Foods high in fiber can help improve gut health and digestion, while the use of highly processed foods reduces the diversity of bacteria in the gut microbiome, which also affects mood and overall health.”

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Changing your gut microbiome isn’t the only reason your energy levels feel depleted after SAD.

“Coast-to-coast Americans skip meals, eat large amounts of carbohydrates with little quality protein, stock up on sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and these habits can prepare you for spikes and drops in blood sugar,” says Goodson.

Because of this type of diet, Goodson advises that your blood sugar levels will go up and down like a “roller coaster” throughout the day, which can negatively affect your energy levels.

“The way to fight this is to have balanced meals with high fiber carbohydrates and proteins every few hours,” she says.

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“The ACS recommends at least 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit daily for cancer prevention, and the USDA recommends 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day,” says Gentile. “This goal can easily be achieved by adding fruit or vegetables to every meal and including more vegetable-based meals in your rotation, which can lower your risk of cancer.”

For even more healthy eating tips, read these next:

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

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Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

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Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

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There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
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Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
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Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

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The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
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“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
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There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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