With each new year comes a deluge of healthy eating advice. Much of it is the same information we have been hearing for years. But despite the annual repetition, many Americans are just not getting the message. This year, we can resolve to change our eating habits – and follow through. The health of our families depends on it. Here are the top 3 things to finally dump this year for better health.
Dump the Sodas
The average American drinks nearly 57 gallons of soft drinks each year, or more than a gallon each week. That is about one-fourth of their total caloric intake each day.
“One can of soda a day will increase a child’s risk of becoming obese by 60 percent,” says Emmy Suhl of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
Most of these calories come in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. All those empty calories are loading up the liver with fructose, leading to serious health problems. Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center stated: “We found that increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup was associated with scarring in the liver, or fibrosis, among patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).”
Sodas are “liquid candy.” Dump them.
Dump the High Calorie Coffee Drinks
A 16-oz Caramel Macchiato has 31 grams of sugar. The Mocha Frappachino? A whopping 51 grams of sugar! The American Heart Association recommends that most women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (about 100 calories or 25 grams) of added sugar daily, and most men no more than 9 teaspoons (about 150 calories or 37.5 grams).
So why is all that sugar so bad?
“Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat. Within 40 minutes, your blood pressure rises due to your body having absorbed all the caffeine, and then your liver dumps even more sugar into your bloodstream. . . It is a proven fact that sugar increases you insulin levels, which can lead to not only weight gain, but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease ,diabetes, premature aging and many more negative side effects,” says Dr. Mercola.
Dump the sweetened drinks, including coffee beverages, for good.
Dump the Fast Food
With the popularity of “Eat This, Not That” and other information programs, many now realize the major caloric sabbotage contained in most fast food choices. But did you know that eating fast food just twice a week gives you a two-fold greater risk for insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, than eating fast food just once a week?
“Young adults who eat frequently at fast-food restaurants gain more weight and have a greater increase in insulin resistance in early middle age,” according to a large multi-center study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and published in the January 1 issue of The Lancet.
Fast food is bad. Really bad. Dump it.
By ridding our diets of empty calories in the form of sugary sodas and coffee drinks, we’ll save ourselves an average of 10 lbs a year and future of diabetes and dialysis. Replacing fast food lunches with healthful meals from home will also lead to improved health and more energy this year. And who doesn’t want more energy?