|By Dr. Richard N. Waldman|
Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
It's no surprise that the American diet needs work. Our portion sizes are out of control, our calorie intake is too high and it shows. More than 64 percent of adult women in the US are overweight or obese. But despite eating more, we are getting less nutrition.
Many American women are deficient in nutrients such as iron, potassium, and dietary fiber. This is understandable when you consider that the typical American gets roughly 35 percent of her daily calories from added sugars and solid fats (such as butter and shortening).
The top five sources of calories for the average adult (in order) are grain-based desserts such as cakes and cookies; yeast breads; chicken and mixed chicken dishes; soda and energy/sports drinks; and alcoholic beverages. These and other low-nutrient foods are loaded with excess calories, sugar, solid fats, and sodium. Over-consumption of these types of food contribute to some of the main causes of death and chronic illness in the US, including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
To help get us back on track, the U.S. Department of Agriculture just released revised Dietary Guidelines.
They offer specific advice on how to eat a healthier diet and maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall wellbeing. The recommendations include:
To see the full Dietary Guidelines for Americans document, go to www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.
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