Americans are overfed and undernourished. That’s right, the most obese children and adults in the country are also the most nutritionally deficient! The mistake is to think that if you eat an abundance of calories, your diet automatically delivers all the nutrients your body needs. But the opposite is true. The more processed food you eat, the more vitamins you need. That’s because vitamins and minerals lubricate the wheels of our metabolism, helping the chemical reactions in our bodies run properly. Among those biochemical processes greased by nutrients is the regulation of sugar and burning of fat.
The problem is that the standard American diet (SAD) is energy dense (too many calories) but nutrient poor (not enough vitamins and minerals.) Too many “empty calories” confuse the metabolism and pack on the pounds. Upwards of 30 percent of American diets fall short of such common plant-derived nutrients as magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A.(2) More than 80 percent of Americans are running low on vitamin D.(3) And 9 out of 10 people are deficient in omega-3 fats, which are critical for staving off inflammation and controlling blood sugar levels.
Processed foods, stuffed with high fructose corn syrup, refined flours, and trans fats–are a modern phenomenon. These foods crowd out more nutrient-dense foods because they are inexpensive and convenient. Plus, the meats and fish eaten by hunter-gatherers were almost always fresh. Most store bought meat today are laced with chemicals, such as nitrates, used to process and preserve. Industrial farming is depleting the nutrients in the country’s farmland. As a result, most vegetables harvested today have fewer nutrients than those plucked from the ground just two generations ago.
One of the largest and most compelling studies on this topic was published in 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Using data from the USDA’s archives, a team of scientists looked at the nutrient content of 43 fruits and vegetables—everything from rutabaga to honeydew—grown in 1950 and compared them to the identical fruits and veggies grown in 1999.
Their findings were disturbing. Levels of calcium were down 16 percent, iron 15 percent, and vitamin C 20 percent.(5) Not a single nutrient had increased in the past 50 years!
Because those foods contain fewer nutrients, the servings we do eat don’t deliver as much nutrition as they once did. Fewer nutrients means lowered immunity and increased vulnerability to chronic disease and obesity. When your body doesn’t get the right nutrition, it just keeps asking for more food. The endless cycle of craving is a Catch-22; people are eating more, getting fatter, but still not feeling satisfied—it’s a nightmare from which they can’t escape.
Three Ways to Grab More Nutrient-Rich Calories
Remember, the right food is your best medicine! Whole foods are naturally packaged with a vast array of nutrients that work synergistically to optimize your health. They ripple throughout our entire physiology reducing inflammation, boosting detoxification, balancing hormones, and providing powerful antioxidant protection—all things that repair the underlying causes of disease.
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To your good health, TeamJubilee777