Report Card of the Standard American Diet
According to this study, adults in the U.S. are still consuming a lot of refined carbohydrates and a lot of saturated fat. Particularly, older people, those with low income, and those with a low education attainment face greater hurdles in eating unhealthy. The study looked at the diets of 43,996 adults using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). It showed that we are slightly cutting back on refined carbohydrates such as refined bread and added sugars, but it is not enough. In addition, we are not getting enough healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains and fruits. Also, we are getting a lot more saturated fat than recommended. This is pretty depressing and we need to eat high-quality carbohydrates, cut down our saturated fat, and cut down our refined carbohydrates.
What The Study Says About Protein
When it came to protein, the study said most of us consume it from meat, including red and processed meat. In addition, we get less of it from whole grains, nuts, legumes, and seafood. In other words, a lot of us need to cut down on our meat intake and consume more plant-based proteins and protein from seafood. This means a lot of us Americans will have to be at least pescetarian to improve our health. Ideally, we need to be vegan or vegetarian. The study also showed that we can get our protein from a variety of sources, especially plant sources. Meat is not the only way to get protein. We can get it from even plant-based sources. As a vegan, I get my protein from nuts, legumes, tofu, tempeh, and whole grains.
Industry-Funded Food System and Fast Food
The reason a lot of us Americans eat a poor diet is that fast food is so popular in America and it is a part of our society. A lot of Americans enjoy our burgers, fries, pizzas, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken legs, boiled crab, etc. Sadly, we do not know that we are paying the meat, fish and dairy industry to slaughter these animals for food. Not to mention, the slaughterhouse workers do not have any health insurance, protections, or any other benefits from working in the meat-packing industries. Furthermore, a lot of workers in these factory farms are illegal immigrants who came into this country hoping to become citizens and seek a better life in the U.S. The ICE raids on a Mississippi chicken farm have shown that these animal industries hire these illegal immigrants. By hiring illegal immigrants, not giving health insurance or protections to slaughterhouse workers, and slaughtering billions of animals for food, this is how we are paying for it. We are paying for it by eating a lot of saturated fat, which comes from animal foods. In addition, the foods that contain a lot of refined carbohydrates also contain a lot of saturated fat, which came from animal foods. No wonder we have all these chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, gout, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and kidney disease.
How This Is Connected To The Amazon Rainforest
As a result of meat consumption, the Amazon rainforest is on fire. Cattle ranchers are clearing a lot of land so they can raise cattle for beef. Brazil is the largest exporter on meat. The U.S. receives red meat as an import from Brazil. Brazil is America’s 10th largest supplier for agricultural imports and red meat is one of the imports we get from Brazil. As a result, us Americans not only have poor health from eating animal foods, but we are indirectly contributing to the burning of the Amazon rainforest by the beef farmers.
A Whole-Foods Vegan Diet Could Reduce Most of These Problems
If at least most Americans eat a whole-foods vegan diet, we could get an A+ on our diet report card. We could reduce our risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, etc. We could help improve how we treat illegal immigrants and slaughterhouse workers. We could stop killing billions of animals just for that steak. We could help save the Amazon rainforest and reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. This is why a whole-foods vegan diet is important for our health, the animals, and the planet.