Ever wonder why so many people are fat and sick? One reason has to be our diet. The Standard American Diet if filled with foods that are incredibly detrimental to your health. And this fact should be obvious! Obesity rates have skyrocketed over the last several decades. Today, one in five American deaths is associated with obesity. Obesity-related illnesses include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, cancer, heart disease, etc.
All these illnesses can be traced to a metabolic dysfunction. What does that mean? It means people are eating the wrong foods. Just a few generations ago, the food available was mostly fresh and locally grown. Today, the majority of food is highly processed and filled with harmful chemical additives. Just look at the typical food served at home, in school, and in restaurants. Let's face it. Most of the food we eat is not healthy.
So why blame the Standard American Diet? Simply put, all the current research on obesity shows that diet is a very key component. When people abandon their traditional cultural foods - foods that their cultures have been eating for thousands of years - in favor of modern processed foods (high in sugar, refined flour, and vegetable oils), these people get fatter and sicker. For example, heart disease among native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders used to be nonexistent but today is one of the leading causes of death. Of all the lifestyle changes they have seen, a poor diet (i.e., the standard American diet) is the leading influence for the prevalence of heart disease.
In the United States (and most Western countries), diet-related chronic diseases represent the single largest cause of death. These diseases are epidemic in contemporary Western populations (affecting 50% or more of the adult population), yet they are rare in less Westernized people.
Now, I'm not recommending that you abandon modern society and live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Far from it. But if you want to lose weight and be healthier, avoiding the modern diet and eating more of a "caveman diet" or a Paleo diet would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Traditional culture studies are just one way of proving the dangers of the standard American diet. You can also look at correlations between factors of the modern diet and the rate of diseases. Of course, this begs the question. What is the standard American Diet?
While the Standard American Diet is not a food menu set in stone, it has certain characteristics that differentiate it from other diets. The foods tend to be high in sugar, salt, and vegetable oils and lower in healthy fats. As you might expect, the Standard American Diet is not good for your health. But this is only part of the story.
Click the link below to see 10 graphs showing why the standard American diet is bad for your health and waistline.