CHANGE is the running theme of nutrition and regulations. Often it seems scientists discover new food benefits that have been around for awhile only to reverse their findings a few years later. Take cholesterol for example—this just in! Eggs are good! You can eat eggs again for breakfast—now if they would just approve bacon as healthy…
Why the change? Dietary cholesterol, which is highly prevalent within an egg yolk, is no longer considered to be a threat to your cholesterol and heart health. To state the findings “Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for over-consumption,” states the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). Previously, it was recommended that we keep our dietary cholesterol intake below 300 mg a day. The change in 2015 takes in the perspective of what I had talked about in my February blog with regard to sugar and food companies’ ability to increase or decrease the amount of a macro-nutrient when other macro-nutrients are decreased.
In theory, when we are given recommendations to decrease our cholesterol we must consume foods that are lower in that area. In order for a product to be processed and reduced in its overall fat count, something must be added in its place so that it continues to taste good. So sugar is added in when fat is stripped from the product. In the last few years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the waistline of the average American. Increased consumption of sugar has led to a nationwide epidemic of health concerns and conditions. Diabetes Mellitus Type II has increased significantly within the population affecting about one in every three Americans. In fact, the percent of healthy adults in the U.S. has steadily declined since 1994.
Realizing the impact that a high sugar diet is having on Americans, the DGAC dug into cholesterol and noticed that “only 15% of circulating cholesterol in the blood comes from what you eat. The other 85% comes from the liver.” Now this doesn’t mean we can go out and eat fries and a hamburger every day, the focus of your diet should be well balanced and full of nutrients. The committee suggests reducing your intake of added sugars, solid fats, and refined (processed) food and grains. Two other big focuses are to limit your salt intake to less than 2,300 mg/day and keep your added sugars to less than 10% of your total calories/day.
Here’s the bottom line.
What we are eating is not only affecting our habits, but our children’s habits as well. Half of American adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases that relate to poor quality dietary patterns and physical inactivity. Not only are more than two-thirds of adults considered overweight or obese, but nearly one-third of our children are considered obese.
Let me bring this topic home with one last point.
As a society, we have gotten to a point where the busyness of our lives has continued to deteriorate our lives. We have created convenience in the form of food, fad diets, quick workouts, social media and cell phones. Overwhelming evidence shows that each one of these monsters created for our own good has turned around to destroy our very existence. I know it isn’t easy to find time to grocery shop, workout, cook or now even talk on the phone. Trust me I have my days as well. The reality is—we are letting go of the beautiful blessings of life so that we can hurry through it. Social media was created so we could connect to more people, but I know that most of my family and friends now spend less time talking, hanging out or chatting with one another.
Fast foods were created so we could eat a good meal during our busy schedules, but those are typically the least healthy meals we get. Exercise DVD’s were created so we could workout in our home, when we have been given nature around us to enjoy. Social media was created to help us stay connected to each other’s lives, but how many of us can honestly say we have a deeper relationship with more individuals then before? Life is passing us by, so I ask you to take a step back from your day and ponder this question:
If convenience is defined as the quality of being useful, easy and suitable, what choices are you making today that you should be giving more thought to and where are you letting life pass you by when you could stop to smell the roses?
Take a moment to reflect and thanks for stopping by to read A Well Led Life.