Most people wouldn’t consider the Standard American Diet (or SAD) to be an extreme form of dieting. This is primarily due to our society’s view that super-sizing meals and having it prepared faster is the norm. Since this perception has the tendency to cloud our judgment about what is ordinary, we also tend to overlook the warning signs that it’s the food we are eating that is actually making us sick.
Why is SAD making us sick?
It is commonly known that we are byproducts of what we intake, meaning that our body feeds off the nutrients–or lack thereof–that we put into it. If you put substantial amounts of beneficial nutrients into your body from proper eating, your body will more likely thrive than not, you’ll feel good – mentally and physically, and you’ll get passing grades at your annual physical. However, if most of the foods you eat have an insignificant amount of beneficial nutrients, than your body won’t function well as it could. This, in turn, can lead to inflammation and the root cause of many of health conditions and illnesses.
Is this extreme diet phenomena just an American issue?
Our western cultural ideas influence the rest of the world, from the clothing we wear to the McDonald’s around the corner. This means our dieting habits are also traveling overseas, causing people in other nations to suffer from poor health issues like Americans do.
According to Dr. John McDougall, author of The McDougall Plan, this cross-cultural phenomena was spreading all the way to the Pacific. While practicing medicine in Hawaii, McDougall witnessed first and second generation Asian Americans had overall good health and seldom experienced Western diseases. Once American eating norms were put in place, the third and fourth Asian American generations began to experience more Western diseases (like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes).
What makes a SAD diet so toxic?
The Standard American Diet has these common traits:
- ·High animal fat intake (i.e., saturated, hydrogenated)
- ·Low fiber consumption
- ·High intake of processed foods
- ·High intake of refined flours and sugars
- ·Low plant-based foods
These unhealthy food traits can be found in typical American foods like cereals, pastas, meat, packaged and processed meals, desserts, and fried foods. Those who tend to shun foods like these are considered “health freaks.”
What are the effects of the American diet on our overall health?
The above listed nutritional traits may be a part of the standard diet, but they are far from ordinary when it comes to maintaining overall health. People who normally embrace this type of diet often suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, dementia, cancer, diabetes, bloating and gas, constipation, diarrhea, low energy, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Although many of these diseases may appear to be age-related, our overall nutritional health also plays a part in how early these diseases show up in our lives and how we are able to cope with them when they surface.
Detoxing: A plausible solution?
If you have succumbed to the Standard American Diet, it’s important to give your body a break from those typical foods. “Toxic” food isn’t the only thing that causes inflammation in our body, though. Just like tuna fish that sucks up mercury from the polluted ocean it swims in (that’s why it’s recommended to eat tuna only one time per week), our bodies absorb and hold onto toxins from other sources like certain skin and hair care products (like make-up, body lotions & hair dyes), the polluted air that we breathe, and even water that we drink.
Luckily we can give our bodies a break from the toxic load it’s under and it can be done without the use of medications or crazy liquid-only diets (i.e. – eat real food to detox!). This in turn, will allow your body a chance to rejuvenate with vital nutrients that are known to ward off common chronic conditions and diseases that many people suffer from.
If you want to eat real food that tastes good and give your body a break so you can feel and look better, try our 21-Day Detox!
It starts Monday! Check it out 21-Day Detox