Along the lines of evolution we regressed from eating the Paleolithic diet of meat, vegetables, occasional fruits, seeds, and nuts to eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed convenience foods filled with chemicals and sugar. Is it any wonder that our medical system here in the U.S. is the most advanced in the world, yet disease rates are higher than ever? Diabetes, most cancers, and heart disease take root as a result of poor diet. Let’s take a look at the typical SAD vs a day of eating healthful whole foods. How does your diet stack up?
Standard American Diet (SAD)
Breakfast: coffee with pasteurized cream and refined sugar, pastry or muffin
Lunch: roast beef deli sandwich on white bread with mayo, potato chips, diet coke
snack: roasted almond snack pack, twizzlers
Dinner: pasta with meat sauce, baguette, iceberg lettuce salad with ranch dressing, 2 glasses white wine
dessert: chips ahoy chocolate chip cookies
The above day’s diet plan is comprised of nearly all processed foods, from the processed deli meat and mayo to the breads and pasta made with refined white flour. Many folks think they’re making a good choice in drinking diet sodas, but the aspartame is as harmful as corn syrup! And iceberg lettuce is not salad – it’s devoid of nutrients and is basically a carrier for pesticides. Roasting nuts destroys their natural oils, and cottonseed oil is a toxic, cheap oil often used in processed foods and snacks. This diet is low in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals and is high in sugar and chemicals that actually leach nutrients from the body.
Let’s see how a nutrient-rich diet stacks up.
Breakfast: fruit smoothie with unpasteurized whey protein powder, ground flax, green tea
snack: handful raw almonds, small plain yogurt with cinnamon
Lunch: kale and white beans sauteed in coconut oil, herb-roasted chicken breast over brown rice or red potatoes, kombucha or hot tea
Dinner: large mixed green salad with seasonal roasted vegetables, cod roasted with sesame oil, cultured vegetables, 1 glass of red wine (optional)
dessert: date or sesame cookies
Here’s the thing: the SAD is filled with skeletonized foods that actually leave you feeling unsatisfied or craving more, as they do not have the nutrients or fiber your body needs to feel sated. The above meal plan maintains stable blood sugar, has probiotics and fiber for gut health, minerals, antioxidants, good quality proteins and fatty acids. Plus, you’ll consume less calories and get more bang for your buck. Expect a stable mood and good energy. Yes, feeling irritable and having energy crashes throughout the day results from your diet.
If you’re consuming a lot of processed foods, start by adding in whole foods one meal at a time until you’ve made over your whole day. You’ll notice a difference!
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