zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

The Typical American Diet

by
author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
The Typical American Diet
The typical American plate is filled with refined grains, foods with added sugar and fats, meat and poultry. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The typical American plate is filled with refined grains, foods with added sugar and fats, meat and poultry. Although lack of exercise plays a role, the growing obesity epidemic in the United States has a lot to do with what Americans eat. Not only does the American diet affect weight, but it also increases the risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Knowing what makes up a typical American diet might help steer you in the direction of making healthier choices.

Sweets and Soda

The Typical American Diet
Sweets include foods such as cakes, cookies, pies and pastries. Photo Credit phottoman/iStock/Getty Images

Two of the top five sources of calories in the American diet are sweets, which come in at No. 1, and soda, which comes in at No. 4. Sweets include foods such as cakes, cookies, pies and pastries. Both sweets and soda contribute calories but do not offer any nutritional value. Decreasing your intake of these foods can help you decrease your caloric intake, which might help you maintain a healthier weight.

You Might Also Like

Convenience Foods

The Typical American Diet
Convenience foods includes meals eaten out and foods purchased at the grocery store that help make meal prep at home easier. Photo Credit Graça Victoria/Hemera/Getty Images

When it comes to food choices, convenience plays a major role. Convenience foods includes meals eaten out and foods purchased at the grocery store that help make meal prep at home easier. These foods tend to be high in saturated fat, sodium and added sugar, and they offer very little nutritional value. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, as Americans started eating more foods away from home, their calorie intake increased, along with their waistlines.

Meat and Poultry

The Typical American Diet
Both meat and poultry are a major source of saturated fat in the American diet. Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

When it comes to meat consumption throughout the world, Americans come in second to Luxembourg, averaging 270 pounds per person per year, according to a report from NPR. Although poultry intake is up, it's still not as much as meat, with the average American eating 99 to 100 pounds a year, according to the National Chicken Council. Both meat and poultry are a major source of saturated fat in the American diet. High intakes of saturated fat raise blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.

What You Should Eat

The Typical American Diet
A diet that includes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and varying sources of lean proteins can help you obtain a healthier weight and lower your risk of chronic illness. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created an easy-to-follow infographic called MyPlate to guide you toward healthier eating. MyPlate encourages you to make fruits and vegetables the focus of your meals, filling half your plate, while grains -- preferably whole grains -- fill one-quarter, and lean proteins -- including seafood and beans -- make up the final quarter. A diet that includes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and varying sources of lean proteins can help you obtain a healthier weight and lower your risk of chronic illness.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media