With both adult and childhood obesity rates still rising [i], [ii], [iii], the American diet remains a serious public health concern. To combat this style of eating, here are six ways you can improve your diet for you and your entire family.
Avoid high fructose corn syrup
First manufactured in 1966, high fructose corn syrup has monopolized the sweetener market. Now, it accounts for nearly half of America’s sweeteners [i].Likewise, in that same time period, the obesity rate in America has ballooned from 12% to 35% [i], [ii]. Possibly due to the metabolic difference between fructose and sucrose [i], the scientific consensus is that consuming high fructose corn syrup should be avoided. Thus, read food ingredient lists. The presence of high fructose corn syrup in anything should be a red flag for healthiness.
Try foods with a high protein content
According to a study in Physiology and Behavior, higher protein diets have links to higher food satiety. This means that eating protein makes you feel more full than eating carbs and fats [iv]. Thus, eating a higher protein diet may be a useful way to lose weight. Good protein sources include lean meats, fish, vegetable protein, and low-fat dairy products.
Consume probiotics to improve overall health
In the journal Gut, researchers found that certain probiotics can reduce the risk of common infectious diseases [v]. In addition, this same study found links between probiotics and improved gastrointestinal health. You can take probiotics as supplements, or you could consume them in fermented products, such as Greek yogurt, saurkraut, or non-vinegar pickles.
Try eating gluten-free
A recent study published in BioMed Central Biochemistry found that digested wheat gluten inhibits leptin (aka: the satiety hormone) binding receptors. This means that eating gluten-containing products may not leave you as full when compared to other foods [vi]. Thus, try snacking on healthier options than crackers, such as fresh vegetables or fruit.
Avoid highly processed foods
In a twenty-two year longitudinal study, researchers found a positive correlation between consumption of processed foods and consumption of salt and calories [vii]. These findings suggest that eating processed foods may increase caloric intake in a given day. This in turn may result in a caloric surplus, which causes weight gain. In turn, try eating less calorically dense food, such as vegetables, lean meats, or low-fat dairy products.
Remember who makes the tastiest foods
In an investigative report of the food industry, journalist Michael Moss uncovered some common practices of the food industry. Based on a rat study in Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews [viii], food mega-corporations have hired PhD scientists to design certain products to be as addictive as possible– a feat that is called “the bliss point” in the business. By balancing an ideal ratio of salt to sugar to fat, the food industry literally hooks consumers to their brand. Thus, be wary of who makes your foods.
Seeing that all B’more Organic products are low in sugar, low in salt, and extremely low in fat, it is clear that we are not the same as the food giants. We don’t design our smoothies in laboratories with food chemists trying to make our product as addictive as possible, nor do we use ingredients that have strong links to obesity. If food is fuel, then B’more Organic is like a wind turbine or a solar panel, whereas big food products are coal and gasoline, which clog our atmosphere with greenhouse gases and remain inefficient sources of energy.