A Half-Hearted Whole Foods Diet

A Colorado State University study showed that 57% percent of the typical American diet is processed foods. These are foods like plain white bread which is made with refined grains, significantly modified whole grains that have bran mechanically removed and are then bleached. Many processed foods include hydrogenated vegetable oils (aka: trans fats) and added sugar. They are the polar opposite of whole foods which are sold, aside from butchering or cutting from a plant, pretty much as found in nature.

The hydrogenated vegetable oils often found in processed foods raise LDL bad cholesterol while lowering HDL good cholesterol. Sugar provides no real nutritional value at all, and many processed foods also contain large amounts of salt. On the other hand, whole foods retain most if not all of their fiber and nutrients. That's why the recently revised USDA Food Pyramid recommends 12 servings of whole foods each day.

The Bigger Picture: A dozen servings sounds like a lot until you consider breaking the typical three squares down into six smaller meals spread evenly throughout the day. Then it works out to two servings per meal, or something like scrambled eggs and apple slices for breakfast, skinless chicken breast and asparagus for dinner, and so on. By eating whole foods and exercising regularly you're greatly increasing your chances of enjoying a brighter, healthier future.
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