Friday, January 17, 2014

Health By The Numbers - What's really making us fat

Katherine Webb Carls Jr

As I was casually reading through my latest issue of Shape magazine relaxing on the couch, I came across an article that really had me thinking about what I put into my body. The article, "By The Numbers - American Eating," is probably a huge reality check for most people. The figures in this article are taken from David Zinczenko's new book, "Eat It To Beat It".

Now, I would say I am a pretty healthy person, but I realized after reading this article that there is a reason Americans are so overweight. It helps to see these things broken down and put into perspective in order to fully understand how certain foods quickly add up and pack on the pounds in sneaky ways.

For example, 58 is the number of grams of fat in the average restaurant meal, which is also 89 percent of what you should eat in an entire day!

Along with that, 95 percent of the recommended daily sodium allowance is found in an average restaurant meal. That's 1,669 milligrams more than what a "healthy" meal should contain.

In the late 1980s, the average burger had about 333 calories. Today, every burger at Ruby Tuesday tops 1,200 calories- even their turkey burger! Other chains are just as bad, averaging above 1,500 calories per burger.

The risk of being overweight is increased by 47.2 percent when associated with drinking more than two cans of soda per day. Liquid calories are sneakier than solid foods. Why? Because liquid calories are absorbed by the body faster. The Beverage Guidance Panel suggest thats if all of us were to limit our consumption of soda to 250 calories a day, we could decrease our average weight by by more than 22 pounds.

70 percent... of Americans' caloric intake is derived from processed foods. Controlling your weight and health is much easier when you know what you're putting into your body and what is in your food.

Among foods that contribute to the most calories in an average American diet, bread is ranked number 1. Even "wheat bread" isn't necessarily good for you. Generally, it's the equivalent of white bread with just a darker color. Rule of thumb: always look for "100 percent whole grain."

53 grams of sugar is in one glass of cranberry juice found at an IHOP. That's the same amount of sugar as intaking TWO SNICKERS BARS! Stick to eating the real fruit instead. It also has more fiber because it isn't squeezed out.

The average amount of calories in the average veggie, rice, chicken and noodle concoction served at Chinese restaurants is 1,474. That's almost the entire amount of calories that a woman should consume in one day. Another reason not to eat the fortune cookie afterwards!

– Alissa Hicks

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