Calculate your eating score
A few years ago a proposal for a healthy eating index was published. It might be interesting to look at the latest USDA survey, to see how the ordinary American diet stands. The idea is simple; This is a score of 0 to 100 which is the percentage of food calories that are rich in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are a technical term for phyto-nutrients.
Nutrients are vital while phytochemicals They are essential for a long and healthy life. If 1% of our diet is food rich in phytonutrients, we get a score of 1. If our energy intake is made up of half of our phytonutrients, we have 50 points. And if they are in everything we eat, we will reach 100%.
How does the average citizen stand? Here are the latest facts about the common American diet: 3% of calories come from beans and nuts, 3% front, 5% vegetables, 23% from cereals, 17% from added sugars, such as sweets, lemonade and other unwanted things. 23% comes from added fats: butter, margarine, oil, and 26% of the US diet are meat, dairy and eggs. The Healthy Eating Index is based on foods rich in phytonutrients; they are also the most associated with the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.
Why do we use the term “phytonutrients”? They are found in plants (the Greek word “phyton” – plant). So we automatically start at 74. Lard and candy are not rich in phytonutrients, if we subtract added fats and oils, we are at 34.
In the category of cereals belong to two groups, how whole grain foods rich in phytonutrients, and refined foods from which many phytonutrients have been removed. Only 4% of the American diet is a whole grain source, such as oats, barley, whole wheat grain, brown rice, others are industrially processed futility such as white flour and corn starch. We’re already at 15 and we’re still going down. Two thirds of our vegetables are potatoes, half turned into chips.
The average American receives 23 calories from potato chips every day. But none of this counts, because potatoes contain relatively few phytonutrients. One-third of the calories from fruits are obtained from phyto-poor juices, and so we get 12 out of 100 for a normal American diet. If the scale is from 1 to 10, then we would be on 1. How do you get the required 10 points? A vegan diet that doesn’t include refined cereals, potato products, alcohol and added sugars and fats could provide us with a great 100 food index. The American diet hardly ensures well exceed 20 (and wish it were at least 20) and so there is still room for improvement.
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