The Worst Foods in America

It's no secret that Americans have some of the worst diets in the world.

The average American diet has been linked to the escalating rates of obesity and the development of diseases like type 2 diabetes and even cancer.

The average American man is 5’9 and 190 pounds, and the average American woman is 5’4 and 164 pounds. This puts both the average man and woman at a BMI of 28.1, which is on the upper end of the “overweight” category. Healthy weights for men and women of these heights are 150 pounds and 135 pounds, respectively. (You can calculate your BMI here.)

Problems with the Average American Diet

It is very common for Americans to consume 1 gallon of soda a week, and artificial sweeteners can be just as harmful as natural sugars found in these carbonated drinks. In addition, the average American consumes about 110 to 200 pounds of red meat and more than 600 pounds of dairy a year.

A study reported by CNN found that people who regularly consumed red meat had a much higher risk of dying (mostly of heart disease or cancer) over a 10-year period than those who did not eat red meat. These scientists believe that about 13 percent of these deaths could have been prevented by less consumption of red meat.

This epidemic is not limited to America, though. As the American diet becomes popularized around the world, once-healthy countries are now overshadowing the U.S. in rates of obesity and diabetes: Japan now has a much higher rate of obesity, and India has a higher rate of diabetes than any other country in the world.

The Worst Foods and What to Eat Instead

The most harmful foods in the American diet are sodas, red meat, refined carbohydrates (like white bread and pasta) and packaged foods. Most packaged foods have virtually no nutritional value and are empty calories that convert straight to fat. The top eight worst American foods are:

  1. Bacon
  2. Canned soup (for the high-sodium content)
  3. Cheesecake
  4. French fries
  5. Fried chicken
  6. Hamburgers
  7. Hotdogs
  8. Potato chips

Healthier options include whole grains in place of refined carbs; raw fats such as olive oil and avocados rather than processed vegetable oils or animal fats; and colorful, vibrant fruits and vegetables. In addition, replacing red meat with fish or poultry can have many positive effects on your body.

Photo by John Nyboer

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