We can prevent hospitalization and even death if we contract COVID-19 since many high risk factors are often diet-related diseases. First, let’s take a look at the average American health statistics. Brace yourself. Healthy Americans are the minority. Let’s take a look. Where do you fall?
- Excess weight. Normal weight adults are the minority, unfortunately. Adults: 26% normal weight, 2% underweight, 32% overweight, 40% obese. Children: 3% underweight, 61% normal weight, 17% overweight, 19% obese.
- Diabetes: 13% of adults (27% among people 65 and older). Pre-diabetes: 35% of adults (47% among 65 and older).
- High blood pressure: 46 % of adults (78% among those 65 and older)
- High LDL cholesterol: 29% of adults
- Bone loss. Women 50 years and older: 30% healthy bones, 53% low bone mass, 17% osteoporosis. Men 50 years and older: 59% healthy bones, 36% low bone mass, 5% osteoporosis.
- Reduced muscle strength. 11% of adults 60-79 years and 49% of adults 80+ years.
What can we do to improve our immune system, get healthy, and therefore bounce back easily? Over the years, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet seems to be the diet that is most sustainable and effective. I don’t consume as many calories and mine is more varied on a day to day basis. This is a 2,100 calorie model includes:
- 11 servings of produce (1 serving: 1/2 cup veggies, 1 cup greens, or 1 fruit)
- 4 of grains (1 serving = ½ cup pasta/rice, 1 slice bread)
- 2 of legumes/nuts (1 serving = 1/2 cup beans, ¼ cup nuts)
- 1 of lean meat/fish (1 serving = 1/4 lb cooked)
- 2 of oils/fats (serving = 1 TBSP)
- 2 of desserts (1 serving = 1 tsp sugar)
- 1 wild card (1 serving anything)
- 2 of dairy (1 serving = 1 cup yogurt or 1.5 oz cheese) – I don’t believe this is necessary but it’s fine in moderation if you don’t have an allergy.
Although I’m sharing the DASH diet portions, I don’t believe in measuring every bite and turning eating into a science. Eating is a behavior and we can change those habits and mindsets over time so that we can thrive. Nutrition is a science that we can learn from, but we have to recognize that we are not robots. At least, I don’t want to be one when I’m eating. I want to enjoy my food and naturally gravitate towards what’s good for me.
Get a free health consultation. See if this is the right match for you by addressing weight loss, cravings, emotional eating, balanced diet, disease prevention, and getting to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck. For more articles, read www.HappyFoodHealth.com/blog.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA