Americans might think they have healthy eating patterns, but a new study by ORC International, on behalf of supplement producer MegaFood, disproves this perception.

According to the study, 62% of Americans fail to eat the minimum recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily — and according to another survey by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 30 million Americans fail to meet the required intake of B vitamins. The Government Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion confirms these findings.

The majority of Americans do not eat enough produce, calcium-rich food or whole grains, but do eat excessive amounts of added sugar and saturated fats.

These eating patterns create so-called “hidden hunger,” the result of a full calorie diet that is, nevertheless, poor in micronutrients, and vitamins.

This hidden hunger is also one of the causes of overweight and obesity, the latter still at a concerning level in the US. The State of Obesity Foundation reported at the end of 2016 that adult obesity rates exceeded 35 percent in four states, 30 percent in 25 states, and was above 20 percent in all others.

It is not only a matter of what people eat, but also the information Americans have about the food they are eating and what they need to do to get all the nutrients required in a healthy diet.

“We may have good intentions when it comes to eating well, but the truth is that many of us fall short of an ideal diet,” explained Tieraona Low Dog, M.D, in a press release. “But even when we do our best to eat well, it is extremely difficult to get all the nutrients we need on a regular basis with diet alone.”

If sufficient amounts of vitamins cannot be achieved through better eating habits, multivitamins can be good substitutes.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) indicates that “in certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts.” According to the DGA, there are four nutrients that both adults and children typically don’t get enough of: potassium, fiber, calcium, and vitamin D.

But you probably don’t need to take vitamins or supplements stay healthy. Research shows you can achieve proper nutrition just by following some simple rules: Avoid excessively fatty and sugary food, eat mainly whole, unprocessed foods, get some exercise, sleep well and reduce stress. With these five simple moves, we can all enjoy a more active, energetic and healthy life.

 

Posted by Lucia Conti | February 20, 2017