What changes to the average American diet are necessary for population to meet the Dietary Guidelines of 2010?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It can be considered common knowledge that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans today. It can also be argued that the obesity rate in America is one of the highest in the world. Both of these statistics can be linked directly to diet problems.

Experts site several reasons for American dietary issues, but the one that seems to come up the most often is our increasing exodus away from home cooked meals, and flock toward fast food and foods of convenience. Food from fast food chains as well as pre-cooked meals from the grocery store tend to have a few factors in common: high sodium, high fat, high sugar, and lack of whole nutrients.

According to the Dietary Guidelines of 2010, two of the most important changes Americans (on the whole) could make to their diets is to decrease sodium and processed sugar intake, and increase fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Essentially, simply cutting out the fast food would drastically reduce sodium. And as far as sugar consumption goes, when it is eaten in the form of whole fruits and vegetables, the body is able to digest it more fully because of the natural presense of fiber.

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