Why Skipping Citrus and Eating like an American will make you Sick
The numbers are shocking: a full third of Americans are officially obese, while two-thirds are overweight. As uncomfortable as it may be, experts are finally starting to throw around the “E” word, as in epidemic. The United States has a serious problem with food that won’t be solved anytime soon. Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Furthermore, it is linked to many of the most expensive chronic diseases and conditions, including Type 2 diabetes.
At last count, more than 26 million people had the disorder and 79 million more are considered pre-diabetic. That’s more than one-third of the total population of the United States! According to medical professionals, it is six times more expensive to care for someone with Type 2 diabetes than it is to look after a healthy person. In other words, if all these folks develop the disorder, health care cost will surge!
Is there a solution?
Yes, and it’s a simple one. We must stop eating junk food! The average American absorbs 300 more calories than he/she did just thirty years ago. At the same time, the average person is less active than he/she was in the past, since we generally have more sedentary lifestyles. As a result, we are consuming a lot of superfluous food, mostly in the form of sweets and snacks.
Although culprits abound, including fast food restaurants, vending machines, and frozen foods, the decline in the consumption of citrus fruits is often ignored. Until only recently, people enjoyed fresh oranges and grapefruit as snacks, both at work and at school. But now most folks prefer their fruit in liquid form, which is not nearly as salubrious. No, we’re not saying that OJ is unhealthy, but it really isn’t a substitute for fresh fruit. Why is this?
When fruit is juiced it loses most of the vitamins and minerals that are found in the skin and pulp. The average orange, for example, loses all of its dietary fiber and some of its vitamin C, especially if it is frozen. Worse yet, most of the major juice makers add sugar to their product, since Americans have become accustomed to concentrated, sugary versions of the once fresh fruit juices. That’s why OJ has more than twice as much sugar as natural oranges!
By simply replacing a small bag of potato chips or pretzels with an orange for a snack, a person can cut his caloric consumption in half. Not to mention the fact that fresh citrus fruit actually satisfies our bodies on a cellular level and keeps us fuller for longer. By comparison, a bag of chips is nothing more than salt, fat, and carbohydrates, which are three things most of us eat more than enough of.
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