Do you know what “SAD” stands for?
If you guessed, “seasonal affective disorder,” you get a point.
But today we’re looking at a different SAD…
The Standard American Diet.
SAD is far too common here in the U.S. where “three out of four Americans don’t eat a single piece of fruit in a given day, and nearly nine out of ten don’t reach the minimum recommended daily intake of vegetables” (source: National Cancer Institute).
The gap between the recommended American diet and the standard American diet continues to widen. Health suffers as Americans gravitate toward dining out, processed foods, and high levels of fats, refined sugars, and simple carbohydrates.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, lack of the following four nutrients is severe enough to be a cause of public health concern. What do you know about these four nutrients? And are you getting enough?
Lacking Ingredient #1: Potassium
Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that assists in regulating blood pressure, heart rhythm, pH balance, muscle contractions, digestion and more.The body doesn’t naturally produce potassium, so it’s essential to consume it through foods or potassium supplements.
How to Get Enough Potassium: You can get enough by eating spinach, bananas, sweet potatoes and drinking milk.
Lacking Ingredient #2: Dietary Fiber
Soluble fiber helps the body manage glucose and cholesterol levels, while insoluble fiber helps with digestion. Processed grains (the primary type of grain many Americans eat) do not contain dietary fiber.
How to Get Enough Dietary Fiber: Add ground flaxseed to foods; incorporate whole grain cereals, breads or beans into your diet.
Supplement: Fiber Tablets
Lacking Ingredient #3: Calcium
We all know that calcium helps strengthen bones, but did you also know that calcium helps transmit signals through the nerves? Or that your heart health is dependent on healthy calcium intake?
How to Get Enough Calcium: Consume dairy, dark leafy greens and calcium-fortified foods.
Supplement: Calcium Magnesium and Zinc
Lacking Ingredient #4: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is unique in that the human body can both create it and obtain it through food and beverages. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient. However, this vitamin is critical as it helps the body absorb calcium and resist disease.
How to Get Enough Vitamin D: Eat salmon and egg yolks; drink Vitamin D-fortified beverages like milk and orange juice.
Supplement: Vitamin D-3 Natural Dry D-3 1000 IU
You don’t have to live with a diet deficient in these four critical areas. Make a commitment to change your diet – supplements can help!