Only 10% of US Population Eats Correctly, See if You Are One of Them

A shocking number of Americans have a poor diet. Learn more about what constitutes a healthy diet.

According to statistics, 92 percent of the population, poor or wealthy, suffers from at least one mineral or vitamin deficiency based on the Dietary Reference Intakes. The entire population is either overfed or undernourished, especially now that the covid-19 pandemic has been going on for three years.

Fresh, nutrient-dense foods are typically seen to be time and money-consuming, making them a luxury rather than the norm at dinner tables across the country. Fast foods and processed junk have become staples in the American diet. Even if you eat a “perfect” diet, there’s still a good chance you lack a number of vital nutrients. 

The American public’s poor diets and sedentary lifestyles have led to high rates of obesity, overweight, and diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. Poor nutrition quality and physical inactivity contributed to 16.6% of fatalities in the United States in 2000, compared to 14% in 1990. 

Advertisements

ROLE PLAYED BY FARMLAND SOILS

Several studies have found that farmland soils globally are deficient in one micronutrient or another, lowering their content in produce. These findings revealed that the mineral content of cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes had decreased from 400 milligrams to less than 50 milligrams throughout the twentieth century, compared to 50 years before. That’s just a small sample of what was discovered.

Even if processed junk food and fast food were not part of the food supply, deficiencies would still exist since soil quality is deteriorating at an alarming rate, lowering the nutritional content of vegetables. 

Reports by the CDC and USDA

Furthermore, reports by the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that:

Advertisements
  • Potassium deficiency affects nine out of ten Americans.
  • Calcium deficiency affects seven out of ten.
  • Vitamin E deficiency affects eight out of ten.
  • Vitamin A, C, and magnesium deficiency affect 50 percent of Americans.
  • Vitamin D deficiency affects more than half of the population, regardless of age.
  • Vitamin D deficiency affects 90% of people of color in the United States.
  • Around 70% of senior citizens in the United States are vitamin D deficient. 

Insufficient Essential Nutrients

The lack of nutrients in the American diet results from a diet low in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and “fat-free” or “low fat” milk products.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee looked at data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on typical calorie consumption. “We discovered several food groups that are “consumed in lower amounts than the minimum levels recommended in the USDA Food Patterns for each age-sex group,” said the committee. 

The majority of Americans consume less than the recommended amount of vegetables per day; more than 75% of adult men and women and boys and girls aged 9 to 18 eat less than the suggested amount of fruit per day.

Advertisements

Most Americans eat more grains per day than is recommended. However, over 95% of people of all ages and genders do not take the recommended amount of whole grains, 50% of total grains eaten. The intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products is also less than recommended for most adults, children and adolescents.

The shortfall food groups discussed above have been targeted to increase by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. In particular, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee emphasized a total diet approach that is energy balanced, limited in total calories, and portion-controlled nutrient-dense.

The solution

Rebalancing diets to eat appropriate quantities of foods and nutrients could help people in every world region. Researchers have debated the need for supplements in the diet for decades.

Advertisements

“All adults are encouraged to take at least one multivitamin pill each day,” stated the American Medical Association, which has previously taken a strong stance against supplements. High-quality vitamins can help you recover and maintain your micronutrient levels for maximum health. Whether you’re a top athlete or just want to improve your health, your diet is essential in reaching those goals. 

What supplements should you take?

A variety of nutrients work together to allow the body to function at its best. But how do you know which ones you require to maintain your health? Nutrient needs are unique. Some nutrients, such as vitamin D and K2, are deficient in most Americans, and getting enough in the diet is practically difficult. However, working with an expert physician to evaluate your nutritional levels for vitamin deficiency is recommended.

Top supplements that benefit the most individuals

  • Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is quickly gaining a reputation as an excellent vitamin for achieving optimum health. Vitamin K2 has long been recognized for its role in blood clotting. Still, scientists now understand it has more benefits, including protection against heart disease, formation of strong bones, promoting healthy skin, brain function, growth, and development, and helping to prevent certain forms of cancer. While vitamin K2 can be sourced from the diet through grass-fed meat, such as lamb, liver, and dark meat turkey. Supplementation ensures absorption and sufficient intake.
  • Calcium. Except for boys and girls aged 1 to 3 years, most people in the United States do not meet the Adequate Intake (AI) level for calcium from consuming foods alone. Similarly, adolescents and adults only consume about half the recommended amount of fluid milk and milk products. Adequate calcium intake is necessary for bone health and essential biological functions such as nerve transmission, vasoconstriction, vasodilation, and muscle contraction. The significant sources of calcium in the American diet are also the most bioavailable. Although there are additional sources of calcium, fluid milk and milk products provide more than 70 percent of the calcium in American diets.
  • Multivitamins. Research has shown that the most valuable supplement an individual can take to maintain their long-term health is a high-quality multivitamin. A study of almost 3 million adults shows that less than 1% obtained appropriate levels of critical vitamins alone from the diet. Basic vitamin deficits can make you vulnerable to heart disease, breast cancer, and colon cancer, among other adverse conditions. Choosing the right multivitamin is often tricky, making it essential to test for vitamin deficiency or consult an expert physician.
  • Vitamin D. It has a long-established role in maintaining bone health and is critical to calcium absorption within the body. It functions as a hormone inside the body, meaning that much like your other hormones, it has many significant roles to fill in keeping you healthy. Many benefits from vitamin D beyond bone health have been suggested, including improved immune function, cancer risk reduction, and prevention of diabetes. Still, evidence-based reviews have been carried out for only some health outcomes. There is currently much discussion about the levels of deficiency within the U.S. population. Still, agreed-upon definitions for vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency currently do not exist, with those in use varying wildly. A report from the IOM concerning nutritional requirements for vitamin D and calcium will be released in 2010. Fortified foods remain an essential vitamin D source since they are found naturally only in fatty fish, egg yolks, and the liver. In addition, vitamin D can be synthesized endogenously when skin is exposed to sunlight.

Final thought

Don’t put your health in jeopardy. Consult your doctor about checking your vitamin deficiency and start a program that will improve your health and optimize your performance, productivity, and quality of life. 

Advertisements