Where would you like that extra 17 pounds? On the surface it looks as though our societies have taken on healthier eating habits over the past three decades. After all the coffee jitters are being traded in for antioxidant rich tea; red meat has taken a back seat to lean proteins such as fish and poultry; egg consumption has been cut in an effort to lower cholesterol levels; and cartons of low-fat/nonfat milk have been crowding out the whole milk on grocery store shelves. So why on earth are obesity rates sky rocketing?
The fact of the matter is our fat, sugar, and overall calorie consumption has increased dramatically. Alcohol and butter are both on the rise, but they are mere slugs compared to the growing popularity of the number 1 fat offender, cheese. In 1996 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) did a study and review on the diet of Americans. The study compared what people were eating in 1970 to what they were eating at present. The results were astounding. In 1996 Americans ate 2 ½ times as much cheese as they did in 1970! Cheese consumption for the average American jumped 143% from 11 lbs to 28 lbs per year. Imagine the damage that an additional 17 lbs (7.7 kg) of cheese per year could do.
So are consumers sitting around eating big wedges of cheese? Maybe some, but in this day and age approximately two-thirds of cheese consumption is in the form of commercially manufactured and prepared foods, such as frozen pizzas, sauces, instant pasta meals, bagel spreads, and packaged snack foods. The good news, by choosing a dairy free lifestyle you will dramatically decrease your intake of saturated fats and hydrogenated oils by dumping that 28 lbs of cheese and the additional processed food ingredients and chemicals that accompany it.
Go Dairy Free for our 10-day challenge. You have nothing to lose, except maybe some extra weight!
- “U.S. Agriculture–Linking Consumers and Producers – What Do Americans Eat?”; USDA Agriculture Fact Book, 1998