Fight the Battle of the Bulge with Fresh Grapefruit
The waistlines of ordinary Americans are growing faster than ever, according to a recent report. Funded by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Foundation, medical researchers compiled some truly shocking statistics. Many have heard that two-thirds of US citizens are now either overweight or obese, but few are aware of just how rapidly we are packing on the pounds. At present, Colorado is the thinnest with an obesity rate of 19.8 percent, well below the national average of 28 percent. But Colorado would have been the nation's fattest state in 1995, only sixteen years ago!
How did we get here?
There is more than enough blame to go around. Most pundits point to the fast food industry and the ready availability of unhealthy foods. Others admonish the schools for cutting physical education programs and offering less healthy lunches. And indeed this is a major problem. According to the Surgeon General herself, Dr. Regina Benjamin, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America. Their obesity rate has more than doubled since 1990!
But the truth is that children do not learn poor eating habits at school. They learn them at home. After all, the average child eats two out of three meals in the family kitchen. And if parents do not set a good example with their eating habits, it is highly unlikely that their children will eat right when they are away from home. That is why most healthcare professionals have been imploring parents to feed their children fresh and healthy foods instead of fast foods and prepackaged meals.
Where to begin?
As the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” No state decreased its level obesity last year. But there were a few positive signs. Fewer states reported increases in their obesity rates, which tells us that greater public awareness may be the key. Most of us now know, for instance, that obesity greatly increases the risk of deadly diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease.
What to eat?
Once we know that we must start eating right, we logically need to know what foods are best. According to the experts, Americans are eating way too many sugary and salty snack foods. Potato chips, pretzels, ice cream, etc, are all extremely high in calories and low in vital vitamins and minerals. In short, we need to find a different way to snack. Citrus fruit is a nearly perfect alternative.
A fruit like the grapefruit, for example, is naturally fat and cholesterol free. It is low in calories and high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. Eating just one half of one grapefruit as a snack or for breakfast gives you all the vitamin C you need in a day and about a quarter of recommended dietary fiber. It also has just 50 calories!