Infographic: We Eat Less Healthy Than We Think

A while back I wrote a post about whether Americans were clueless or in denial about the far-reaching health effects of being overweight or obese.   It seems simple:  if you know that being overweight or obese, or having all of that belly fat, puts you at a significantly higher risk of disease, wouldn't you do something about it?

As it turns out, American may not only be lying to themselves about their weight problem, but they may also be deceiving themselves about their food choices.

This infographic entitled "Perception:  We Eat Less Healthy Than We Think" contains some interesting information on how many Americans perceive what they eat and how they actually eat worse than they think.

An outstanding point made is that the worse the food, the less accurate people rate it.  For example, people rate someone's else bacon 3.2x more unhealthy than the person rates his own bacon.

Another outstanding point made in this infographic is that vegans and vegetarians eat 22.4% healthier than omnivores - people who eat everything, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.

A confusing point is made about a low carb / no carb diet.  The infographic states that individuals on a "low or no carb diet" eat on average 21.9% healthier than people who eat everything.  In my view, this statement is confusing because the healthiest of diets (i.e., vegan and vegetarian) consists of relatively large amounts of carbohydrates.  To clear this up, its important to understand that all carbs are not created equal.   In fact, some carbs are detrimental to your health and make you fat, while other carbs are healthy and help you to lose weight.

The standard American diet (SAD) generally consists of a large amount of simple carbohydrates.  Simple carbs are refined and include food that contains or is made from sugar, white flour and rice, and other processed grains.  The healthy vegan or vegetarian (whole food, plant-based) diet consists of complex carbohydrates.  Complex carbs are unrefined and unprocessed (or minimally processed) and include foods like fresh vegetables and fruit, raw nuts and seeds and unrefined grains, like brown rice and whole wheat.  Complex carbs generally contain a large amount of dietary fiber.  Dietary fiber makes you feel full and satisfied and aids in both weight (belly fat) loss and weight management.

The infographic gives examples of certain foods and how they are perceived.  These include coffee, orange juice, diet soda and bacon.  It also gives a rating on how different salads are perceived and the calorie count of a chicken ceasar salad at five restaurants and fast food establishments:  McDonalds, Wendy's, Panera Bread, Chili's and Cheesecake Factory.

Related:  Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

Infographic Source:  Massive Health



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