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How We Can Move Away From The Standard American Diet?

American Diet

(Collaborative Content)


The standard American diet (also known as the Western pattern diet- it’s not just us from the US!) is modern dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red and processed meat, fried foods, refined grains, prepackaged foods, butter, potatoes, corn and sugar. Lots of sugar! Due to the cheap and accessible nature of these foods and the fact that they appeal directly to us as humans (we’re programmed to seek out high energy and fattening foods as they used to be scarce) many of us eat far too many of these things. This has lead to massively increased rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many more related conditions which are all highly preventable. While this diet might be normalised in our society, it’s not a normal way for a human to eat, and will cause significant damage in the long run. Taking steps to getting away from this pattern of eating is one of the best things you can do, here are some of the ways you can go about it.

Cut back on red meat

Cutting back on all meat can be good for your health as well as the environment, but from a health perspective it’s definitely worth cutting back on red meat. Switch pork, lamb, beef and their related products such as sausages, bacon and jerky for poultry or fish. Go with tuna or egg in your sandwiches instead of ham, use turkey mince in your chilli instead of beef. Some swaps are so easy you’ll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. Red and processed meat consumption is associated with raised cholesterol, heart disease and heart attacks. Another thing that can cause heart issues which may sound strange is plaque on the teeth, learn about flossing and incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine. Make these two changes for better heart health long term. 

Learn to cook

Cooking from scratch gives you total control over your food. You know there’s no sneaky added salt, sugar and fat, you know everything that’s gone into it. Get onto Pinterest and pin some healthy, tasty recipes and work on perfecting them. Enjoy the process of cooking and feeding yourself healthy and delicious foods. 

Make sugar a treat

We all love sugar, it’s easy to go overboard on it especially when sugar is hidden in all kinds of foods including savoury foods. You don’t need to completely give up on your sweet treats, just be sure to limit them. Allow yourself one dessert every week, perhaps on the weekend so it gives you something to look forward to. The rest of the time, stick to fruit, low sugar yogurts, homemade healthy oat bars and other snacks to keep the sweet cravings at bay. 

Make simple swaps

Swap butter for a low fat olive spread. Switch white rice, pasta and bread for wholegrain. Buy sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, they’re higher in vitamins and unlike standard potatoes count towards your five a day. These sorts of swaps are easy to do and don’t require any extra planning or preparation- you can just use the ingredients in the same way.  

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