Dangers of the Standard American Diet

YOU ARE GOING TO DIE TOO SOON—-if you insist on following the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)!!  Yes, it’s true!! What you grew up on, what you just blindly trusted was a normal diet…is the source of the diseases we begin to be troubled by as we approach 30-40 years of age, sometimes even sooner! What we’re talking about here: heart attacks, cancer, strokes, diabetes—the big four, whose origins for the most part, can be traced back to an unhealthy, dangerous diet. Let’s examine this further…

The Standard American Diet consists typically of:

  • a large portion of red meat as the main attraction of the meal
  • a generous portion of “white starch,”(white potatoes, white rice,  white bread/rolls)
  • a small side portion of a vegetable or salad.
  • a sweetened drink (usually soda)
  • often followed by a dessert, such as ice cream, cake, pudding, or some kind of candy.

And that’s usually just if you’re eating at home. When eating out, Americans most often eat at fast-food restaurants, where typical meals consist of hamburgers, French fries, and a soda, and usually exclude any kind of vegetables (the scant lettuce, pickles and onions on hamburgers don’t amount to much). You would have to order a salad as a “side” dish to get your vegetable need filled. Though this kind of eating can appease your hunger, years of this kind of diet spells disaster for your body—especially for your cardiovascular system. 

Did you know that by the age of 30 virtually ALL Americans have atherosclerosis (a dangerous buildup of plaque in the blood, leading to blood clots and hardening of the arteries)?  Yes! And it all starts at around the age of 2, when children are weaned off of baby food and begin to be raised on the Standard American diet! And what are the problems with this diet? The following:

1) Large amounts of animal products (meat, cheese, milk, eggs) give us too much saturated fat and cholesterol;

2) Generous portions of “starch,”— especially white potatoes, white bread, white pasta, and white rice—give us too much sugar in the blood too quickly, and

3) a low volume (or lack of)  vegetables, leaves our body depleted of necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals we need to fight against the very evils (“free radicals”) that are known to cause cancer and other damaging conditions in our bodies. Add to all that the large volume of sugar we ingest daily, mostly through sweetened beverages and desserts/candy, and this diet is a ticking time bomb for everyone who indulges! 

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t bother to change their diet until it is too late: they have a stroke or heart attack or become obese and suffer the consequences from that. The latest statistics show that 1/3 of all American adults are obese, and that the top killers in the U.S. are cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. It’s easy to see, then, that diet is a major player in American diseases and premature death rates.This is very sad, indeed.

You don’t have to become another statistic in this S.A.D. train wreck way of life. You can take control of your life and look and feel better NOW and be around for your kids, grandkids and other loved ones. How?

1) Make salads and vegetables the main part of every meal;

2) Cut back on red meats; eat lean meats, fish and poulty instead; and substitute nuts, seeds, and beans more often for your protein needs;

3) Eat a rainbow of fruits for sweets instead of typical dessert foods,

4) Drink water throughout the day and/or flavor it with real fruit juice, instead of soda.

And if you MUST  eat at a fast-food restaurant, stick with nourishing offerings, such as salads (bring your own healthy dressing), fruit cups, and water.

Live long and enjoy your life!






Boyle, Marie A., and Long, Sara. Personal Nutrition,  “Nourish Your Heart” Chap. 5, pgs 148-150.