11 graphs showing everything that is wrong with the modern diet

The modern diet is the main reason why people all over the world are fatter and sicker than ever.

In all the places where modern processed foods go, chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease soon appear.

Studies are clear about this ... when people abandon their traditional foods in favor of modern processed foods with high sugar content, refined flour and vegetable oils, they get sick (1, 2, 3).

Of course, there are many things that can contribute to these health problems, but changes in diet are the most important factor.

Here are 11 graphs that show everything that is wrong with the modern diet.

1. Total sugar consumption has skyrocketed in the last 160 years

Total sugar intake

Source: Johnson RJ, et al. Possible role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007.

People in Western countries consume massive amounts of refined sugars, reaching around 150 pounds (67 kg) per year in some countries. This equals more than 500 calories of sugar per day.

The sources vary in the exact figures, but it is very clear that we are consuming much more sugar that our body is equipped to handle (4).

Studies in controlled humans show that large amounts of sugar can cause serious metabolic problems, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and triglycerides, to name a few (5, 6).

It is believed that added sugar is one of the main drivers of diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer (7, 8, 9, 10).

2. Consumption of soft drinks and fruit juices has increased dramatically

Consumption of soft drinks and fruit juices.

Of all the sources of sugar in the diet, sugary drinks are the worst.

Actually, fruit juice is not better ... it contains a quantity of sugar similar to most soft drinks (11).

Obtaining sugar in liquid form is particularly harmful. Studies show that the brain does not "record" the calories of liquid sugar in the same way as the calories in solid foods, which significantly increases total caloric intake (12, 13).

One study found that in children, every daily serving of sugary drinks is linked to a 60% higher risk of obesity (14).

3. Calorie intake has increased by around 400 calories per day

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. The American diet. 2012

Although sources vary in exact numbers, it is clear that caloric intake has increased dramatically in recent decades (15).

There are many complicated reasons for this, including increased consumption of processed foods and sugar, increased availability of food, more aggressive marketing to children, etc. (16)

4. People have abandoned traditional fats in favor of processed vegetable oils

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. The American diet. 2012

When health professionals began to blame saturated fats for heart disease, people abandoned traditional fats such as butter, shortening and coconut oil in favor of processed vegetable oils.

These oils are very high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to inflammation and various problems when consumed in excess (17, 18).

These oils are often hydrogenated, which makes them rich in trans fat. Many studies have shown that these fats and oils actually increase the risk of heart disease, even if they are not hydrogenated (19, 20, 21).

Therefore, the wrong advice to avoid saturated fats and choose vegetable oils may have fed The epidemic of heart diseases.

5. People replaced heart-healthy butter with trans fat-free Laden margarine

Another side effect of the "war" on saturated fats was an increase in the consumption of margarine.

Margarine was traditionally made with hydrogenated oils, which are high in trans fats. Many studies show that trans fats increase the risk of heart disease (22, 23).

Grass-fed butter actually contains nutrients that protect against heart disease (such as vitamin K2), so the advice to replace heart-healthy butter with margarine loaded with trans fat may have caused a lot of damage (24) .

6. Soybean oil has become an important source of calories

The most consumed vegetable oil in the United States is soybean oil.

Soybean oil actually provided 7% of the calories in the United States diet in 1999, which is huge (25)!

However, most people have no idea that they are eating so much soybean oil. Actually, they are getting most of the processed foods, which often have added soybean oil because it is cheap.

The best way to avoid soybean oil (and other unpleasant ingredients) is to avoid processed foods.

7. Modern wheat is less nutritious than older varieties of wheat

Source: Fan MS, et al. Evidence of diminution of the mineral density in the grain of wheat in the last 160 years. Diary of trace elements in medicine and biology.

There is evidence that modern wheat, which was introduced around 1960, is less nutritious than older varieties of wheat.

The above graph is from an experiment that has been carried out since 1843. In it, scientists have cultivated different varieties of wheat and have measured the amount of nutrients.

It can be seen that the mineral content begins to diminish around 1960, which coincides with the introduction of modern wheat.

Today's wheat has around 19-28% less important minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, compared to the wheat our grandparents grew up with.

There is also evidence that modern wheat is much more harmful for celiac patients and people with gluten sensitivity, compared to older varieties (26, 27, 28).

While wheat may have been relatively healthy in the past, the same does not apply to modern dwarf wheat, which is what most people consume.

8. Egg consumption is gone

Source of the photo.

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Despite being high in cholesterol, eggs do not increase the bad cholesterol in the blood (29).

For some reason, health authorities have recommended that we reduce eggs, although there is no evidence that they contribute to heart disease (30).

Since 1950, we have reduced our consumption of this highly nutritious food from 375 to 250 eggs per year, a decrease of 33%.

This has contributed to a deficiency of important nutrients such as choline, which around 90% of Americans are not getting enough (31).

9. People are eating more processed foods than ever before

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Fast food, weight gain and insulin resistance. Source of complete health.

This graph shows how the consumption of fast foods has increased in recent decades.

Keep in mind that although it seems that people continue to eat most of their food "at home," this does not take into account the fact that most people are also eating processed foods at home.

10. The increase in the consumption of vegetable oil has changed the composition of fatty acids in our bodies

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Seed oils and Body Fatness- a problematic visit. Source of complete health.

Most of the Omega-6 fats that people are eating is a fatty acid called linoleic acid.

Studies show that this fatty acid is actually incorporated into our cell membranes and body fat stores. These fats are prone to oxidation, which damages molecules (such as DNA) in the body and can increase our cancer risk (32, 33, 34, 35, 36).

In other words, the increased consumption of processed vegetable oils has led to damaging structural changes in our bodies. That is a scary thought.

11. Low-fat dietary guidelines were published approximately at the same time that the obesity epidemic began

Source: National Center for Health Statistics (United States). Health, United States, 2008: with a special feature on the health of young adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (USA); 2009 Mar. Chartbook.

The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in 1977, almost in the exactly at the same time The obesity epidemic began.

Of course, this does not prove anything (the correlation is not equal to causality), but it makes sense that this could be something more than a mere coincidence.

The anti-fat message essentially puts the blame on saturated fats and cholesterol (harmless), while giving a free pass to sugar and refined carbohydrates (very unhealthy).

Since the guidelines were published, there have been many massive studies on the low-fat diet. It is not better to prevent heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet (37, 38, 39, 40).

For some strange reason, we are still advised to follow this type of diet, even though studies show that it is completely ineffective.

Reference: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-graphs-that-show-what-is-wrong-with-modern-diet


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