We have officially reached the holiday season. Some of us might call it the holiday eating season. Food is an essential part of our celebration with friends and family. I am a huge supporter of celebration, especially with food — even unhealthy food.* If you want to eat an especially large, rich, tasty Thanksgiving meal, I say more power to you. Celebrating with friends and family over the holidays is an appropriate time to indulge. However, for many of us, our everyday eating can look just as indulgent as our celebratory eating. And that is where we Americans are lacking — everyday eating habits.
The USDA Economic Research Service put out this graph a few days before Thanksgiving. It compares the typical US consumption pattern of eating with the USDA’s MyPlate recommended pattern of eating. As you can see, we eat more meat and grains than necessary and not enough fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
On average, we eat about 1 1/2 cups of vegetables per day, just 63% of the recommended 2 ½ servings. And surprisingly, we are doing even more poorly on fruit! Our nation’s average is one-third of the 2 cups recommended each day. In the dairy category, we are averaging about half the recommended servings. Continue Reading »