We are what we eat
Two recent studies caught my eye -- and while they're separate studies, they're directly related.
The first finds that fast food industry now makes up more than 11 percent of the typical American's calories -- and nearly 15 percent of the calories consumed by young adults between the ages of 20 and 29.
That's actually a slight drop from the numbers we saw earlier in the decade... but while the fast food industry will tell you that 10 or 15 percent shows it's a "moderate" habit, the second new study shows the truth: it's far too much.
That's because this second study of diabetes and the fast food industry shows that 1 in 8 Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. That's close to 30 million of us, and that number doesn't include the millions more who have the disease but haven't actually been handed a diagnoses yet.
They'll find out soon enough.
And even that number is just a drop in the bucket -- because an estimated 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes.
That means more than a third of us have either diabetes or the condition that will eventually lead to the disease -- and if people continue to get between 10 and 15 percent of their calories from the fast food industry, that number will climb even higher.
The refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and processed foods in these meals will cause weight gain as well as metabolic changes, even with a so-called "moderate" intake of 10-15 percent.
That, in turn, will lead to metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and diabetes -- and even if you manage to avoid diabetes, you'll still be at risk for heart disease and more.
There's one way to avoid it, and it's not to find some magic level of moderate junk food intake. It's to stick to a diet of healthy, fresh foods prepared from scratch at home and not by the fast food industry.
I'll have more on diet this weekend -- including the one common-sense diet that can help prevent these diseases instead of causing them. And the best part of all? This diet is rich in a wide range of the foods you already love -- even chocolate.
Yes, chocolate. But, sorry -- no fast food.