How Healthy Are We?

Anonymous_1 on 24 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

Put down that diet soda, and pick up a parsnip.

A recent report shows that 90% of Americans think they're eating healthy*. But guess what? We're apparently giving ourselves far more credit than we deserve.

Our health and well-being -- and ultimately, our appearance -- relies on the nutrients we put into our body. For example, proper eating helps us heal faster after cosmetic surgery.  From a mommy makeover to Smart Lipo, eating the right foods pre- and post-procedure is highly recommended by board-certified physicians on RealSelf. And fit people in good health are often better-positioned for everything from longevity in life, to finding a romantic partner, to being successful and happy on the job.  

So how healthy is our food intake, compared to how healthy we think it is? Well, we seem to be fooling ourselves.

The research looked at more than 1,200 U.S. adults and how they maintained a healthy diet. Of those, 9 out of 10 said their diet was "somewhat," "very," or "extremely" healthy.

Yet of the group, about a third were at a healthy weight, about the same amount were overweight, and 21% were obese -- with a BMI of 30+. Where's the disconnect?

The group was trying to eat right -- 6 out of 10 said they were either "careful" or "strict" about their food intake, while only 1 in 4 said they ate whatever they wanted.

The culprit? Seems we're not limiting our sugar and fat intake enough - and apparently, like we Cheerios a lot but not parsnips. [What is a parsnip, actually? Perhaps that's a trip to the grocery this afternoon to investigate].

The research zoomed in on these two healthy habits, which seem like common sense but apparently aren't being followed by everyone: don't skip breakfast, and avoid sugary drinks.

Oh, and eat your veggies - even those parsnips. Here are the least-liked, "wallflower" veggies* according to the research:









Ready to test your nutrition skills? Take this healthful eating quiz.

*Source: Consumer Reports, January 2011*