The American diet is constantly changing and it is pretty common to hear about new dietary restrictions. There is constantly new information and new research that is published to change peoples’ perceptions of their own diet. Although it is something that is constantly being talked about, a recent survey shows that 59% of Americans don’t follow any nutritional rules at all. According to the survey, 19% of Americans follow a low or no carb diet, while 10% of people are lactose free. Following close behind at 9% is gluten free. 18 million Americans have gluten insensitivity, according to BeyondCeliac.Org. 5% of Americans are vegetarians, those who do not eat meat and only consume vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, eggs, and dairy. The survey showed that 4% of Americans are pescatarian, where fish is the only meat they consume. 3% of Americans are vegan, and do not consume any food that comes from animals.
MyPlate.Gov is based on the dietary Guidelines for Americans and states that Americans aged 19-30 should be consuming 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit a day. It also states that Americans should be eating around 3 cups of vegetables a day. In grains, Americans should consume around 4 ounces, and half of those should be whole grains. In protein, Americans should consume around 6 ounces of protein food each day. It is recommended that Americans get around 3 cups of dairy a day.
Many Americans stick to different diets and find things that work for them, but how do they adapt when their favorite food is out of stock? After the Covid-19 pandemic, there were food shortages and an increase in grocery prices which has caused some people to struggle to find food items at the grocery store. Healthy and fresh foods have went up and price and people have had to resort to less healthy options due to them being cheaper.
There have been many factors that have played a role in making it difficult to eat a healthy diet over the past year, but 31% of Americans have no particular reason in why they have struggled to eat healthy. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people were home more than they were used to and a lot of Americans enjoyed snacking. 23% answered that snacking when not hungry was a factor that caused them to struggle in eating healthy. Another factor from the Covid-19 pandemic and being home more often was more access to unhealthy foods, these unhealthy foods were also most of the time cheaper at the grocery store. Another factor that can relate to Covid-19, is fewer fresh foods because people were grocery shopping less often.
There have been many factors that have affected Americans diets over the past year and other factors that are continuing to add to the changes TV2’s Anna Louden spoke with Americans on how this has changed the way people have viewed their diets, changed the way they grocery shop, and how they have adapted through Covid-19 and an increase in food prices. Poor diets can cause major health issues later in life, Louden also talked with experts to find out what people should really be eating and why people should care about their diet.