The Standard American Diet Will Kill You!

By Terry Grant

“We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police.”
~ Jeff Arder

“Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint.”
~ Mark Twain

Growing up I ate the Standard American Diet, which forms the somewhat humorous (and at the same time depressing) acronym S.A.D. This consisted of sugary breakfast cereals, lunch meat sandwiches, gummy fruit snacks, spaghetti O’s, macaroni and cheese, lots of sweets and candies, potato chips, soda, ice cream, hamburgers, french fries, pizza, hot dogs and hot pockets and all the things “kids love!”

Maybe you can relate? Is this the diet you grew up on too or may still be eating?

My mom usually tried to get us to eat some healthier foods and made us good dinners consisting of meat, carbs, and veggies. Yet, overall we pretty much ate the “tasty” things we wanted; so some of our food was healthy, but mostly we chose a lot of the food industry’s “revolutionary” creations, including fast food.

Lets be honest with ourselves, deep down we know this is an unhealthy diet.  Yet, so many people seem to downplay and underestimate the importance of the foods we eat.

I had ectomorphic genes and a rapid metabolism so I could eat whatever I wanted and it never led to any fat gains. Thank God!

Even so, I was extremely weak and skinny all of my life, which is almost just as bad. In my late teens I also drank heavily, smoked cigarettes, and partied all night.  Thinking back upon the matter, this type of diet and lifestyle didn’t help my condition at all or bring me any closer to the realization of my goals.

Moving Away From the Standard American Diet

When I turned eighteen I was finally sick and tired of being so skinny. So, I got our old weight bench out of the attic and started lifting weights. Because I had no clue as to what I was doing, my gains were pretty much non-existent.

This led to reading and learning about muscle building, which as you may guess, also led me to the study of diet and nutrition.

My only concern then, was to learn which foods I needed to eat to gain the muscle I so desperately wanted.  I would later learn that eating for muscle gains isn’t always the same thing as eating for optimal health.

In fact, today the professional body- building lifestyle has little to do with health and more to do with size at all costs. However, there was a time when “the bodybuilder” was the epitome of health!

I was still under that impression in my youth since I was, admittedly, a little naïve.

The more I learned about the benefits of health, the more I came to desire it. My intention then changed from just wanting to be big and strong.

I wanted to be big, strong, AND healthy. Not either or… I wanted it all and still do!

I hope that’s your goal as well!  

Since that is my ultimate goal, I’ve been studying health, exercise and nutrition for over fifteen years (in my spare time) and my diet has grown and evolved over that time frame. It was and can be a slow process. In fact, my diet is still evolving and I’m learning new things as I write this.

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot more about vegetarians and vegans and was seriously considering adopting this way of eating. I never considered it before because I didn’t know of any big, strong vegans. Well, that all changed when I learned of Jason Ferruggia, Mike Mahler and several other vegan bodybuilders.

Many claim that vegetarianism is the healthiest way to eat (for people and the planet) and can produce some interesting ideas and evidence to support these claims. Although, as I continued to research there are just as many who claim otherwise and defend meat as part of a healthy diet. They also have interesting evidence to back up their ideas as well.

This had me baffled. Is eating meat and animal products unhealthy or not?

Personally, I grew up eating them and enjoy my eggs, fish, chicken and the occassional steak.  However, I’m MORE interested in knowing the truth of the matter. Do these foods cause cancer as some experts are now claiming or not?

That being said, I do have a deep respect and appreciation for ALL animals. I’ve been learning a lot about factory farms and how they raise and process our meat here in America. It is ridiculous, cruel and unhealthy for both the animals and those eating the animals. Does our greed for profit know any bounds?

Maybe this is the root of the problem! What about all natural, organic, grass-fed, meats that are treated in a more humane manner… are these healthy to consume? What about the ethics of eating meat? So many questions!  

I’ve never been against killing an animal for food, as this seems to be the natural way of things on this planet. Life feeds on life. However, I believe I still owe respect and gratitude to the animal for its sacrifice. Yet, some of these factory farms seem to have little respect for these animals at all and treat them in a manner which no living being should have to endure.

A real man has a love and reverance for ALL life.

Seeing some of the undercover videos was enough for me to start questioning what I am supporting when I buy certain products from certain companies. You vote with your dollar after all! Many have no idea where their food comes from anymore!

The Food Industry is a Nightmare of Confusion

Everywhere I look there are conflicting claims as the experts battle to determine which diet is the healthiest. The current state of health and nutrition in this world is basically one of mass confusion.

I mean, I’ve been studying diet and nutrition for a while and even I’m a lil’ confused. I’m just being honest here. I can’t even imagine what a newbie to this field is experiencing. That’s why I decided to get to the bottom of this mystery once and for all. People have been eating for millennia, yet it seems we’re more confused now than ever before in history.

Eating for optimal health should be simple, but in this “information age” and with all of the conflicting data, studies, biases and monetary interests of the food industries… it has become a nightmare.

So much so, that I think some people wake up in the middle of the night screaming in unbridled agony!!!

Well, I may be exaggerating slightly, but I’m sure this “nightmare” discourages some from ever getting started.

The purpose of this post and my next several blog posts is to cut through some of the lies, propaganda and distorted half-truths that are confusing the crap out of all of us.

I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I’ve got a good understanding of how to eat healthy, as well, as how to eat to spark new muscle growth. When you combine those together you can achieve the best of both worlds.

When creating an ideal diet, I think the best place for us to start is to study what scientists have learned about our ancient ancestors. What was their natural diet like and how did they live?

We can then use that information as the basic template for creating…
“The Healthiest Muscle Building Diet in the World!”

If you’re still on the SAD diet, this could be a major reason why you’re not seeing progress and haven’t achieved your muscle building goals. I know this was a factor for me.

A Conspiracy Theory?!?!

All calories are NOT created equal and many of the man made foods lining the grocery store shelves lack the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our bodies need to build muscle, recover and promote optimum health. That’s why good people are getting so fat and sick…. we’re eating tons of low quality, high calorie food simply because it tastes good.

News flash: corporations pay scientists to design these foods to taste good in the labs so you will buy it and eat it!

Do they really care if you end up sick or die? Maybe they just don’t want you to die immediately!  If you die fifteen years later, then no one can blame or sue them. If you become sick, well now you’re a perfect customer for the pharmaceutical companies, which seem to be inventing new drugs daily. This seems to be mostly about profit to them. Sad but true.   

Is this really a conspiracy?

Personally, I think it’s mostly a result of ignorance and greed rather than some evil plot to destory the world. My main point is you have to remember that this is a profit driven society. Currently, our companies and coporations driving motive is to MAKE PROFIT FOR THE SHAREHOLDERS.

The end consumer and the environment always take a back seat under this model. Hopefully things will change, but until then…..

We have to be smarter. We have to start thinking of our food as “fuel” to live and to thrive. Taste should be a secondary consideration not the sole factor! We have to wake the F up!

One thing I’ve noticed these days is that the average person thinks that being healthy is NOT cool. Why is that?

I grew up thinking the same thing, but then one day you start to realize that you’re being sold chemical poisons that are killing you and making you sick. If you doubt this, take a look around. Do some research. THINK!!!

They’ll call you a fanatic just because you eat healthy foods 90% of the time and only eat junk foods 10% of the time. Of course the average person’s approach is ass-backwards; they eat junk 90% of the time and healthy foods 10% of the time. Then they wonder why they don’t feel good, don’t have energy and look like crap.

Maybe that’s a little harsh, considering that we’ve simply been brain-washed by all of the media and advertising promoting these fast foods, cakes, candies, and all the other crap that you don’t really need.

“…but they taste soooooo good!” Yeah, and anti-freeze is a sweet nectar too! Why don’t you pour yourself a glass and kick back?

It’s cool to smoke cigarettes afterall and you’re crazy if you don’t drink a liter of coke a day, have coffee and donuts for breakfast and visit your local Mickey D’s for lunch time. You eat vegetables? What the hell is wrong with you?

The average person rarely thinks on his own, preferring to follow the herd instead. They don’t want to be the person that stands out, that says “no thanks”, that follows the beat of a different drummer.

If you follow the herd, you’ll be led to the slaughter!

We’ve got to wake up and blaze our own trail. We’ve got to ask the tough questions and be willing to THINK THINGS THROUGH. A man who thinks is a dangerous man indeed… but thinking can be hard work.

That’s why so few actually do it!

I’ll be back soon with the next post. We’re going to take a trip back in time to explore our ancient roots!

Until then, I want to know what type of diet you’ve adopted and why?

Do you think the foods you eat are important or does it even matter?

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  1. Muscle Building Diet and Digestive Health

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