The Standard American Diet: Is Your Diet SAD? 4 Foods You May Want to Avoid to Make Your Diet Happier by Dr. Vikki Petersen

3 years ago

The Standard American Diet: Is Your Diet SAD? 4 Foods You May Want to Avoid to Make Your Diet Happier

Do you find yourself struggling to make healthy food and lifestyle choices? Do you see and feel the effects of your diet on your body and mind? Well, you’re not alone.

SAD is an abbreviation for Standard American Diet, and it is (sadly) a very poor one. Diets that are full of sugar, highly processed ingredients, rich in chemicals, preservatives, and bad fats are not a formula for health. In fact, around 60 percent of what all Americans eat is ultra-processed “food” that should not even be called food.

What are some SAD foods that we should try to avoid? Here are my top four SAD foods to avoid and what to choose instead:

  1. Sodas and Sweet Drinks: Sodas and sweet drinks, on average, have 24 grams of sugar, which is the total recommended amount of sugar to intake in one day! If you have more than one soda a day, your sugar intake is much higher than you may think. If you need something flavorful and bubbly, try infusing fruits to your sparkling water. Need some caffeine? Sip on a cup of tea or coffee (in moderation).
  2. Pre-packaged Meals: Another popular staple in the American diet is pre-packaged meals. From “frozen dinners” to packaged snacks for kids, they are everywhere, full of preservatives, chemicals and bad fats. If you need a quick and easy meal or snack, try meal-prepping your snacks and meals for the week with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, protein-rich options and more.
  3. White Bread: White bread has absolutely zero nutritional value. The bleached grains are extremely processed and cause more harm than good. Even though you may feel full temporarily, white bread will leave you feeling hungry and craving more later on. Instead, opt for healthy gluten-free breads, tortillas for a delicious wrap or multi-grain crackers.
  4. Potato Chips: As delicious as potato chips are, they are normally highly processed by the time you get to eat them. The preservatives, fatty oils and salt are anything but healthy. Not to mention, it’s almost impossible not to finish a bag in one sitting! Still need a good snack fix? Try reaching for lightly salted organic popcorn, nuts, homemade/baked veggie chips, fresh veggies and hummus or a fresh fruit salad.

The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Donna John
I don't drink sodas or sweet tea (though I love sweet tea!) and we eat very minimal pre-packaged foods. But I do love sandwiches, so the bread can be an issue. Need to try gluten-free bread. Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds , which brand do you like best? Dr. Vikki Petersen
Elisa Schmitz
I couldn't agree more. These are awesome tips. I have been gluten free for several years now. I try to eat whole grain GF bread by Udi's or Canyon Bakehouse. It's really good! We also get some from a local GF bakery, which I also enjoy. Donna John We look forward to learning more from you, Dr. Vikki Petersen !

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