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Lindsey Blakley


Is it vegan?


October 4, 2019

Earlier this week, my wife and I were out-and-about doing chores. The day got away from us and suddenly, I was ravished. You know how it is when you’ve waited too long to eat and you get the shakes? I really needed food. Luckily for us, being vegan in the LA-area, it’s a breeze to find something both vegan and healthy. However, we weren’t all that close to home and we needed something quickly, so my thoughts went to fast-food eateries.

We were close to a Carl’s Jr., so off we went. I knew that most of the Carl’s have the Beyond Burger, but I wasn’t sure the one that I was close to had it. As we arrived, there were HUGE signs mentioned their Beyond Burger. We ate it and were reasonably satisfied. (Yes, there is cheese on the burger in the photo for this article, but no, I didn’t eat any cheese, nor did I eat the mayo. I asked that they hold both those items.) The burger was tasty. As I mentioned, I was satisfied. However, I was disappointed seeing how busy the restaurant was.

I would have to say that I haven’t been in a fast-food restaurant in many, many years. It was disappointing to see how crowded these eateries are. Having an occasional fast-food meal is one thing, but I have the feeling that most of my fellow patrons frequent this and other such eateries. Let’s face it, most Americans really don’t eat well.

From AP News: Americans’ diets are a little less sweet and a little crunchier but there’s still too much sugar, white bread and artery-clogging fat, a study suggests.

Overall, the authors estimated there was a modest improvement over 16 years on the government’s healthy eating index, from estimated scores of 56 to 58. That’s hardly cause for celebration — 100 is the top score.

Diets are still too heavy on foods that can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other prevalent U.S. health problems, said co-author Fang Fang Zhang, a nutrition researcher at Tufts University near Boston.

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“Despite observed improvements,” the authors wrote, “important dietary challenges” remain.

Among them: Getting Americans to cut down on snack foods, hot dogs, fatty beef, butter and other foods containing saturated fats. The study found these unhealthy fats increased from 11.5% to almost 12% of daily calories, above the recommended 10% limit.

And while the biggest change was a small drop in added sugars, from about 16% to roughly 14%, that’s still too high. The government says less than 10% of daily calories should come from added sugars. Researchers think fewer sweetened sodas contributed to the decline, but Zhang noted added sugars are often found in foods that don’t even seem sweet, including some yogurts and tomato sauce.

Fruits, nuts, oatmeal and other whole grains are among the types of foods adults ate slightly more of. Still, each of those contributed to less than 5% of daily calories in 2016, the study found.

Salt intake dipped slightly and a small decline in fruit juice contributed to a drop in low-quality carbs. But these still amount to 42% of daily calories, including many likely from highly processed white bread and other refined grains, Zhang said.

The study is based on in-person health surveys conducted every two years that ask adults to recall what foods they ate in the previous 24 hours. Starting in 2003, adults were asked that question twice several days apart.

The study lists food groups rather than individual foods; for example “whole grains,” not oatmeal, and “refined grains,” not white bread but Zhang said those two foods are among the most common grains in the U.S. diet.

During the study years, U.S. diabetes rates almost doubled, to more than 7%; obesity rates increased during many of those years, with about 70% of U.S. adults now overweight or obese. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death.

Besides continued public health efforts, “Cooperation from the food industry” is key, a journal editorial said, including by reducing sugar, salt and saturated fats in foods.

The Carl’s Jr. Beyond Burger may have satisfied my need to sustenance, and I was happy that it was readily available to me, but that said, I don’t expect to become a regular. Regardless, I am thrilled to see so many plant-based options popping up at so many main-stream eateries. It gives everyone the opportunity to try food that isn’t made from animals. As I have said numerous times, it everyone in American ate no meat just one day a week, that would have two-to-three times the impact that vegans themselves have on animal welfare.

If everyone adhered to Meatless Mondays, that would be one full day of no animal products. That’s the equivalent of a 14.3% decrease in animals being consumed. If everyone did that every single Monday, all year, every year, eventually meat manufacturers would recognize the decline in the need for meat which would likely result in fewer animals have to be slaughtered, having to be raised in horrid conditions, having to live their brief lives in misery.

I was so happy to learn that Disney was going to offer over 400 plant-based options in their parks.

I hope everyone in America, and everyone around the world embraces a meat-free lifestyle, even if it’s just one day a week.

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