Meal Plan Created By: Amanda Kostro Miller
What Is American Cuisine?
Let’s face it: American cuisine gets a bad rap. And it’s true - traditional American cuisine isn’t exactly the healthiest diet to follow. The high levels of sugar and fat present in the American diet have led to high rates of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.1 And with only one in ten American adults eating enough fruits or vegetables,2 American cuisine might not seem to lend itself to healthy eating. However, the new American diet is a step in the right direction - and it can have serious benefits for your health. By incorporating plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and fish into your diet,3 you can reap the benefits of heart-healthy American cuisine.
Health Benefits Of American Cuisine
Transitioning to a healthier version of American cuisine doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, with a few tweaks and substitutions, American food can easily be part of a more balanced lifestyle. By incorporating some of the best, healthiest parts of other cuisines, American cuisine can be a real melting pot of tasty, good-for-you foods.
Read More: 6 Easy Food Swaps To Be More Heart-Healthy
Focus On Whole Grains
While traditional American cuisine might include lots of white bread and refined sugar, a healthier version of that diet substitutes whole grains. Whole grains are filled with nutrients like protein, fiber, and B12, and a diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.4 Studies have also shown that whole grains help support healthy digestion and can reduce chronic inflammation,5 making them great for gut health. And thankfully, it’s easy to fit whole grains into your diet. For example, you might swap out white bread for whole grain bread, or use brown rice to make a healthy stir-fry.
Incorporate Lean Protein Sources
American cuisine probably conjures up images of great big hamburgers or huge racks of ribs. And sure - these are tasty treats that can be enjoyed in moderation. But in order to reap the benefits of a healthy approach to an American diet, you’ll want to focus on incorporating lean protein sources, such as fish, into your meals. Fish are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, and swapping out red meat for salmon can have numerous health benefits. Eating more fish is associated with improved brain health, a lower risk of heart disease, and even decreased risk of depression.6 And with preparation options ranging from salmon burgers to shrimp tacos, you’ll find it easy to incorporate more heart-healthy fish recipes into your diet.
Make Time For Breakfast
It’s a tradition as American as apple pie: skipping breakfast. Nearly one quarter of Americans miss breakfast7 - and the rest of us often find ourselves downing a bowl of sugary cereal first thing in the morning. But eating a nutrient-dense breakfast is definitely part of a healthy lifestyle; research has shown that eating breakfast is associated with improved heart health, lower diabetes risk, and reduced brain fog.8 By filling up on a well-balanced breakfast, you can power your way through a busy day.
Heart-Healthy American Cuisine Recipes
Created by a registered dietitian, our free, 7-day meal plan incorporates a variety of healthy, tasty American cuisine options! Featuring dishes like whole grain blueberry pancakes and salmon tacos, this meal plan is sure to reframe your ideas about American cuisine. Plus, you’ll enjoy a week’s worth of easy meal planning, and make your taste buds - and body - very happy.
This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.