Health officials in the U.S. now blame sandwiches as one of the leading reasons waistlines across the country are expanding.
Like Americans, sandwiches ballooned in size over the past few decades and are often dripping with mayonnaise or sugar-laden condiments. One researcher called today’s sandwiches “heart bombs.”
These researchers are looking into ways to promote good nutrition by urging Americans to modify the way they eat sandwiches.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a recent federal survey, reported that the staple item is the top source of sodium and saturated fats in the American diet. Sandwiches also represent 7 percent of the daily added sugars.
“The standard deli sandwich with processed meat and cheese, you’re literally eating a heart bomb,” Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University, told the paper.
“On average, eating about a serving [of processed meats] per day is associated with about [20 percent] higher risk of diabetes… and about [40 percent] higher risk of heart disease,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The ABC News report, citing a 2013 study published in BMC Journal, noted that sodium and preservatives in processed deli meat can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Processed meats also contain nitrates that can create carcinogenic chemicals when digested.
The American Meat Institute told ABC News that “meat and poultry processors understand that people have different health and wellness goals and needs” and “have been actively engaged in efforts to reduce sodium.”
Erica Kenney, an assistant professor of public health nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also noted that Americans do much of their eating while driving in their cars or at their desks, so the idea of eating a sandwich seems practical.
One of the reasons sandwiches have grown out of favor with these health experts is because they have far more calories than in, say, the 1980s, when they could contain about 320 calories. The average turkey sandwich today contains about 820 calories and highly processed grains.
Highly processed white flour “turns into sugar as soon as it hits your tongue,” Eric Rimm, another professor from Harvard, told the paper. Instead of white bread, a healthier alternative would be whole-grain bread, which contains fiber and prevents aggressive spikes in blood sugar.
TRENDPOST: When it comes to trend forecasting, all things are connected. You cannot live your best life if you are not doing all you can to eat healthy foods and get a sufficient amount of exercise. (See “RESEARCHERS SEE LINKS BETWEEN CANCER AND ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS” 7 Feb 2023, “WANT CANCER? KEEP EATING ULTRA-PROCESSED FOOD” 7 Feb 2023, “EAT ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS AND LOSE YOUR MIND” 13 Dec 2022, and “MORE THAN HALF OF HUMANITY WILL BE FAT, OBESE BY 2035” 7 Mar 2023.)
Americans are going to continue to eat sandwiches. The journal Public Health, citing a recent study, said about 53 percent of Americans eat a sandwich on any given day.
Darien Sutton, an ER doctor and ABC news medical contributor said there can be healthier choices. For example, eat chicken breast instead of sliced, processed turkey, and substitute mayonnaise with hummus.
It should be noted that doctors never mention the benefits of sitting down for meals and home cooking instead of opting for convenient-but-deadly fast food. (See “GET FAT, GET SICK: FAST FOOD CONSUMPTION CAN BRING ON NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE,” 24 Jan 2023.)