With the change of lifestyle over the decades, nutrition advice has changed dramatically. Fortunately for the generation prior to us, they didn’t have the overprocessed commercialized unhealthy food of today. Taking a look back to when things were more simple we can learn a lot about how they lived and ate back in the 1950’s. Our grandparents’ generation was overall healthier and lived without the modern conveniences of today that are making Americans obese. You would be wise to listen to their stories and always remember the good old healthy nutrition advice which comes from their knowledge. While the food in current times has changed it is time to take a look back and follow the ways of the old times.
One key healthy eating tip from the 50s is to stop ordering take-out food. Take-out meals and fast food are one of the leading reasons why America has a 42.4% obesity rate according to a study by the CDC. Since there was no pizza delivery system in the 50s or there was very little accessibility to unhealthy, processed food people would cook at home and use whole ingredients. It’s no coincidence that when food and pizza delivery became popular in the 1980s, the rise of obesity followed right behind it. People changed their habits instead of carrying their own breakfast or lunch to the workplace. It was quickly replaced with convenient drive-thrus and delivery with a majority of food that is high in calories and saturated fat.
Since there was no supersizing of food back in the 50s, there was no option to increase the portion of your meal. The average burger meal at a diner consisted of a single patty 3.9 oz burger with a 2.4 oz portion of fries, and a 7oz soda for a total of around 600 calories. Compare that with your average burger meal today of two 4oz patties, a 7oz fries, and a large 32oz soda at over 1200 calories. You can easily see that the portion size has rapidly grown over the years. Since there were no drive-thrus on the way to work, people use to pack their own food with them from home instead of eating convenient unhealthy food.
While comparing your grandparent’s eating habits, you will see that they were much more disciplined than us. Since it was typical of them to have their meals at the same time as a family every day, their bodies were accustomed to know when to expect food. This is the sort of discipline that kept the waistline slim and reduced food waste. Keeping with a regular meal schedule as they did back in the day can cut back on unhealthy snacking and overconsumption.
Since everything can go straight to the microwave these days, fewer hours are spent in the kitchen, and the loss of nutritional value in our meals is at an all-time low. Back in the 1950s, people use to buy and cook their meals by putting actual effort while preparing them and serving them to eat together as a family. Nowadays people spend very little time while preparing food and more time eating in front of the computer or television. With the rise of popularity in convenience food, most don’t wait around for seasonal food like summer fruits and vegetables and instead opt for canned or frozen.
Healthy nutrition advice starts with eating every food in moderation, whether it is a burger or pizza. Just because food tastes good doesn’t mean you need to eat a lot. These things were looked upon by people in the 50s, they were considered more of an indulgence rather than mainstream. Stores weren’t open 24/7 there was no running back to the store to buy more late-night snacks. They had to plan ahead and wait for the next trip to the store before indulging.
Instead of buying food that is either sealed or canned from the supermarkets, try to buy foods that are fresh in the produce or meat and seafood sections rather than the frozen aisle. Instead of looking at the label for verification, go for food that is fresh and healthier to eat than premade processed, foods with preservatives. Whole fruits and vegetables are not only great but also is good for your body and your health. In the 1950’s there was no heavy use of chemicals or pesticides so the fresh food didn’t have to be organic because everything already was.
With the rise of TVs in every room, smartphones, and unlimited internet, there is very little time spend with the family at home. One of the foremost healthy eating advice from the 50s would be to eat together as a family. It increases the family bond, and teaches kids to have healthier eating habits. A family that comes together to eat and ask each other about their day, stays healthy and fit together. If there is one piece of nutrition advice you take from the 1950s eating at the table should be a top priority.
Learning how to cook back in the 50s was the only way to have a good meal on the table at night and people used to enjoy good food together. Cooking was a necessity rather than a hobby which comprises one of the best healthy eating advice back from the old times. Not many people know the difference between a spoon and a spatula in modern times, cooking has taken a backseat due to the availability of food in abundance right at your fingertips. Not many people have acquired culinary skills from their grandparents or their parents, convenience food is slowly killing the art of cooking every day. Cooking meals means used to lead to self-sufficient, which means growing vegetables and shopping for real food. A large majority of this generation does not know the creativity which it takes in making food from scratch and how enjoyable it is as an art.
Back in the 50s, they didn’t have the advances in medicine as we do today. However, less than 10% of the US population suffered from obesity and associated health conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The rise in lifestyle conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, and sleep disorders, is something the world cannot ignore in this current times. This is purely based on our nutritional selection and inactive lifestyles. People used to walk more instead of driving short distances and skipping out on outdoor time. To adapt to the healthier habits of yesteryear make an effort to burn off calories by regular exercise and walk whenever you can.
The generation that belongs to the 50s managed to live a healthy life without the modern day advances or conveniences. Even in today’s era of pollution and climate change, the biggest question is, what changes can you make in today’s world to lead a healthier life. Little things like the way you shop for groceries or how you eat and drink while you are out on the town can make a huge impact. The biggest takeaway from the generation of the 50s is their timeless healthy eating advice and their mode of lifestyle.
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