The times, they are a changin' -- and with that, so are our diets.
A new infographic from Vox writer Danielle Kurtzleben examines the food patterns of Americans from 1972 to 2012, and the results are eye-opening to say the least. Using data from Department of Agriculture records that track the per capita availability of various food items, Kurtzleben was able to illustrate how American diets have shifted over the past 40 years. As Kurtzleban writes, the USDA data below "doesn't show exact consumption levels -- rather, it shows the total supply divided by the number of Americans."
Forty years ago, American diets were stocked with whole milk, canned cabbage and frozen plums. Now, Americans have more fresh fruits and vegetables available than in years past. Some items, like avocados, saw a 1,000 percent increase in availability since 1972. Mangoes saw a 2,800 percent increase.
While the increase in availability might make it seem like Americans are eating healthier foods, the item that topped the list also happens to be the most illuminating: High-fructose corn syrup is 4,000 percent more available than it was in the 1970s.
High-fructose corn syrup, which is a sweetener, is most commonly found in soda, baked items, condiments, salad dressing, crackers, bars, cereal, processed meats and sauces -- lots of things, in other words. High intake levels have been linked to Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.
One way to easily cut down on HFCS intake is by removing soda from your diet altogether. Soda companies hide most of their products' sugar content or don't disclose the amount of fructose at all, so you're drinking more sugar than you bargained for.
Scroll down to see other ways in which the American diet has changed.
CREDIT: Anand Katakam/Vox
H/T First We Feast