What should it be? For the large majority of the U.S. it would be eat more fruits and vegetables.
If you look at most meals in the U.S. there is an abundance of highly processed foods. These foods are typically high in salt, digest quickly, and are addictive. The more processed or refined it is, the faster it affects your blood sugar levels. For example, white rice has a glycemic load of 43 while brown rice has a glycemic load of 16. A lower number means it affects your blood sugar less. Since white rice is a more refined version of brown rice, there isn’t a natural white rice, it has a higher glycemic load due to it’s increased processing. Just because it doesn’t come in a package doesn’t mean it isn’t highly processed. Noodles, white rice, and bread are common ingredients in dishes made both at home and bought at restaurants. These ingredients are still highly processed and often have most of the nutrients removed from them.
What isn’t served as often are fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables that we’re talking about are high in fiber and low in Calories. French fries would not fall into this category. There is a direct correlation between fiber and weight regulation. The addition of fiber to your diet can help with decreases in food intake, and fiber consumption is inversely associated with body fat and body weight. In addition, most fruits and vegetables are not nearly as Calorie dense. The combination of increased fiber and lack of refining makes for a more satiating food. Did you know on most bread packages the serving size listed is for one piece of bread? Just about all sandwiches use double this amount and therefore have double the Calories. A piece of bread usually has 80+ Calories, and since you will have two for your sandwich, the total rises to 160+ Calories. That would be equivalent to eating a carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, and an entire head of lettuce (171 Calories). The quantity of vegetables you would have to eat would be staggering to match Calorie for Calorie.
Just substitute in some fruits and vegetables for your daily consumption. This can be an easy alteration to your diet that can have dramatic results. Find something you like that is higher in fiber and lower in Calories. Google has a quick lookup for nutrition information if you need more information. Just type in the name of something followed by nutrition and you will get a sidebar with some details.