Archive | August, 2010

ADVANCED FAT-O-LOGY: THE BOTTOM LINE FOR FAT INTAKE

23 Aug

Note: This is the second post in the educational Fat Trilogy that I decided to write after spending a few hours answering the questions that one of my buddies had about the different types of fat and how they affect the body.  It occurred to me that many people don’t understand the fat conversation so here is the last part of the study of fat posts.

The American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee strongly advises these fat guidelines for healthy Americans over age 2:

  • Limit total fat intake to less than 25 TO 35 percent of your total calories each day;
  • Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories;
  • Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories;
  • In place of butter, use liquid vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in cooking and at the table;
  • Eat one or more good sources of omega-3 fats every day-fish, walnuts, canola or soybean oil, ground flax seeds or flaxseed oil;
  • The remaining fat should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils; and
  • Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day, for most people.  If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.

For example, a sedentary female who is 31 to 50 years old needs about 2,000 calories each day. Therefore, she should consume less than 16 g saturated fat, less than 2 g trans fat and between 50 and 70 grams of total fat each day (with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

Refresher: Saturated fats increase your LDL (“bad”) Cholesterol. When too much of it circulates in the blood, it can clog arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The results of limiting your overall, especially saturated, fat intake has both internal and external health benefits.  The best we can do is live and eat as healthily as possible. With two-thirds of the US population either overweight or obese, there is a definite need to change the way many of us eat and move.  For many, a low fat diet, combined with the other parts of the healthy living equation, including regular cardiovascular exercise and weight training coupled with holistic body care, helps people control their weight—which in itself may ward off life-threatening diseases.

Sources:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/index.html
http://www.badfatsbrothers.com/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4582
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6836