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The fat in some foods adds up quickly. A bologna-and-cheese sandwich made with 2 slices (2 oz.) of bologna, 2 slices (1-1/2 oz.) of cheese, and 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise counts up to about 36 grams of fat, about 9 teaspoons. However, a similar sandwich made with lean beef, lettuce, tomato, and lowfat mayonnaise, and served with a cup of nonfat milk instead of the cheese, has only about 6 grams of fat. Note: 4 grams of fat = 1 teaspoon
Are some types of fat worse than others?
Yes. Eating too much saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels in many people, increasing their risk for heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, or about onethird of total fat intake.
All fats in foods are mix
tures of three types
Saturated fats are found in largest amounts in fats from meat and dairy products and in some vegetable fats such as coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils.
Monounsaturated fats are found mainly in olive, peanut, and canola oils.
What about cholesterol?
Cholesterol and fat are not the same thing. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance present in all animal foods—meat, poultry, fish, milk and milk products, and egg yolks. Both the lean and fat of meat and the meat and skin of poultry contain cholesterol. In milk products, cholesterol is mostly in the fat, so lower fat products contain less cholesterol. Egg yolks and organ meats, like liver, are high in cholesterol. Plant foods do not contain cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol, as well as saturated fat, raises
blood cholesterol levels in many people, increasing their risk for heart disease. Some health authorities recommend that dietary cholesterol be limited to an average of 300 mg or less per day. To keep dietary cholesterol to this level, follow the Food Guide Pyramid, keeping your total fat to the amount that's right for you. (See table on page 9.) It's not necessary to eliminate all foods that are high in cholesterol. You can have three to four egg yolks a week, counting those used as ingredients in custards and baked products. Use lower fat dairy products often and occasionally include dry beans and peas in place of meat.
WHERE ARE THE ADDED SUGARS?
Added Sugars (teaspoons)
* 1 Danish pastry, 1 medium
* 1 Syrup or honey, 1 tbsp.
* **3 Chocolate bar, 1 oz.
* **3 Fruit sorbet, 1/2 cup Gelatin dessert, 1/2 cup
* * * *4 Sherbet, 1/2 cup
** ** *5 Cola, 12 fl.oz.
******** *9 Fruit drink, ade, 12 fl.oz. ************ 12 *Check product label. * = 1 teaspoon sugar Note: 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
Salt and Sodium
What about sugars?
Choosing a diet low in fat is a concern for everyone; choosing one low in sugars is also important for people who have low calorie needs. Sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, honey, and molasses; these supply calories and little else nutritionally.
To avoid getting too many calories from sugars, try to limit your added sugars to 6 teaspoons a day if you eat about 1,600 calories, 12 teaspoons at 2,200 calories, or 18 teaspoons at 2,800 calories. These amounts are intended to be averages over time. The patterns are illustrations of healthful proportions in the diet, not rigid prescriptions.
Added sugars are in foods like candy and soft drinks, as well as jams, jellies, and sugars you add at the table. Some added sugars are also in foods from the food groups, such as fruit canned in heavy syrup and chocolate milk. The chart on page 16 shows the approximate amount of sugars in some popular foods.
Do I have to give up salt?
No. But most people eat more than they need. Some health authorities say that sodium intake should not be more than 3,000 milligrams (mg) a day; some say not more than 2,400 mg. Much of the sodium in people's diets comes from salt they add while cooking and at the table. (One teaspoon of salt provides about 2,000 mg of sodium.)
Go easy on salt and foods that are high in sodium, including cured meats, luncheon meats, and many cheeses, most canned soups and vegetables, and soy sauce. Look for lower salt and no-salt-added versions of these products at your supermarket.
The table on page 18 will give you an idea of the amount of sodium in different types of foods. Information on food labels can also help you make food choices to keep sodium moderate.