Watch Out For Solid Fats and Added Sugars

This post is the 5th in a series of 10 titled “10 Simple Steps to Make Good Habits More Delicious” from the Sport, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition group.

Sugar is definitely getting a bad reputation lately.  Do you know why?  Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that gives some foods their sweet taste.  Sugar is dense in calories and not very dense in nutrients.  Let me explain what that means: sugar can contribute to weight gain while it does not have any nutritional value.

Let’s set something straight: a little sugar will not kill you!  Sugar can be used as a quick energy boost or a sweet reward!  However, we should control how much we eat daily.  Each teaspoon of sugar has 4 grams of sugar.  Men should limit the amount of sugar to 9 teaspoons (36g) a day.  Women are encouraged to limit their daily sugar consumption to less than 6 teaspoons (24g) a day.

Here are some foods high in sugar that should be limited:

Limit the amount of regular soda you drink
Doughnuts are Tasty! But, they should be limited as well
  • Regular soda (1 can has 33g sugar!)
  • Grain based desserts
  • Fruit drinks
  • Dairy based desserts
  • Candy
  • Puddings

Next, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages us to limit the amount of solid fats we eat.  Fat is a nutrient that we need, but in less quantities than we eat every day.  Solid (saturated) fat is very high in calories (9 calories/ gram!) and has minimal nutritional value.  High solid fat intake has been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain.  Here are some foods that are high in solid fat and can be limited as well:

  • Grain based desserts such as cakes, cookies, pies, and doughnuts
  • Regular cheese
  • High Fats meats such as sausage, bacon, and ground beef
  • Pizza
  • Fried foods
  • Dairy based desserts made with whole milk
  • Butter

You may be asking, “so what can I eat instead?”  Here is a list of great and nourishing alternatives!

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low fat dairy
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Water

Remember, small changes can have a big impact on your health!

As Always, Trust Your Gut!

Switch Out The Saturated Fat

This post is the second in a series of 10 called “10 Simple Steps to Make Good Habits More Delicious”

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that we limit our intake of saturated fats.  These fats come from animal products such as milk, meat, and butter.  A diet high in saturated fats has been linked to cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.  Therefore, these guidelines recommend that Americans replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats.  Unsaturated fats are from vegetable products and are usually in their oils.  

Eating a diet that has less then 10% of their calories from saturated fats has been found to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.  A diet with less than 7% of calories from saturated fats have an even better impact on cardiovascular health.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines also recommend Americans to limit their trans fat consumption as close to 0 as possible.  Trans fat can be found in butter spreads, some fried foods, and some packaged foods.  Avoid any food that includes :hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list.

You may be asking, so how do I switch from saturated fats to more unsaturated fats?

Switch from……………………………………To

High fat meats                                      more lean meats

Butter                                                    tub margarine or vegetable oil

Ice cream                                              frozen yogurt

Whole milk                                            skim milk

Mayonnaise                                          low fat mayonnaise

Regular cream cheese                         low fat cream cheese

 As Always, Trust Your Gut!

Use it TO Lose It

The other day, I was thinking about the saying “Use it Or Lose it”. Millions of people in the U.S. are attempting to lose weight.  So, I propose this new saying: “Use it TO Lose It”.  Contrary to popular belief, weight loss comes out of losing FAT.  Therefore, it is essential to build habits and train your body to burn body fat.  Fat is necessary in our bodies for structure & other functions.  Our bodies store extra fat that we eat and do not use.  So, we need to train our bodies to use the stored fat as energy.  How does one do that? Healthy eating and exercise!  Here are some tips to begin burning that fat!

 

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat healthy fats- nuts, seeds, & oils
  • Eat more fibrous foods- fruits, vegetables, & whole grains
  • Limit foods high in sugars & saturated fats
  • Eat more protein- lean meats, dairy, and eggs

Also, exercise!  Certain exercises utilize fat more than others:

  • High intensity interval training
  • Weight lifting
  • Alternating between sprints & jogging.

These exercises can be tough just staring out, so do what you can.  it’s better than doing nothing at all!