Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lowering Your Dietary Fat Content

Some foods actually contribute to the development of cancer; other foods lessen the risk. The following anti-cancer diet greatly lowers your risk of colorectal cancer and nearly all other types of cancers. It can also prevent cardiovascular disease. For people with a genetic tendency toward colorectal cancer, it is not just an option, it's a lifesaving necessity.

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 25–35 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;
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.

People whose blood cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels are undesirably high should consume a diet that is relatively low in total fat and saturated fat. To do this systematically, it is necessary to become fully aware of what you are eating. This means getting into the habit of checking labels to determine the amount of cholesterol and the amount and type of fat. You should also pay attention to the "hidden" fats found in processed foods such as cookies, crackers, and snack cakes, and the kinds of fats and oils used in their own cooking.

The next step is to make substitutions. For example, leaner cuts of beef (select or choice rather than prime) should be used, and consumption of fish, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and other legumes should be increased. Foods high in complex carbohydrates-such as whole grains, beans, and vegetables-can be made the "main dish," with small amounts of red meats and cheeses becoming the "side dishes." Mixed dishes such as stews, casseroles, and pasta and rice meals can combine small amounts of meat with other foods, such as grains or vegetables.

To monitor the fat in your diet, simply add up the fat grams from all the food you ate during the day and compare the total to your target range. Knowing how much fat is in the foods you eat can help you control the fat in your diet, which can help you meet your health and nutrition goals.

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