Eating a Smart Diet
Almost every woman has at some time gone on a diet to lose weight. When we talk of diet, we usually think of an effort to lose weight. However, our diet not only affects our weight, but also, of even greater importance, diet has a direct effect on our health and longevity. What we eat plays a major part in our health status. In the United States, heart disease and cancer account for the most deaths, and diet plays a significant role in their development.
Women are now becoming diet activists not simply to lose weight but to improve their health status. Diet is now considered a powerful tool in fitness and preventive health, reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and other serious diseases. Diet and disease are linked. The first step we need to take is to identify how we need to change our diet to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Dietary fat has been identified as a risk factor for many diseases and is often the culprit for much unwanted weight. Sugar has gotten the blame for years even though fat was more of a common denominator–not only for weight increases but for many diseases. Therefore, a smart diet is monitoring what we eat in order to have a healthier life, and, in the meantime, losing unwanted pounds. Findings regarding dietary fat include:
Dietary fat has the ability to increase the level of the hormone estrogen, which hasproven to stimulate some tumors.
Dietary fat has been linked to higher cholesterol which can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Dietary fat has more calories than other nutrients (proteins and carbohydrates).
Smart dieting recognizes that it is wise to lower anything that has the potential to promote disease and increase weight. Fat consumption can be monitored. How? We learn how to count fat calories. Then we learn to substitute healthful fats–mono and polyunsaturated fats–such as safflower, sunflower, canola and olive oils, in place of saturated fats such as animal, coconut and palm oils which cause an elevated cholesterol level.
To determine how many fat calories you can eat, divide the number of calories a day by four (25 percent) or by five (20 percent). 2,000 calories a day divided by 4 = 500 calories a day from fat. Then divide the 500 calories from fat by 9 to get grams of fat you can eat per day. 500 divided by 9 = 55 grams of fat per day.
If you wish to lose weight, you may reduce your number of grams to a lower number but do not go on a totally fat-fee diet; this is not healthy. Between 15 and 25 percent of daily calories should come from dietary fat. Essential vitamins needed daily are found in dietary fat.
Age/Weight Fat Budget
Age: 51 & up
Now that you have determined the number of fat grams you can eat a day, find yourself a fat gram chart, select the foods you enjoy and eat a balanced diet that does not leave you feeling hungry or deprived.
Hints that prove helpful in this eating style:
For more information, please call The Connie Dwyer Breast Center at (973) 877-5189.