Today there is a lot of controversy and different points of view on what a person should eat and how much to eat. It can leave you with your head spinning.
There are countless studies that continue to prove there is a very real relationship between diet, obesity, fat intake and the risk of developing a life threatening disease. In response to these findings, the United States Department of Agriculture has replaced the Four Basic Food Groups of Milk, Meat, Vegetables and Fruits, and Breads and Cereals with a NEW DAILY FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID.
- BREAD, CEREAL, RICE & PASTA - suggested 6-11 servings
- FRUITS - suggested 2-4 servings
- VEGETABLES - suggested 3-5 servings
- MEAT, POULTRY, FISH, DRY BEANS, EGGS, & NUTS - suggested 2-3 servings
- MILK, YOGURT, & CHEESE - suggested 3-5 servings
- FATS, OILS & SWEETS - to be used sparingly
The fats, oils and sweets group reflects the recommendation from the major health organizations to limit your daily fat intake as "sparingly".
Personally I recommend if you are trying to reduce your weight or making modifications in your eating habits, you should try to keep your fats under 30% of your daily caloric intake. However, I do not recommend less than 10% of your daily caloric intake from fats.
Fat calories are indeed different from the calories found in carbohydrates and proteins. This difference is very important to us because we can replace fat with more carbohydrates and proteins and still be eating fewer calories. Fat have 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein have only 4 calories per gram each. And our body metabolizes dietary fat differently than it does carbohydrates and protein.
Carbohydrates and proteins require the body to expend greater amounts of energy to process them. Therefore, with the proper intake of these nutrients is important for a fitness program. There is a very simple formula that will tell you exactly how many fat grams you should allow yourself on a daily basis.
Add up your daily caloric intake and multiply it by 30%. Divide that total by 9 (there is 9 calories in each gram of fat). This figure is your total daily intake of fats.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney, thyroid, pernicious anemia, HIV or any other diseases should consult a physician prior to the start of any weight loss or modifications in their dietary program. This also includes pregnant and nursing women, persons under the age of 18 and those taking any prescription medications. Weight loss varies differently in each individual and is directly related to a reduction in your normal food intake. Also, for the best results, include at least 8 glasses or more of water daily, and include a moderate exercise and cardiovascular program.
Eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest and party responsibly for a long and healthy life.