Daily Fat Intake, Reduce The Obvious
And Not So Obvious Fat Sources
Keep Your Consumption of Fats and Sweets And Daily Fat Intake To A Minimum
No, we don’t expect you to be a nutritional saint here, but fats, oils, and sugars account for untold empty calories in far too many diets.
We have already noted that fats make up an excessively high 40 percent of the average American’s diet, and contribute greatly to the incidence of coronary disease in this country. So where does it all come from?
From several sources – some are quite obvious, some are not. Among the obvious offenders we may include rich dairy products, most red meats, most pork, skin-on chicken, smoked meats, most snack foods (salty or sweet), and fried foods in general.
Perhaps the worst of the worst for fat intake is the stuff you buy at fast-food restaurants, most of which comes packed with fat and calories, yet does next to nothing in terms of satisfying your nutritional needs.
Less obvious for daily fat intake, but equally disruptive to your dietary balance, are the "hidden” fats that can be found in many canned, packaged, and frozen foods, including such apparently healthy items as pastas, soups, and meatless chilis.
Fortunately, tough new laws have forced packaged food manufacturers to provide detailed information about what goes into their products, and stricter standards have been established for the use of common nutritional claims such as "low cal,” "lite,” "reduced fat,” and "high fiber.”
These new labels are a real plus for consumers. They offer the facts you need to make intelligent nutritional decisions, and should be read religiously by anyone who is at all health-conscious (see inset box on next page for pointers on what to look for).
As a final note on lowering your daily fat intake, we encourage you to be attentive not only to the foods you purchase, prepare, and eat, but also to the goodies you add to them. A big bowl of rich vanilla ice cream, for instance, is already chock-full of calories and fat. But when you immerse it in a river of thick butterscotch topping, the numbers go straight through the roof. Think, too, about the cooking oils, sauces, and salad dressings you choose.
These can also sabotage an otherwise well-planned meal. When frying, opt for vegetable oils (canola and olive oil are both good) as opposed to lard, shortening, butter, stick margarine, palm kernel oil, or coconut oil, all of which tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
When making or selecting sauces, find light, low-fat alternatives to the heavy cream sauces, red meat sauces, and gravies your mother used to make. Stock-based sauces, as a rule, are lighter and healthier. The same principles apply to salad dressings.
The classic olive oil and vinegar combination served in many Italian restaurants, for example, is far better for you than a goopy, high-fat, high- calorie ranch or blue cheese dressing. In general, the thicker and creamier the dressing, the more fat it contains.
But do check labels: If the specific type or brand of dressing you prefer is high in fat, you can probably find a lower fat replacement for it if you look around some, all this will greatly reduce your daily fat intake.
Daily Fat Intake