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SW: Nutrition & Fitness Channel
Reported January 2, 2013

Top 10 Killers in Your Kitchen

 

Calories and fats and sugar, oh my! These items are constantly making health and diet headlines, but what’s the real story? Are they that bad? Are they good? Let’s take a look…
 
CALORIES: A calorie is a unit of energy. They describe how much energy your body could get from consuming a food. Your body needs them to function, but too many calories can lead to weight gain if you don’t burn some off through activity. Carbs and proteins are healthier sources of calories than fats. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommends that a maximum of 30 percent of daily calories come from fat. In a diet of 2,000 calories a day, that's 600 from fat, or 67 grams. Doctors and nutritionists often recommend 25 percent. 3,500 extra calories in your body is stored as one pound of fat. (SOURCE: health.howstuffworks.com)
 
FATS: There are healthy fats that help your body function and unhealthy fats that can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Research suggests focusing on eating healthy fats and avoiding unhealthy fats. Unhealthy fats include saturated and trans fat. Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, which may be beneficial to your heart. Limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total calories, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Limit trans fats to 1 percent of your total daily calories, which is less than 2 grams a day for most, according to the American Heart Association.  (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com)
 
SALT & SUGAR: Both may improve the taste of certain foods, but researchers have found a relationship between salt and high blood pressure. Sugar can add up over time leading to weight gain and tooth decay. While the habit of using extra salt is an acquired one, research shows that humans are naturally drawn to sweet tastes. Sugars in foods, whether natural or added, provide calories -- the fuel that supplies energy -- but it’s important to consume it in moderation. As for salt, limit consumption as much as possible. Minimize the amount of salt you add to food by using herbs, spices or lemon juice instead. Processed foods often contain higher amounts of sodium, so check food labels. (SOURCE: healthychildren.org)
 
SMART WOMAN CONTACT:
Vicky Newman, MS, RD
vnewman@ucsd.edu
 
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