The Times, They Are a'Changin'!
By Colleen Palati
Just like the times are changing, the rules and recommendations of dieting are changing, too. In order to stop the nation's ever growing obesity levels, the Food and Nutrition Board has released new guidelines for fats, proteins, carbohydrates and more. The new recommendations, as well as the old, are as follows:
Old recommendation: Limit fat intake to less than 30% of calories.
New recommendation: Keep fat intake under 35%, but learn the difference between good and bad fats. Good fats, like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated and trans fats should be kept at a minimum.
Nutritionalists suggest eating more fish because of their good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for your heart. Filling up on nuts like almonds, walnuts and peanuts is also recommended because of their good source of monounsaturated fats.
Old Recommendation: Acquiring 50% or more of your calories from carbohydrates.
New Recommendation: Get 45-65% of your calories from carbohydrates. This will compensate for the calorie boost that you'll get by adding more good fats in your diet. To obtain these percentages, experts suggest adding some whole grains to your diet along with fruits and vegetables. Brown rice, whole-grain breads, and pastas are all high in fiber, B vitamins and other life giving nutrients.
Old Recommendation: Obtain 10-35% of your calories from protein.
New Recommendation: Unchanged. Someone who exercises regularly may require more protein.
Old Recommendation: Nonexistent.
New Recommendation: Reports have finally shown that fiber reduces the risk of heart disease and may prevent some cancers. It also has been shown to aid in weight control. Therefore, the least amount of fiber recommended is 25 grams per day.
Old Recommendation: Nonexistent.
New Recommendation: Limit your sugar to no more than 25% of your calories. Experts suggest this number should actually be lower because most sugary foods also pack in other unhealthy additives. Remember when checking your labels, they don't always read "sugar". Check for: fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, honey and sucrose.
I like to use Stevia"an herb that is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar with no calories. All you need is a few drops, and your good!
Old Recommendation: Getting a half an hour of exercise at least 3 times a week.
New Recommendation: Increase to an hour daily. Mix up your workout by doing aerobic exercise a couple times a week and housework the rest of the week. Housecleaning and gardening are considered exercise and can be added to your schedule to break the monotony of the stair climber and the treadmill (plus you'll be getting things done around the house!)
The above recommendations are only good when used together and appropriately. Keep a log or diary to remind you of what changes need to be made in your diet and exercise routine. While most of the changes are small, they just may pay off and prevent you from many health risks in the long run.
Yours in healthy living,
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Pittsburgh, PA 15239
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