Eating: The Big Picture

Here, then, are the essentials of the eating plan.

Calories. Calories matter because if you eat too much—of any kind of food—you. You won’t be counting calories on the  Plan. Rather, you’ll be eating more fruits and vegetables (which are naturally low in calories) and cutting back on many of the high-fat, high-calorie, nutritionally empty foods you’ve probably been eating—so it’s likely that you’ll lose weight in the process.

If your Body Mass Index is 26 or higher (see on this), you’ll need to make a special effort to lose weight, particularly if you have metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or a high triglyceride level. One study found that losing 10 percent of  your overall weight resulted in a

7.6 percent drop in LDL. The way to lose weight is simply by consuming fewer calories, burning more calories through exercise, or both. (See “Winning Weight Loss Strategies” beginning  for some tips on how to do it.)

Fat. All it takes is a stroll down anysupermarket aisle to notice that we’re a nation obsessed with fat. It’s arazing that

In our view the Atkins, the Zone, or other high-protein diets are not the way to eat for lifelong health.

toothpaste isn’t labeled low fat—just about everything else seems to be. But as you’ll learn later in this chapter, while the amount of fat you eat does matter, the kind of fat you consume is far more important. The Plan calls for you to get about 25 percent of your calories from fat, primarily wosaturated fat. You want to keep saturated fats to less than 7 percent of your total calories, and trans fatty acids (explained here) to, ideally, nothing. By contrast, average Americans get about 34 percent of their calories from fat (13 percent of that fat is saturated and another 2 to 3 percent comes from trans fatty acids).

What amount of fat is 25 percent of your calorie intake? If you’re getting about 2,000 calories a day, 25 percent from fat translates to about 56 grams of fat. To figure your target, take the number of calories you wart to consume each day, multiply it by 25, and then divide by 9 (there are 9 calories in 1 gram of fat).

Protein. In our view the Atkins, the Zone, or other high protein diets are not the way to eat for lifelong health. The  Plan does include a fairly generous amount of protein—up to 20 percent of calories, But the source of this protein is every bit as important as the quantity. The bulk of it comes from plant foods and fish, with a bit of lean meat thrown in for variety. We’d like you to eat fish as often as three to four times a week and chicken one to two tumes a week. We’ll tell you how to sneak mores into your meals (they’re of fiber a5 well as it Down Plan you’ll things of beans and legut soy, a week. And don’t forget about eggs. Bes white is a perfect source of pre yolk is probably jess damaging to some of the high-fat meat in your diet you’re almost  certainly  lowering your cardiac risk. Enjoy them scrambled, fried, boiled, two or more times a week.

Carbohydrates. They rez lly stke whiters and svrencl fries, W a coupl Carbohydrates. They rez would be for simple sugar es, doughnuts, a couple ofrates, hour  after eating. And the other would be for complex carbohydrates which are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals are absorbed slowly by your body, minimizing blood sugar and insulin  peak and valleys while filling you up on less. We’re talking about whole grains bread and cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, barley, and oatmeal, as well as fruits and vegetable You’ll get about 55 percent of your daily calories from these food.

Fiber. When it cores to lowering your cholesterol, fiber is king. Most Americans get only about 15 grams of fiber a day; on the Live It Down Plan youll ain for at least 25 grams a day from foods like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. To help all that fiber pass through your system, you’ll need to drink at least eight glasses of water or other noncarbonated, non sweetened fluid a day (herbal tea works).

Eating: The Sum of the Parts

Maybe you’re thinking, fat, let alone what pe; “How do 1 know if I’m getting 25 percent of my ct ear ctu is coming from different types of fat?” fi not as ie VEE eine Ake for lunch has a nutrition label, Even if it did, you could Crazy counting every gram of food that passes through your mouth:

Fortunately, you don’t have to. If you follow the advice in this chapter and in the12-week Plan starting on page 206, you’ll automatically be getting more or less the right percentages of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Just be sure to eat small portions of some of the higher-fat foods we recommend, like nuts, seeds, olives, avocados. and olive oil. Fruits and vegetables, which should make up a large portion of your calories, generally have no fat, so you can eat them with abandon It’s also important to rernember that the percent of total calories from fat (or protein or carbohydrates) in your diet is the average of the percent in individual foods. So if most of the foods you choose are high in fat, your diet. will be high in fat. If most of the foods are low in fat, your diet will be low in fat.

The best way to get a sense of what you’re really eating is to keep a food diary. It will give you a good overview of where your calories are coming from, and also prevent “wishful remembering” about what you’ve eaten. Swear you got six servings of veggies last Friday? Well, if you’re a man, you’re prone to exaggerate your consumption of veggies. Swear not a morsel of chocolate passed through your lips yesterday? If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to underreport eating such high-calorie foods a chocolate and ice cream. In fact, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey released in 2000 found the following:

  • All adults believe they ate fewer servings of grains (2 to 3 a day) than they actually consumed (roughly 4 to 6 per day). Still, nearly all ate fewer than the recommended 6 to 11 servings.
  • Both men and women say they eat more fruit than they do.
  • Women thought they ate about 2.5 servings of veggies a day, but they actually ate just less than 2. Neither men nor women came close to the 3 to 5 servings of vegetables that the government recommends, never mind the 9 servings of fruits and vegetables the Plan suggests.
  • While respondents thought they ate only about 2 servings of fat, oils, and sweets a day, the real number was closer to 4.5.

On the  Plan we’ll help you make sure you’re getting enough of the types of foods shown to lower your cholesterol. For the “what,” “why” and “how,” keep reading. You’ll also get week-by-week guidance starting on page 206.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *