Smart Eats, Smart Supplements, and Smart Exercise -- Excerpts, Chapters 3 & 4

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Smart Eats, Smart Supplements, and Smart Exercise - Chapters 3 & 4
by Dusty R. Green, M.Ed.
ISBN 0-9655254-0-6        Copyright 1997-2012

Sample Chapters 1, 2, 12, 19, & 25 | Table of Contents | Author in Action

CHAPTER 3 (continued from this page)

Figuring Percentage Of Calories From Fat

All of anything is 100 percent.  A tablespoon of butter and/or most dressings and oils is about 100 calories.  It is all fat ... 100 percent!

Three fourths of anything is 75 percent.  3 strips of bacon is about 100 calories.  About 75 of the 100 calories come from fat.

Half of anything is 50 percent.  One 1.23 oz. mint frosted brownie (Weight Watchers) is about 100 calories.  About 50 of the 100 calories come from fat.

One third of anything is 33 percent.  9 Barnum's Animal Crackers is about 100 calories.  About 33 of the 100 calories come from fat.

One fourth of anything is 25 percent.  A 1 oz. serving of Baked Tostitos Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips is 120 calories.  30 of the 120 calories come from fat.

One fifth of anything is 20 percent.  1 Lunch Bucket Pasta and Chicken is 150 calories.  About 30 of the calories come from fat.

One tenth of anything is 10 percent.  1-6 ounce can of Star Kist chunk light tuna in spring water is 150 calories.  15 of the 150 calories come from fat.

One twentieth of anything is 5 percent.  About 1 cup of Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats is 200 calories.  10 of the 200 calories come from fat ... and, so on.

Another Way
Another way to ascertain the percentage of calories from fat is to divide the calories per serving (the big number) into the fat calories (the smaller number).  For example ... The Frosted Mini-Wheats above could be figured this way:  If you happen to be in the grocery store and do not have a calculator, you may find this next method easiest of all.

Your Goal
Let's say the product has 200 calories per serving and 30 of those calories come from fat.  Now start counting the number of 30s that will fit into 200 with your fingers.  30 (1 finger), ... 60 (2 fingers), ... 90 (3 fingers), ... 120 (4 fingers), ... 150 (5 fingers), ... and, 180 (6 fingers).  There are six 30's with a little to spare.  Anything over 5 fingers or 1/5th is less than 20 percent.  That is your goal.

20 Percent
There is a "ton of food" out there that is less than 20 percent these days.  Fill your cabinets and refrigerator with them.  Fast food restaurants have nutritional pamphlets that you can ask for that break down the fat, carbohydrate, and protein ratios -- ask to see a copy.  Most other restaurants now are offering special or low fat plates.

CHAPTER 4

Interpreting Food Labels

Now that you understand how to figure percentage of calories from fat, you are ready to shop smart.  There are four main things to look for on this sample nutrition facts label:

  1. Calories (per serving):  110

  2. Calories from fat:  25
    Count on your fingers how many separate 25's will fit into the 110 calories per serving.  Four plus a little extra -- not quite five which is between 20 and 25 percent.  Since you now have a cabinet full of foods below 20 percent, this food will be okay to consume.  Average these newly acquired foods in your cabinets with this food, and you will find your total percentage of calories from fat below 20.

  3. Sodium:  160 milligrams
    The Food and Nutrition Board (an arm of our government) states that we should not exceed 2,400 milligrams per day.  The widespread concern with sodium is good.  We should be aware of the amounts that we consume.  Unfortunately, we are not being told the whole story.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), another arm of our government, does not require potassium content to be put on labels.  The label above just happens to have it.  What the FDA is not telling us is we should be consuming a potassium/sodium ratio of 2:1 in favor of potassium.  Well-documented studies show populations with high sodium low potassium intakes have a higher incidence of high blood pressure and stroke-related deaths, such as in The United States.  Those same studies show that if sodium intake stays the same and potassium is increased to the 2:1 ratio as stated above, blood pressure and stroke-related deaths decline dramatically.

    See Sodium/Potassium references below.

    My concern, therefore, is that we should be looking at the "total picture" -- not just the "sodium picture."  For healthier considerations, perhaps our labels should include potassium content, too.  Our food labeling system appears to be incomplete, therefore as an example, consider consuming 3,000 milligrams of potassium to 1,500 milligrams of sodium ... or, 5,000 milligrams of potassium to 2,500 milligrams of sodium ... or, 6,000 milligrams of potassium to 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day.

    If you find it difficult to cut back on sodium then increase your potassium intake and keep track of both your potassium and sodium intake.  If you desire extra salt on your food, consider the salt substitute (potassium chloride) called Nosalt.  Equally as smart, include fresh fruits and vegetables as two or three of your 5 meals daily.  As a result, you will be ingesting healthy levels of both potassium and fiber.

  4. Dietary fiber, 3 grams:  Fiber lowers bad cholesterol (a waxy-like substance that comes from animal related products and clogs our arteries) levels, and can lower the incidence of diabetes, obesity, intestinal disorders, colon and rectum cancer, constipation, hemorrhoids, and heart disease.  The typical American diet contains about 20 grams per day.  We need between 30 and 50 grams per day.  Fiber makes us feel full by expanding in our stomachs, gathers carcinogenic (cancer causing) materials in the small and large intestines, which we expel in our newly made soft stools.  As you begin to read labels regularly, you will see how easy it is to reach the 30-50 gram range ... particularly if fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains become a regular part of your food fare.

Since one of your main objectives is to search for 20 percent or less of the calories from fat, you will find that all the other things on the label are generally okay.  If it is low in overall fat, it is generally low in saturated (animal related-the kind that clogs arteries) fats.  If it is low in fat it is high in carbohydrates (unless it is a meat product ... then it is high in protein).  If it is low in fat, it is typically low in bad cholesterol.

What About The Percentage Daily Value Column?
The numbers listed as "percentage daily value" (in most cases) are based on 2,000 calorie consumption which is okay for the 180 pounder who gets no exercise.  Or, the 130 pounder who burns 700 calories per day over his or her basal metabolic rate (BMR) through exercise every day and wants to maintain his or her weight.  There are far too many variables that dictate whether or not we should be consuming 2,000 calories per day.

Potassium/Sodium References:
Khaw, K.T. and Barrett-Conner, E. "Dietary potassium and stroke-associated mortality:  A 12 year prospective population study." New England Journal of Medicine. 1987, 316:235.

Khaw, K.T. and Thom, S. "Randomized double-blind cross-over trial of potassium on blood pressure in normal subjects." Lancet. 1982, 2:1127.

Schuette, S. and Linksweiler, H. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 1984. The Nutrition Foundation.

Krishna, G.G., Miller E., and Kapoor, S. "Increased blood pressure during potassium depletion in normotensive men." New England Journal of Medicine. 1989, 320:1177.

MacGregor, G.A. et al. "Moderate potassium supplementation in essential hypertension." Lancet. 1982, 2:567.

Kronhausen, E. and Kronhausen, P. Formula for Life. 1989. William Morrow and Co. New York.

Meneely, G.R. and Battarbee, H.D. "High sodium-low potassium environment and hypertension." American Journal of Cardiology. 1976, 38:768.

Ophir, O. et al. "Low blood pressure in vegetarians: The possible role of potassium." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1983, 37:755.

Skrabal, F., Aubock, J., and Hortnagl, H. "Low sodium/high potassium diet for prevention of hypertension: Probable mechanism of action." Lancet. 1981, 2:895.

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Smart Eats, Smart Supplements, and Smart Exercise - Chapter 3

 

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