Open Mind,Eating For Life-'Obesity' and what to do about it.
Open Mind,Eating For Life-Obesity believes there is much still to be learned
about the relationship between the foods we eat and our risk of getting cancer
and heart disease. Many different health agencies are conducting
a great deal of research to find out more about this relationship.
There is,however, a lot that we know now. The relationship of diet to
cancer and the relationship of diet to risk factors for heart
disease are summarized below:
* We know that obesity is associated with high blood
see our related article for hypertension
high blood cholesterol, diabetes,
see this article for more information
high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease,
and stroke, Extreme obesity has also been linked to
several cancers. This means that if you are obese, losing
weight may reduce your chances of developing these serious
diseases or conditions.
If you already suffer from
hypertension and are overweight, weight loss alone can
often lower your blood pressure to normal levels. Because
fat (both saturated and unsaturated fat) provides more
than twice the number of calories provided by equal
weights of carbohydrate or protein, decreasing the fat in
your diet may help you lose weight as well as help reduce
your risk of cancer and heart disease. Today, most
Europeans and Americans get about 37 percent of their daily calories
from fat.Open Mind,Eating For Life-Obesity and many experts suggest that fat
should be reduced to 30 percent or less of calories.
Open Mind,Eating For Life-Obesity and Heart Disease.
* We know that high blood cholesterol increases your risk of
heart disease, especially as it rises above 200 mg/dl
(milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood). The
evidence is clear that elevated cholesterol in the blood,
resulting in part from the foods we eat and in part from
cholesterol made in the body, contributes to the
development of atherosclerosis, a disorder of arteries
that results in their narrowing and in reduced blood
circulation. This condition can lead to a heart attack or
* We know that blood cholesterol levels are greatly
influenced by the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol
found in many of the foods we eat. These raise blood
cholesterol levels. (Of the two, saturated fat seems to be
the major dietary factor which affects blood cholesterol.)
To reduce your blood cholesterol level, it is important to
eat less saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat and
cholesterol are often found together in foods. Saturated
fat in the U.S. diet is provided primarily by animal
products such as the fat in meat, butter, whole milk,
cream, cheese, and ice cream. There are a few vegetable
fats--coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm kernel and palm oils
which are also high in saturated fat. Cholesterol is found
only in animal products eggs, meat, poultry, fish and
dairy products. Plant foods such as vegetables, grains,
cereals, nuts, and seeds do not contain cholesterol. A few
foods are high in cholesterol but relatively low in
fat--for example, egg yolks and liver.
Open Mind Eating For Life thinks we should Watch out for
items in the grocery store that are labeled no cholesterol or,
contains no animal fat." They may still contain a large amount of fat
or saturated fat.
Examples are peanut butter, solid vegetable shortening, nondairy creamer,
and baked products like cookies, cakes, and crackers.
For people trying to lose blood cholesterol level, these foods
should be chosen less often.
* We know that substituting unsaturated fatty acids (which
are usually liquid and usually come from plant sources)
for saturated fats can help reduce high blood cholesterol.
Safflower, corn, soybean, olive, and canola oils are major
sources of unsaturated fats. The omega-3 fatty acids which
are found in fish and seafood, may have a favorable effect
on blood fat and reduce the risk of heart disease. No one
is sure yet.
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