Health Begins with Nutrition
Being overweight has become a major health problem in our society. There’s no need for me to dwell on statistics to prove the point, as it is obvious to everyone that there are many more overweight individuals now than ever before.
Nutrition is First Step to Health
The most frightening thing is that the incidence of weight gain now affects so many children and teenagers. In some respects, being overweight has become the new norm. But there is a huge price to pay for being overweight, both physically and psychologically. Getting back to your ideal weight and making it permanent requires that you attack it on several fronts, but the first nutrition step is very crucial.
Fat in Our Diets; the Silent Killer
Many health- conscious people are very concerned about white sugar in their diets, but they fail to recognize that excess fat consumption is the most serious nutritional health problem in North America today, more serious than sugar. Pastries for dessert, large slabs of butter melting over a baked potato, bacon and eggs for breakfast, cheddar cheese smothering a plate of nachos, processed meats from the local deli: these high-fat foods are the primary dietary killers in society today.
What Do High Fat Foods Do to My Body?
Foods high in fat clog your arteries, increasing the chances of having heart attacks, angina and strokes. They can also over-stimulate your hormonal system, increasing your risk of cancers of the reproductive organs (breasts, ovaries, cervix, and prostate).
High Fat Foods and the Cancer Connection
Cancer researchers have long known that in addition to being the leading cause of weight gain and obesity in our diets today, excess dietary fat is a powerful promoter of many forms of cancer, including colon and rectal cancers.
Of course in most cases, the problem is compounded by too many simple sugar and starchy foods, however, my experience working with patients has taught me that the first step to conquering weight loss is to get the bad fats out of the diet.
I’m not overstating the dangers of too much dietary fat, believe me. People now know that smoking can lead to lung cancer, but fewer people seem to realize that the research linking a high-fat diet – particularly saturated fat – to cancer is now too convincing to be ignored.
Blame Dietary-Related Diseases on Saturated Fat
The consensus in the medical field is that eating too much fat, especially saturated fat, is the major risk factor for most diet-related disease. By the late 1980’s the writing was already on the wall with respect to the hazardous effects of a high saturated fat diet.
The scientific evidence was so convincing that the Surgeon General of the United States, always extremely conservative, released a Report on Nutrition and Health in July 1988 presenting its first comprehensive review of the scientific evidence that links diet to chronic disease. This report plainly stated that the most common nutrition-related problems and conditions among people in the United States are due to obesity and unbalanced diets.
It identifies reducing the consumption of fat, especially of saturated fat, as the primary dietary priority for improving overall health and conquering the obesity epidemic. They went on to say that: Dietary fat is the single most important dietary factor that is linked to degenerative diseases, especially saturated fat.
How Does Eating Fat Make Me Fat?
Not only is eating a lot of fat related directly to heart disease and some cancers, but it is the major reason for becoming overweight. Your body stores fat very efficiently. Digesting, absorbing, transporting, and storing the fat you eat uses up only 7 percent of its initial calories.
In other words, your body delivers the fat from your diet and stores it in your fat cells with an efficiency rate of 93 percent. So, simply stated, when you eat fat, you get fat, especially if you have a slow metabolism.
After (around) 19, Your Body Stops Producing Fat Cells
As a general rule, you can change the number of fat cells in your body only until you are about 19 years old. After that, you will have the same number of fat cells for the rest of your life, unless you gain a tremendous amount of weight. Consequently, most adults could remain at the same weight as they were at 19 years of age. In fact, this is the weight that bodies are programmed to be.
Keep Fat Cells Thin and You’ll Keep Thin!
Adults in North America gain an average of one to two pounds every year after the age of 25. So by the age of 50, they are 25 to 50 pounds overweight. Their fat cells, rather than increasing in number, become larger. In fact, fat cells can expand in size almost indefinitely. However, the right wellness program can get you back to your ideal weight permanently.
For Optimal Health, Exercise and Eat Less Fat
If you have taken my online Nutrition/Lifestyle/Anti-Aging Test then you know that I encourage you to perform some form of endurance exercise at least 4-5 times per week to maintain heart health and burn off excess calories. But much of that effort will be waste if you don’t comply with nutrition rule number one: eat less total fat, especially saturated fat.
What Can I Eat to Stay Thin and Healthy?
I’ve made an outline of some suggestions for you to follow:
- Animal Protein: Limit your intake of animal products to skinless chicken and turkey breast, Cornish hen, fish
- Dairy Products: Good choices for dairy would be something like having non-fat or 1% milk, and yogurt and cheeses that are less than 4% milk fat.
- Oils and Fats: You should also do your best to avoid or limit the use of butter and items prepared with palm and coconut oil (hydrogenated), and minimize your intake of other foods that contain hydrogenated and trans fats as well, as they act much like saturated fat.
- Food Preparation: Avoid frying foods and use only moderate amounts of olive oil in salads and for sautéing.
Healthier Substitutes for Chippy-Dippy Treats
- Low Fat Popcorn
- Rice Crackers or Low Fat Crackers Dipped In Salsa
Low Cholesterol and Good Genes Don’t Count
And remember, even if you have good gene and your cholesterol is naturally low, eating foods high in saturated fat will still increase the stickiness of your blood cells, increasing your risk for heart attack, stroke and deep vein thrombosis; all life-threatening diseases.
Low Fat/Limited Saturated Fat is the Key
In the end, limiting your intake of total fat, especially saturated fat and fried foods, is the first key nutrition step in getting back to your ideal weight permanently and reducing your risk of premature disease and mortality. I strongly urge you to pay heed to this advice.
Raising Healthy Kids is Good Parenting
If you want your children to have a healthy-looking body, and live a long, full life, then make this strategy part of your overall family plan and lead by example. You’ll love and be proud of the results!