Complete Good Fat Bad Fat : Carb and Calorie Counter

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-05-01
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


The history of diets, weightloss, and health has been a volatile one. Once we thought that calories were all that mattered, then we decided it was fat that was the enemy, then came the lowcarb craze. The current conventional wisdom is that there's no one, easy answer, and all of these factors contribute to weight gain and health in different ways. Perhaps the most unexpected discovery is that some fats (like olive oil and omega fats) are actually good for you! This book is the first available resource that really gets to the bottom of current dietary thinking. It is invaluable for calculating the amount and type of fats, calories and carbs in over 3,500 foods commonly found on supermarket shelves and in restaurants. For dieters on everything from the South Beach Diet to the Mediterranean Diet to the Fat Smash Diet, this is the goto resource for getting the most uptodate and complete nutrition information available.


The Complete Good Fat/ Bad Fat, Carb & Calorie Counter

Chapter One

The Complete Good Fat / Bad Fat,
Carb, & Calorie Counter

Good health and good nutrition go hand-in-hand, and so anything that promotes one, promotes and supports the other. The trouble is, books, magazines, TV, and radio are constantly giving people information about what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat it, how much to eat, and how to eat it. To make matters worse, there are many different theories on diet—high-carb, low-carb, low-fat, no-fat, high-fat, count calories, don't count calories; eat according to blood type or the color of your food—the list goes on and on. There are literally hundreds of diets from which to choose, and it's enough to make you throw up your hands and raid the refrigerator.

Not quite so fast. Since you picked up this book, you're concerned about your health and how to choose foods that are nutritious and satisfying. You've made a sound choice, because this book contains concise, relevant nutritional information that can help you shop and eat wisely, regardless of which dietary approach or theory you wish to follow. And here's how to do it.

How This Book Can Help You

If you are like most people, three areas concern you when you think about your health:

1. weight (i.e., losing and/or maintaining a healthy weight);
2. disease prevention (who doesn't want to avoid diabetes, heart disease, or cancer?)
3. overall vitality and sense of well-being.

We have decided to focus this nutrition counter on three important topics: calories, fats (good and bad), and carbohydrates, all of which play essential roles if you want to lose or maintain weight, prevent disease, and maintain general good health—again, regardless of the diet or nutritional approach you wish to follow.

Yes, of course it's true that literally scores of nutrients interact with systems in the body to keep you healthy. But the good news is that you really don't need to pay attention to them all. Therefore, in this book we have compiled the latest information on five key factors—calorie content, percentage of calories from fat, total fat, total bad fat, and net carbohydrates, as well as good fat, each explained below—for more than four thousand basic, brand-name, and fast foods that you purchase regularly in supermarkets and fast-food restaurants. Whether your main goal is to prevent or fight disease, to lose weight, or to adopt a more nutritious overall diet for you and your loved ones, The Complete Good Fat/Bad Fat, Carb, & Calorie Counter is the only reference guide you'll need. Bring it along whenever you shop or stop at a fast-food establishment, and you'll have the important information you need to make healthy food choices. (Make sure you also look at the "How To Eat For Your Health" section later in this chapter!)

Before you explore the food counter, take the time to read the entire introduction for more detailed information on how the foods we eat impact our health. But first let's take a quick look at each of the categories included in the counter.

Calories. A calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). The number of calories in a food item is the amount of potential energy in that food that your body can "burn" (metabolize) so it can function. Calories are important if you are counting them to help you lose weight, or if you want to prevent disease or enhance overall health, as being overweight is a risk factor for many serious diseases, including cancer, heart disease, gallbladder disease, and diabetes.

Percent calories from fat. The exact percentage of calories people should get from dietary fat remains an area of debate: recommendations range from about 15 to 35 percent, with most experts saying 20 to less than 30 percent is optimal. If you are monitoring your fat intake because you want to lose weight, or because you are concerned about the connection between fat intake and diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, and cancer, then the "percent calories from fat" category will be helpful to you. A more detailed discussion of percent calories from fat can be found later under the heading "How Much Fat Do You Need?"

Total fat. The category "total fat" (in grams) is the sum of saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fats, values that are helpful if you are counting fat grams. Based on the percent of calories from fat that you want to consume according to your goal, you can calculate the optimal daily total fat value for you. The handy chart below can help you make that determination.

Good fat. Fats in this category include monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Since we can't tell you the exact number of grams of good fat in any given food (nutrition labels do not provide this information), we did not create a separate category for good fats. However, we did print in boldface the foods that are especially good sources of these good fats, because eating more good fats is just as important as avoiding bad fats.

Bad fat. The category "bad fat" includes the sum of saturated fat and trans fat for each food item. Experts generally recommend that everyone limit intake of bad fat to 10 percent or less of total calories consumed. If you are overweight or have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, gallbladder disease, or have had a stroke, or you want to help prevent these and other serious diseases, information about the amount of bad fat in your food can help you make healthier choices.

Net carbohydrates. "Net carbs" refers to the total number of carbohydrates minus fiber, glycerin, and sugar alcohols. The reason we provide net carb values instead of total carbs is that these three elements do not have a significant impact on glucose and insulin levels. How do glucose and insulin levels relate to weight loss and diabetes? Basically, carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels, which causes insulin production to increase. The increased insulin pushes sugar into the cells and hinders fat metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight. Most people who keep track of carbohydrates do so as part of a low-carb weight-loss regimen because they adhere to the concept that eating fewer carbohydrates will lower their glucose and insulin levels, resulting in weight loss. This approach may also help those who are at risk for or who have diabetes.

The Complete Good Fat/ Bad Fat, Carb & Calorie Counter. Copyright © by Lynn Sonberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from The Complete Good Fat/Bad Fat, Carb and Calorie Counter by Lynn Sonberg
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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