Where Bad Fat & Sodium Are Hiding ~ Watch Out!


Stewed pork slice and solidified fats from canned food

Your go-to guide on how to decrease bad fats and sodium and how to increase your fiber intake…

Limiting these unhealthy, bad fats is important in reducing blood cholesterol and lowering your risk of coronary artery disease. This is because when your blood cholesterol is high, it can lead to a build up of plaques in your arteries – this in turn can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Where are these unhealthy fats hiding?

  • Dairy: Butter, shortening, whole milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Meat: Beef, Pork (including bacon), Poultry with the skin on
  • Processed Foods: cookies, crackers, chips

What this translates to is:

  • If you are following a 2000 calorie diet, make sure you eat no more than 14g or LESS of saturated fat.
  • Try to eliminate trans fats altogether.

How can I do this?

  • Choose MONO unsaturated fats like olive oil
  • Choose POLY unsaturated fats like fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
  • Select leaner meats: Bison, Chicken,
  • Select reduced fat dairy: Low-fat milk, low-fat cheese (but watch out, often when the fat is pulled out, sugar and sodium are added in).
  • Still choose these healthier fats in moderation!

Decrease Sodium

Over-consumption of sodium increases blood pressure, which in turn is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Where is sodium hiding?

  • Dairy: Butter, cheese
  • Canned foods: soups, tomatoes, vegetables, sauces
  • Processed foods: bacon, deli meats, fast-food

 What this translates to is:

  • If you are healthy adult, you should be consuming no more than 2300mg (about a teaspoon) of sodium per day.
  • If you are 51 or older, African-American, and/or been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease – you should have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day

How can I do this?

  • Cook at home more!
  • Elect fresh foods over those that come in a box or a bag.

Fiber is beneficial to heart health because it slows down the absorption of food in our stomachs, which prevents spikes in our blood sugar, and helps to keep us full for longer so we’re less likely to snack throughout the day. Moreover, the foods with the most fiber also contain nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health

Where can I find fiber?

  • Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.
  • Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals that help prevent cardiovascular disease. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber.

What this translates to is:

  • The recommendation is to eat 5.5 cups of fruits and veggies each day
  • Additionally, 1/2 of your grains should be whole grains = about 1 cup cooked.

How can I do this?

  • Swap out refined and overly processed grains for whole grains. Remember if the first ingredient isn’t “whole grain,” then it is not one!
  • Whole grains include; brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgur, buckwheat, farro, wheatberries, whole wheat breads, whole wheat pastas,
  • Use the 10:1 rule, for every 10grams of carbs make sure there is 1gram of fiber.
  • Keep washed and cut fruit in the fridge so that it’s easy to quickly grab when a craving strikes.
  • Give fruit the main stage on your counter so you see them often and remember to eat them.
  • When plating your dinner – make half your plate fruits and veggies.
Rebecca Lewis

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