Category Archives: Health

Easy to be healthier

1. Give yourself a break

“I spend countless hours doing cardio and never seem to lose that last ten pounds!” is a common complaint I hear from clients. Give yourself permission to shorten your workout. Believe it or not, overtraining could be the problem. Your body can plateau if not given adequate rest to restore itself, ultimately leading to a decline in performance. Fatigue, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, depression, and increased cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are some hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. Creating a periodization program — breaking up your routine into various training modes — can help prevent overtraining by building rest phases into your regimen. For example, you might weight train on Monday and Wednesday, cycle on Tuesday and Thursday, run on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. You can also help balance your program by simply incorporating more variety.

2. Think small

Often the biggest deterrent to improving health is feeling overwhelmed by all the available advice and research. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy, positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead, keep walking shoes in the garage or entryway and take a quick spin around the block before going inside. If you have a can of soda at lunchtime every day, have a glass of water two days a week instead. Starting with small, painless changes helps establish the mentality that healthy change is not necessarily painful change. It’s easy to build from here by adding more healthy substitutions.

3. Keep good company

You can do all the right things — but if you have personal relationships with people who have unhealthy habits, it is often an uphill battle. The healthiest people are those who have relationships with other healthy people. Get your family or friends involved with you when you walk or plan healthier meals. Making healthy changes with a loved one can bring you closer together as well as motivate you.

4. Make a list…and check it twice

Take a few minutes and write down all the reasons you can’t begin an exercise program. Then look at the basis of each reason. For instance, if you wrote, “No time” as one of your reasons, then perhaps that’s based on a belief that an exercise program takes a lot of time. Starting with even five minutes a day will have a positive effect because you will have created a healthy habit where one didn’t exist before, and that’s a powerful mental adjustment. A closer look at your list will expose those false beliefs hiding behind each excuse.

5. Sign up for an event

Let’s face it, exercising just for the sake of exercising or losing weight can get boring. Spice things up by signing up for an event like a run/walk race or a cycling ride where you can be part of a team. Doing so gives your workouts a new purpose, and it’s fun to be around others who are exercising just like you — not to mention that most events benefit nonprofit organizations, which doubles your feel-good high.

Loss weight with superfood swaps

Dieters often have an all-or-nothing mentality.

They cut out all their favorite foods – pizza, pasta, tacos, fries and cookies – to lose weight, but then they feel deprived, get discouraged and quit before they’ve reached their goal, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Chicago-based registered dietitian nutritionist. “I run into this issue with everybody.”

Blatner, who has helped thousands of people trim down over the past 15 years in her private practice and online classes, recommends a different strategy: Satisfy those cravings by swapping superfoods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and other plant-based foods) for C.R.A.P., her acronym for overly processed foods that contain: Chemicals you don’t use in your kitchen; Refined flour and sugar; Artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors; and Preservatives.

The secret to the plan is that dieters satisfy their cravings instead of denying them. Practically speaking, that means you:

  • Eat a slice of sprouted whole-grain toast with 2 tablespoons of almond butter and mashed fruit sprinkled with chia seeds instead of a Pop-Tart or bagel for breakfast.
  • Have plain 2 percent Greek yogurt with fresh berries instead of berry-flavored yogurt.
  • Enjoy brewed chai tea instead of a chai latte or other high-calorie specialty coffee drinks.
  • Quench your thirst with sparkling water with a shot of juice instead of a sugary drink.
  • Eat sliced chicken, turkey breast, tuna, hummus or a homemade bean burger instead of processed meats.
  • Treat yourself to a small piece of dark chocolate and cup of mint tea instead of packaged cookies and cakes.

She says more than a thousand people have tried the superfood swap, and many have reported good results. One dieter on the plan lost 53 pounds in 14 weeks and won the ABC reality TV show “My Diet is Better Than Yours,” which aired last year.

Cholesterol

LDL (bad) cholesterol is produced naturally by the body, but many people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to make too much.

Eating foods with saturated fat or trans fats also increases the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. If high blood cholesterol runs in your family, lifestyle modifications may not be enough to help lower your LDL blood cholesterol.

The female sex hormone estrogen tends to raise HDL cholesterol, and as a rule, women have higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels than men. Estrogen production is highest during the childbearing years. This may help explain why premenopausal women are usually protected from developing heart disease.

Older women tend to have higher triglyceride levels. As people get older, gain weight or both, their triglyceride and cholesterol levels tend to rise.

At one time, it was thought that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might lower a woman’s risk of heart disease and stroke. However, recent studies have shown that HRT does not reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women, and the American Heart Association recommends it not be used for cardiovascular prevention.

The American Heart Association recommends LDL (bad) cholesterol-lowering drug therapy for most women with heart disease. Drug therapy should be combined with a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars and rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich whole-grain  foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy. Fish (such as salmon, trout or herring) should be eaten twice a week. In addition, women should manage their weight, not smoke and get an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week.

What Can Cholesterol Do?

High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

As your blood cholesterol rises, so does your risk of coronary heart disease. If you have other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes, this risk increases even further. The greater the level of each risk factor, the more that factor affects your overall risk. Your cholesterol level can be affected by your age, gender, family health history and diet.

When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, cholesterol can form a thick, hard deposit called plaque that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, a heart attack or stroke can result.

Protein for Weight Loss

This is list good proteins for your weight loss program

Beans

One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.

Pork Tenderloin

This great and versatile white meat is 31% leaner than it was 20 years ago.

Soy

Fifty grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol by about 3%. Eating soy protein instead of sources of higher-fat protein — and maintaining a healthy diet — can be good for your heart.

Lean Beef

Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast. Lean beef is also an excellent source of zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.

Protein on the Go

If you don’t have time to sit down for a meal, grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein and is low in sugar and fat.

Protein at Breakfast

Research shows that including a source of protein like an egg or Greek yogurt at breakfast along with a high-fiber grain like whole wheat toast can help you feel full longer and eat less throughout the day.

More of YOGA

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

  • Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
  • Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
  • Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
  • Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.
  • Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
  • Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

 

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.

Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up on one arm and do a side plank. To really burn out the middle of your abs, you can do boat pose, in which you balance on your “sit bones” (the bony prominences at the base of your pelvic bones) and hold your legs up in the air.

Arms: Yes. With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight.

Legs: Yes. Yoga poses work all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs.

Glutes: Yes. Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep knee bends, which give you a more sculpted rear.

Back: Yes. Moves like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It’s no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.

Type

Flexibility: Yes. Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.

Aerobic: No. Yoga isn’t considered aerobic exercise, but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.

Strength: Yes. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.

Sport: No. Yoga is not competitive. Focus on your own practice and don’t compare yourself to other people in your class.

Low-Impact: Yes. Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won’t put any impact on your joints.

 

What Else Should I Know?

Cost. Varies. If you already know your way around a yoga mat, you can practice for free at home. Videos and classes will cost you various amounts of money.

Good for beginners? Yes. People of all ages and fitness levels can do the most basic yoga poses and stretches.

Outdoors. Yes. You can do yoga anywhere, indoors or out.

At home. Yes. All you need is enough space for your yoga mat.

Equipment required? No. You don’t need any equipment because you’ll rely on your own body weight for resistance. But you’ll probably want to use a yoga mat to keep you from sliding around in standing poses, and to cushion you while in seated and lying positions. Other, optional equipment includes a yoga ball for balance, a yoga block or two, and straps to help you reach for your feet or link your hands behind your back.

Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

Yoga is a great activity for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. It gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. You’ll also need to do something aerobic (like walking, biking, or swimming) if you’re not doing a fast-moving type of yoga.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems, ask your doctor what you can do. You may need to avoid certain postures, like those in which you’re upside down or that demand more balance than you have right now. A very gentle program of yoga, coupled with a light aerobic activity like walking or swimming, may be the best way to start.

Do you have arthritis? Yoga can help you stay flexible and strong without putting added stress on your joints. You get the added benefit of a mind-body approach that can help you relax and energize.

If you’re pregnant, yoga can help keep you relaxed, strong, and in shape. If you’re new to yoga or have any health or pregnancy related problems, talk to your doctor before you give it a try. Look for an instructor who’s experienced in teaching prenatal yoga.

You’ll need to make some adjustments as your baby and belly grow and your center of gravity shifts. After your first trimester, don’t do any poses that have you lying on your back. And don’t try to stretch any further than you did before pregnancy. Your pregnancy hormones will loosen up your joints and make you more likely to get injured.

While you’re pregnant, avoid postures that put pressure on your belly or low back. Don’t do “hot” yoga, where the room temperature is very high.

What should you know about your heart rate?

Even if you’re not an athlete, knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level — and it might even help you spot developing health problems.

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person. Knowing yours can be an important heart-health gauge.

As you age, changes in the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify a heart condition or other condition that needs to be addressed.

Where is it and what is a normal heart rate?

The best places to find your pulse are the:

  • wrists
  • inside of your elbow
  • side of your neck
  • top of the foot

To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.

Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because you’re not exercising. If you’re sitting or lying and you’re calm, relaxed and aren’t ill, your heart rate is normally between 60 (beats per minute) and 100 (beats per minute).

But a heart rate lower than 60 doesn’t necessarily signal a medical problem. It could be the result of taking a drug such as a beta blocker. A lower heart rate is also common for people who get a lot of physical activity or are very athletic. Active people often have lower heart rates because their heart muscle is in better condition and doesn’t need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat.

Moderate physical activity doesn’t usually change the resting pulse much. If you’re very fit, it could change to 40. A less active person might have a heart rate between 60 and 100. That’s because the heart muscle has to work harder to maintain bodily functions, making it higher.

How Other Factors Affect Heart Rate

  • Air temperature: When temperatures (and the humidity) soar, the heart pumps a little more blood, so your pulse rate may increase, but usually no more than five to 10 beats a minute.
  • Body position: Resting, sitting or standing, your pulse is usually the same. Sometimes as you stand for the first 15 to 20 seconds, your pulse may go up a little bit, but after a couple of minutes it should settle down. Emotions: If you’re stressed, anxious or “extraordinarily happy or sad” your emotions can raise your pulse.
  • Body size: Body size usually doesn’t change pulse. If you’re very obese, you might see a higher resting pulse than normal, but usually not more than 100.
  • Medication use: Meds that block your adrenaline (beta blockers) tend to slow your pulse, while too much thyroid medication or too high of a dosage will raise it.

When To Call Your Doctor

If you’re on a beta blocker to decrease your heart rate (and lower blood pressure) or to control an abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia), your doctor may ask you to monitor and log your heart rate. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can help your doctor determine whether to change the dosage or switch to a different medication.

If your pulse is very low or if you have frequent episodes of unexplained fast heart rates, especially if they cause you to feel weak or dizzy or faint, tell your doctor, who can decide if it’s an emergency. Your pulse is one tool to help get a picture of your health.

Happiness is good for health

Happiness is one the most important assets we can have. If you are not happy, then life can become pretty meaningless.

An unhappy person is not at their optimum at work, as a parent, or as a friend. You must look after yourself before being able to look after others.

So how do you become happy?

Whilst there’s no magical wand you can wave to become happy, there are several things you can do that will help. Here are 10 ways to be happy in life.

1. Connect with Friends and Family

Whilst we all differ in how much time we need to spend with people, we ALL need to connect. Put the effort in to reconnect with family you haven’t seen for a while, and friends you’ve neglected. Give someone a call out of the blue. Pop round for a visit. It’s easy to get bogged down with work and family commitments, but you MUST make the time to connect with people. It’s worth it.

2. Have a Long-Term Goal

You need something to work towards. Something to motivate yourself to keep going. It could be to save up and buy a holiday home, a yacht, or even to become a published writer. Find something that is possible to attain in the long term, and that excites you. Now work towards this, one step at a time. This gives your life hope that something better is on its way, and give you a sense of purpose.

3. Have Things to Look Forward to

Having things to look forward to helps keep you positive and happy. It might be a holiday that you’ve booked, or a concert. Make sure you regularly provide yourself with things to look forward to. Once you have done the thing you planned, quickly start looking for the next thing to plan.

4. Have a Laugh

Laughter is fantastic medicine for the soul. Seek out people who have a good sense of humour and make you laugh. Avoid those negative drains. Watch some funny films and TV programs. Learn to laugh at yourself and things around you. Life shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

5. Smile in the Mirror

To a fair degree you can “fake it until you make it”. By deliberately smiling, you send a positive signal to the rest of your mind and body, and it will follow suit. So when you look in the mirror in the morning, put on a smile and give yourself a great start to your day.

6. Eat a More Natural, Balanced Diet

A good diet has been proven to improve your mood. Avoid processed and ready-made foods. Do more cooking. If you are not a good cook, then learn. There’s loads of free recipes and tips online. It really isn’t that difficult, and can be a fulfilling hobby in itself.

Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats. A good rule of thumb is to strive to eat foods that were available 1000 years ago.

7. Watch Your Stress Levels

Stress can turn the most laid back person into a moody monster. It is also harmful to your health. If your job is stressful, consider ways to reduce this stress. Can you offload some responsibility? Maybe talk to your boss about getting some help?

If things can’t be improved, then consider finding a new job – even if the pay is reduced. A job is not worth a life time of misery. Most people tend to over spend when they’re stressed, so you might not actually be worse off financially anyway.

Learn meditation. This is great for stress reduction. Also walks in the countryside are great for de-stressing your mind and body.

8. Exercise!

Through millions of years of evolution, we are designed to work physically harder than most of us do in this modern world. This leaves us with an excess of unburned energy.

Find an exercise that you enjoy. This could be the gym, swimming, playing tennis etc. Exercise also releases those feel-good hormones into your body, leaving you feeling great afterwards.

9. Do Someone a Favour

Doing a good turn for someone can boost your levels of happiness. It might be something simple like buying them a small gift that you know they will like. It could be something practical like giving them a lift to work. Doing good turns for others creates a good vibe that you will also enjoy.

10. Don’t Be a People Pleaser

Although it is good to do favours for others, only do them when YOU want to. Learn to say no to people who ask for too much. Do things that make you happy, even if people in your life don’t approve. As long as it isn’t harming anyone else, then chase what you feel you want to do.

You may have people in your life who like you to do things for them instead of for yourself. They may try and put you off so that you can be there for them. Ignore them and carry on. They will get used to your new way of being. If people in your life value your happiness, they will support you.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.  Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and blood pressure.

Which fruits and vegetables are best?
That’s easy: They’re all good! If you eat many different types of fruits and veggies, you’re sure to get all the different types of nutrients you need. The American Heart Association recommends filling at least half your plate with fruits and veggies in order to make it to the recommended 4-5 servings of each per day. The good news is that all produce counts, which means canned, dried, fresh and frozen varieties can help you reach your goal.

When buying canned, dried or frozen vegetables and fruit, be sure to compare food labels and choose the products with the lowest amount of sodium and added sugars.

Take the Next Step

If you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies every day, you may be ready for the next step: include more color. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. Some of these nutrients are fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A and C. The best way to get all the various nutrients is to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. The five main color groups and examples in each group are listed below. Eat from as many color groups as you can each day.

Color Fruits and Vegetables
Red / Pink: beets, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, pomegranates, radicchio, radishes, raspberries, red apples, red grapes, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, watermelon
Orange / Yellow: acorn or butternut squash, apricots, cantaloupe, carrot, corn, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, orange juice, orange peppers, papaya, peaches, pineapple, pumpkin, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yams, yellow apples, yellow peppers, yellow squash
Green: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, collard greens, cucumber, green beans, green cabbage, green grapes, green onions, green peppers, kale, kiwi, leeks, limes, mustard greens, okra, pears, peas, romaine lettuce, snow peas, spinach, sugar snap peas, watercress, zucchini
White bananas, cauliflower, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, mushrooms, onion, potatoes, parsnips, shallots
Blue / Purple: blackberries, blueberries, currants, dates, eggplant, purple grapes, purple grape juice, plums, prunes, purple figs, raisins

Say NO to going old

Do you want to have a body that can support you well into your old age? Do you wish to have mental clarity, quality relationships, good working internal functions, or even an overall feeling of well being? Well, living a healthy lifestyle is what can get you there, or at least improve your condition. There are three specific things that you should do:

1. Exercise

You shouldn’t be surprised that this one is on the list. It is unavoidable. Physical activity is essential to healthy living. The body was meant to move, and when it does not, it can become unhappy and ill. Physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repair systems that keep it going. It improves circulation to our heart and lungs. It gives us strength to stave off injuries, and it increases the mobility in our muscles and joints. Physical activity also releases endorphins; the feel good hormones that create a sense of general well being. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind.

Exercises include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, rowing, elliptical workouts and jogging. Yoga, and pilates are also good exercise workouts; however, they should be performed in conjunction with the cardiovascular-type workouts mentioned above.

2. Eating healthy

Have you ever heard of the saying “you are what you eat” or “garbage in garbage out”? Well, it is true. What you put into your body directly affects how you feel physically, your mood, your mental clarity, your internal workings, and even your skin. Eating healthy does not mean eating expensive foods with little taste. As a matter of fact, there are some fantastic health recipes online and in cookbooks that are very healthy. Basically, you want to aim for a diet that is low in salt, fat and unprocessed foods and is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also good to take a multi vitamin to ensure you are meeting your nutrient requirements.

3. Reduce stress

We have got to get rid of all of this stress. Stress happens when your life becomes out of balance physically, mentally or emotionally. This imbalance can be caused by internal stress like worrying too much, environmental stress like pressure from work, family or friends, or by stress from being fatigued or overworked. Being stressed out has the potential to affect your health in a variety of ways. You can become tired, sick, tense, irritable, and unable to think clearly. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you will need to manage the stress in your life so that it does not overtake you. This means taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, tasks, and environment to get your body back in balance.

Trans fats

What are trans fats?

There are two broad types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats. Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.

The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils.” Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages. In November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.

Why do some companies use trans fats?

Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers. Several countries (e.g., Denmark, Switzerland, and Canada) and jurisdictions (California, New York City, Baltimore, and Montgomery County, MD) have reduced or restricted the use of trans fats in food service establishments.

How do trans fats affect my health?

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Why did trans fats become so popular if they have such bad health effects?

Before 1990, very little was known about how trans fat can harm your health. In the 1990s, research began identifying the adverse health effects of trans fats. Based on these findings, FDA instituted labeling regulations for trans fat and consumption has decreased in the US in recent decades, however some individuals may consume high levels of trans fats based on their food choices.

Which foods contain trans fats?

Trans fats can be found in many foods – including fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads. You can determine the amount of trans fats in a particular packaged food by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel. However, products can be listed as “0 grams of trans fats” if they contain 0 grams to less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. You can also spot trans fats by reading ingredient lists and looking for the ingredients referred to as “partially hydrogenated oils.”

Are there naturally occurring trans fats?

Small amounts of trans fats occur naturally in some meat and dairy products, including beef, lamb and butterfat. There have not been sufficient studies to determine whether these naturally occurring trans fats have the same bad effects on cholesterol levels as trans fats that have been industrially manufactured.

How much trans fat can I eat a day?

The American Heart Association recommends cutting back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet and preparing lean meats and poultry without added saturated and trans fat.

How can I limit my daily of trans fats?

Read the Nutrition Facts panel on foods you buy at the store and, when eating out, ask what kind of oil foods are cooked in. Replace the trans fats in your diet with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

Regulating Your Intake of Saturated and Trans Fats

The American Heart Association recommends that adults who would benefit from lowering LDL cholesterol reduce their intake of trans fat and limit their consumption of saturated fat to 5 to 6% of total calories.

Here are some ways to achieve that:

  • Eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. Also limit red meat and sugary foods and beverages.
  • Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.
  • Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils or saturated fat.
  • Use soft margarine as a substitute for butter, and choose soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) over harder stick forms. Look for “0 g trans fat” on the Nutrition Facts label and no hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list.
  • Doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods that may contain trans fat. Limit how frequently you eat them.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Not only are these foods very high in fat, but that fat is also likely to be trans fat.