- Fat comes in three major types:
- Unsaturated fat: liquid form vegetable oil like canola or soybean oil.
- Saturated fat: solid fat like animal fat. Beef fat is the worst.
- Trans fat: partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which becomes
solid. It is as bad for us as saturated fat.
Commercial processed food like cakes, cookies or muffins
generally contains trans fat.
You should get no more than 30% of your calories from fat; 20% is a
better target. Fat gives 9 calories per gram. For a 2000 calorie diet
your target should be 45 grams per day of fat.
Excessive fat causes your arteries to clog up. Saturated
fat is the worst. Vitamin E is important to prevent unsaturated fat
from spoiling inside your body.
- Cow's milk without hormones is better. [Jim's comment: it really
doesn't matter.] Milk with extra calcium added
is OK. Choose nonfat (skim) milk or 1% (low fat) milk.
Whole milk (3.2% fat) contains too much saturated fat.
Reduced fat means 2%. Milk has 11 grams protein per cup.
- Cheese has too much saturated fat and is high in sodium.
- Read the label and choose 100% fruit juice. Among them
the best is orange, grapefruit, prune or pineapple juice.
Less nutritious are grape, pear and apple.
When the label says fruit "drink", "punch", "cocktail",
they contain a small fraction of juice, mostly high fructose
sugar water sold at juice prices.
Juice with added calcium and vitamin C is ok.
- Fresh fruit is best; canned is almost as good. Get it packed in juice,
not heavy syrup.
The most nutritious ones are colored like orange,
pink grapefruit, berries, kiwi, mango, papaya etc.
- fresh is the best.
Frozen is equally good in terms of nutrients
but the flavor is not as good. But adequate.
Canned vegetables are equally nutritious but many taste terrible.
Prepared or prewashed packaged ready to eat vegetables:
do not get those. They are too expensive and not
really clean and taste terrible. Not worth the money.
Again the colored and dark green vegetables like broccoli are the
Among fresh vegetables, the worse it tastes the better it is for you.
Lettuce is not worth the effort of eating it.
The current recommendation is 5 "servings" per day of fruit or
vegetable, where a "serving" is 1/2 cup after cooking (about 100
- This category includes oatmeal, rice, cereal and bread.
Read the label. "Whole" grain is the key word.
Choose the ingredient with "whole" wheat, "whole" bran,
whole oat etc. for bread and cereals.
Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, being a whole grain,
but we like the flavor of white rice.
Excessively sweetened cereal is bad for your teeth, and you're being sold
cane sugar at cereal prices; adding a small
spoonful of sugar to unsweetened whole grain cereal is both healthier
and much less expensive. Dry grains give about 3.5 calories per gram.
Potatoes of various kinds also give you carbohydrate and other
Most of your calories should come from carbohydrate: 1275 calories per
day assuming 2000 calories total (probably too much for you) and the
recommended fat and protein intake. This works out to about 350 grams of
- Beans are a good source of soluble fiber and plant protein.
But plant protein is incomplete (except for soy bean).
Fiber is important to keep your bowels moving; whole grains and vegetables
also have it.
We like red bean soup (Azuki beans) and soy bean curd (tofu).
- Meat is your main source of protein. Animal
meat, milk and eggs contain complete protein which our body needs.
A standard 70 Kg human male needs 56 grams per day, proportional to body
mass (this recommendation may actually be higher than needed). This would
be about 250 grams per day of chicken, if no other protein source were
eaten. It is not necessary to overfeed protein.
- Very good protein source, generally with low fat (except salmon).
Its oil includes a lot of omega-3 fatty acid which is very good for
reducing bad cholesterol.
- Very good if you remove skin and fat.
Breast has less fat than thigh and wing.
- Red meats
- Pork and beef contain more saturated fat than fish and poultry.
Choose a lean cut like sirloin.
Eat small amounts of meat and not every day.