Fats, Carbohydrates and Smoking (Part 2 of 3)

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Fat

He also talked about managing your fat intake because that is always going to be where the highest calories are.  A good daily level of fat intake for an adult is 50 grams.  The average person eats about 82 grams of fat daily.  He said don’t count your calories but count where they come from.  For example 1 cup of protein is 120 calories, 1 cup of good carbohydrates is 400 calories, 1 cup of not good carbohydrates is 800 calories, and 1 cup of fat is 2000 calories.  So fat will always have the higher calories per serving then other foods.   There are three types of fat – monounsaturated fat (from plants), polyunsaturated fat (from plants) and saturated fats (from animals).  Saturated fat is from animals and is considered the “bad” fat.  Monounsaturated fats – olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil are the best fats for you.  Polyunsaturated fats are everything else and are ok for you but not as good as monounsaturated.  Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered “good” fats.  All fats are made up of all three types of fat and are just categorized according to their major component.  Cholesterol only comes from foods that come from an animal originally – no exceptions!  So if a product only contains veggies and has a big label saying it is cholesterol free than that is true but not something special that the manufacture did.  Nuts are a great source of protein but nuts also contain fat – chestnuts are the only nuts that are low fat.  Nuts are still great to eat but remember that everything in moderation.   If you eat too many nuts you will get fat but at least it won’t directly give you a heart ache.

One of the debates that he did cover was butter vs margarine.  I personally love my butter.   Butter is rendered from animal fats.   Margarine is partially hydrogenated corn oil and does contain transfats.  So is a comparison of corn oil, margarine, and butter – 11 grams each:  corn oil has 9 grams of good fat and 2 grams of bad, margarine has 7 grams good and 4 grams of bad, and butter has 4 grams of good and 7 grams of bad plus you get cholesterol.  So veggie oil is best but not so easy to spread on you toast so given the choice between butter and margarine – margarine wins because it is still better for you in the end but look for transfat free margarine.

You don’t have to become a vegetarian but be aware of what you are eating and how to make better choices.  Fats are usually what we associate with good taste which is why fat free used to be taste-free too, but food development has come a long way and fat-free choices are better able to fool your tongue.  There are easy ways to cut back over time.  David Meinz said that drinking a 6 oz glass of whole milk was comparable to eating two restaurant pads of butter.  2% Milk equaled about 1 ½  pads of butter while 1% milk only compared to about ½ pad of butter and skim milk was fat free.  So only cutting back to 2% won’t make much of a difference but it can be used as a step in the right direction.  If you are a whole milk drinker like I have been then slowly cut yourself back to 2%, then 1%, then to fat free skim milk.  Overtime your taste buds will get used to the skim milk and then whole milk will taste too think and creamy.  He did say that children under 2 should not be restricted on their fat intake and that breast milk was the best thing for babies.  You can do the same thing with your dinner.  Don’t cut out everything but slowing substitute healthier choices.  If you want fried chicken then take the skin off and fry it in a little olive oil instead of deep frying it or eating the Colonel’s extra crispy.  If you want steak then trim the fat off before grilling it.   If you eat closer to how it grows then the better it is for you.

Carbohydrates

I was happy to hear that carbohydrates are good for you and that you should not take out carbohydrates to be healthy but to just choice the right ones since not all carbs are created equal.  Sugar is a carbohydrate but is not as good for you as whole grain.  Carbohydrates are important to give you energy and to help you feel full.  Foods that are high in carbohydrates are good choices when you are trying to lose weight.  Carbohydrates that grow closer to how they grow such as whole grain have more volume and make you feel full faster so you are actually eating less.  Diet fads that tell you to cut out all carbohydrates but eat as much meat and fat as you want aren’t making you skinny they are making you dehydrated.  You will lose weight but it will be your water weight and not true weight.  Carbohydrates are good for weight loss just eat the right type and everything in moderation.

Fiber is important part of our daily diet and keep things running smoothly.  We should have a daily goal of 30 grams of fiber although the average adult is only consuming about 10 grams a day.  David did warn not to try to increase your fiber intake rapidly because that could lead to intestinal issues such as bloating and diarrhea.  Just add a little at a time until you get up to the daily goal.   He said that you don’t have to go home and throw away everything that is “unhealthy” for you but to make better choices gradually over time and that it is all about quality, quantity and moderation.  You can eat more of something if it is good for you then you should if it is bad but everything in moderation.  It is ok to have something fatty and greasy once in a while as long as you don’t go overboard and it is more of the exception to your diet and not the rule.  Our bodies are like finely tuned machines, if we give it high quality fuel without a lot of excess filler and maintain it then it will run perfectly for a long time to come.  Quality, quantity and moderation.

Stop Smoking

There are absolutely no health benefits to smoking.  If you are concerned about gaining weight when you quit smoking keep in mind that an average person will gain about 10 or 12 lbs after they quit smoking but that you would have to gain several hundred pounds to equal the health risks of continuing to smoke.  There is no reason to continue smoking but a million reasons to quit; the only problem is trying to break the addiction.  If you have told yourself that you could quit at anytime because you have done it before then you have never really quit.   At Adler Cosmetic and Family Dentistry we understand how hard it can be and want to help.  Our patients aren’t just a number or just a mouth, they are a whole person and we want to treat you as a whole person like we would our own parent, sibling, or child.

Smoking is not only bad for your lungs but it also affects whole body and your mouth.  It’s common knowledge that smoking has been linked to both lung and heart disease.  But smoking can also increase your risk of periodontal disease.  Smokers are more likely to have a build up of tartar on their teeth, where disease-causing bacteria thrive.  Periodontal disease is essentially a chronic, open infection in your mouth.  Smoking worsens the condition by damaging the natural processes your body uses to fight the periodontal infection.   Smoking reduces saliva levels, restricts blood flow, and damages your immune system.  There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, including formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and arsenic.  Also smokers are four times more likely to have advanced periodontal disease, and are twice as likely to lose their teeth.  David described our overall health as a forest.  Some people get so focused on a single tree that they can’t see the forest from the trees -meaning that if you are only worried about losing weight that you don’t pay attention to the rest of your body.  Well when you are a smoker then your whole forest is on fire so eating healthier or trying to lose weight are not going to save you in the long run.  There are various resources out there to help you to stop smoking from various products to support groups but none of these will help unless you are willing to take the first step and really want to quit.  Stopsmokingshotguide.com was one website that offered information on quitting smoking but look around your local area for support groups or products that will work for you.  It won’t kill you to quit but it will kill you to keep smoking.

In parts I and II, we learned about sugar, fats, carbohydrates, and smoking but what about exercise and goals?  Good nutrition is great but what is the overall picture?  Part III – Goals, Exercise and the Overall Picture will discuss all of this.  Nutritionist David Meinz claims that it is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s that matters, but rather, what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas!  He speaks to state and national associations and corporations and is a frequent guest on radio and television.  David’s formal education includes a Master’s Degree (MS) in Human Nutrition from the University of Missouri, and a status as a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Fellow in the American Dietetic Association (FADA).  He is also a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) in the National Speaker’s Association.  Our team was lucky enough to attend a continuing education seminar hosted by the Mile High Dental Study Club were David Meinz was the speaker.  Part III concludes the information that I learned during that seminar.

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