Although 2006 more than a month old already, people remain focused on their New Year's resolutions. Topping the list is losing weight and improving nutrition.
As always, I am very interested in viewer e-mails. Many of you have questions about nutrition and the many myths about weight loss, and I will address these issues throughout the year. To start, I have asked New York City nutritionist Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N, of KKG Body Fuel to discuss what we've all been talking about this week--FAT IN OUR DIETS!!!!.
1. Now that a fat-blocking pill may be approved for over-the-counter use, what type of diet should people taking the drug be on?
A. A healthy diet! The last thing people should do is say 'I am on a fat blocking pill so I can eat whatever I want!'
If you are taking the pill, you should use it responsibly and follow a diet that is rich in vegetables, especially dark greens, contains adequate fiber from whole grains and fruits and vegetables, provides lean protein and healthy fat from foods like fatty fish, nuts and olive oil. If you are taking this medication, you should consult with your MD and discuss fat soluble vitamin intake, since these vitamins require fat for absorption in your body.
2. What are differences between 'good' fats and 'bad' fats?
A. The "bad" fats are saturated fats and trans and hydrogenated fats. These are "bad" because they increase our LDL (bad) cholesterol. You will find these fats in butter, whole fat dairy, fried foods, meat and many packaged and processed foods.
The "good" fats are mono-unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. They are "good" because they help raise HDL (good) cholesterol, lower LDL (bad) and even contain some antioxidants. Also, the essential fatty acids are "essential" because our bodies need them and we are unable to make them on our own!
You can find mono's and poly's in olive oil, canola oil and other vegetable oils such as safflower and sunflower oil, as well as in nuts and avocado. The essential fatty acids come from foods like fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts.
3. Are there any natural products that produce similar effects by blocking fat absorption?
A. Well, unfortunately, no! Fiber helps bind fatty acids, which help to lower cholesterol, but it does not block fat absorption. There are a couple of plant products that have been shown to reduce appetite. There is also a product on the market made from the outer skeleton of shellfish that may help block fat absorption.
My opinon? Eat right, exercise more, and stay away from pills!
4. What is the best diet for a woman trying to lose weight gained during pregnancy?
A. The most important thing is to replenish your body. It is very important to make sure you are getting your calcium, protein, dark greens, fiber and omega-3's, especially if you are breastfeeding. So, really a very well balanced diet with dark greens, lean protein, whole grains (fiber is very important for any diet, and especially for a post natal woman!), non-fat milk and yogurt, wild fish--especially salmon--and of course, healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado and nuts.
If you are breast feeding and have a history of peanut allergies, you may choose to stay away from peanut butter. All dieters and especially tired new moms need lots of fluid. Also, try to eat small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism revved and your energy up!!
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