Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nutrition Guidelines For Reversing Heart Disease, Weight Loss and General Great Health

Fat — No more than 10% of calories are from fat. This is achieved by not adding any fats, oils, seeds, nuts, avocados, coconut and olives to a mostly plant-based diet. The 10% of calories from fat comes from fat that occurs naturally in grains, vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes and soy foods.

Cholesterol — No more than 10 milligrams of cholesterol per day. To meet this goal, non-fat dairy products are limited to 2 servings per day. Non-fat dairy products are optional. Soy products can be used instead of dairy products because they are cholesterol free.

Animal Products — Meat, poultry, fish and any products made from these foods are eliminated. Non-fat dairy foods (no more than 2 servings/day) and egg whites are included.

Calories — Unrestricted unless weight loss is desired. Small frequent meals spread throughout the day help avoid hunger and keep energy levels constant. Portion control will assist in reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight and controlling blood sugar levels.

Sugar — Permitted in moderation. No more than 2 servings/day including non-fat sweets. A serving is equivalent to 1 tablespoon or 12 grams of sugar.

Caffeine — None allowed, including regular and decaffeinated coffees and teas, chocolate, cocoa, and regular or decaffeinated dark colas, with the exception of green tea. Green tea is allowed because, although it has some caffeine, it is rich in polyphenols, which are potent
antioxidants. People with arrhythmia should consult their doctor before consuming any caffeinated beverage. Naturally caffeine-free herbal teas, grain-based coffees (i.e. Postum, Caffix and Roma), carob powder, Sprite, 7-Up or Ginger Ale are suggested as alternatives.

Sodium — Moderate salt use, unless medically indicated otherwise.

Alcohol — Allowed in small amounts but not encouraged. If consumed, enjoy one serving a day: 1.5 ounces liquor, 4 ounces wine or 12 ounces beer.

Soy — One serving per day of a “full-fat” soy food. A full-fat soy food is one that contains greater than 3 grams of fat per serving, with none of the fat coming from added fats or oils. Always read the label for portion sizes and ingredient content.

Supplements — A low dose multivitamin and mineral supplement with B-12 (without iron, if not of childbearing age), fish oil and, possibly upon the advice of a physician, calcium supplements. Antioxidant vitamins and folic acid are optional and are based on health history and nutritional intake of these nutrients.

Guidelines for Prevention of Heart Disease

The guidelines for Prevention are very similar to those above with a few modifications.

Healthy individuals, who want to prevent disease and achieve or maintain a healthy weight, can add some of the following to their diet.

Higher fat-foods, such as nuts and avocados and plant oils low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. canola oil) can be added occasionally.

Non-fat dairy products and egg whites can be included to provide excellent-quality protein and important vitamins

However, if you are working toward losing weight and sustaining a healthier, target weight, these allowances could also be sources of unwanted calories and fat. Remember to keep your meals balanced and varied so as to keep your diet both interesting and delicious. If you follow the program outlined here, you are likely to reach a more naturally healthy weight.

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**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.