Let's Take a Walk

Walking is great for opening one’s mind to think and to dream. Walking is great with a friend and leads to wonderful conversation. Walking is a great way to explore. Walking takes you places. Let’s go Walking.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Getting the Fat Out

Besides my regular workout routine every day, I am trying to continue to improve my diet.  I cut out added sugar years ago (e.g. no more soft drinks or sports drinks and added more fruits, veggies and legumes).  Now I am working at reducing fat.  I avoid processed food.  I cut meat and dairy way back, reduced oil in cooking, eliminated salad dressing and no fried foods including French fries.  I now consume a mostly a plant based diet: fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and nuts.  I eat small amounts of meat and cheese four or five times a week.  I now must work to reduce my favorite fat sources: dark chocolate (75% fat), avocados / guacamole (67% fat) and nuts (67% fat).  Getting the fat out is hard.

I have been working hard to reduce fat from my diet. It is not easy. Fat seems to be everywhere. No wonder we have cardio-vascular disease and cognitive decline as we get older. However, I am having success if the reduction if my recent cholesterol numbers is an indication (down 24 points from my last check and way south of 200;  I have never been over 200.).

The big things are greatly reducing meat and dairy consumption plus eliminating all fried foods. Salad dressings are a no-no since they are mostly fat. One must also avoid added cooking oils. Of course, processed foods and junk foods are also a big source of too much fat. This leaves mostly a plant based diet. However, some plants based foods contain high levels of fat so ones needs to be careful not to eat too much of them. These high-fat plant based foods include dark chocolate (my favorite), avocados (guacamole), olives, nuts and seeds (even flax seed is over 60% fat).

We need some fat in our diets.  The “Forks Over Knives” doctors, T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, recommend a diet with only 10% fat.  Their diet is a 100% plant based diet.  A 10% target may be appropriate if you have a cardio-vascular disease.   I think a reasonably target is 20% for healthy people.  This allows me to enjoy some dark chocolate, avocados and meat occasionally.  The “Vegan Before 6” approach Mark Bittman wrote about in a new book might be another way to reduce fat in a diet.   What I am sure about is the 30% to 40% fat in the typical American diet is way too much and is due mostly to the big meat portions, processed foods and not enough fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Good luck getting the fat out.

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