Monday, June 19, 2006

New AHA Guidelines

The American Heart Association issued new guidelines on trans fat, as well as many other recommendations. They recommend trans fats constitute less than 1% of the total calories consumed. The story has more of their recommendations, but I have reproduced some of them below with additional information from other sources:

  • Limiting trans fat: these are formed by combining liquid vegetable oil with hydrogen (hence partially hydrogenated oils) to form a solid. The problem? The solid oils clog up your arteries. (source)
  • Limiting saturated fats to no more than 7 percent of daily calories, down from the 10 percent formerly recommended and the 11 percent most Americans consume. The body in a strategy evolved from centuries of food scarcity stores saturated fat in your belly when the need should arise. Problem is, unless you plan to participate in some twisted new reality show, that need will probably arise, and instead the excess ab fat can kill you! (source) For more information on how fat works in the body, read this".
  • A half-hour of exercise a day. I can evangelize about this, having been a frequent victim to illness, until a daily exercize program has added a spring in my step. The founder of my university and a co-founder to the idea of America, Thomas Jefferson exhorted his students to spend two hours a day on the body to exercise the mind.
  • Adding little or no salt to food. Blood pressure causes an estimated two-thirds of all strokes in America, and about half of all heart attacks around the world. About 60 million Americans suffer from high BP. Most agencies studying the issue have recommended a maximum consumption of between 1100-2300 mg of sodium - the average American consumes 4,000 mg! (source)
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