Guidelines Related to Reducing Fat


Diets high in fat and low in fibre are linked to increased risk of many chronic diseases or conditions such as heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, and obesity.  People consuming low fibre diets are more likely to suffer from constipation, particularly older adults, and have a greater chance of getting intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and hemorrhoids.


The first three guidelines of Canadaís Food Guide to Healthy Eating are designed to help you reduce the amount of fat you eat:



        Enjoy a variety of foods.


        Emphasize cereals, breads, other grain products, vegetables and fruits.


        Choose lower fat dairy products, leaner meats, and foods prepared with little or no fat.


Currently, Canadians consume 38% of a dayís calories from fat.  The recommended level is no more than 30% of calories from fat.  For the average man and woman under 50 years of age, this represents a maximum of 90 g/day and 65 g/day of fat, respectively.  In the older adults, caloric needs are typically lower.  Based on a daily caloric intake of 2300 kcal for an older man and 1800 kcal for an older woman, these maximum fat intakes would be closer 75 g/day and 60 g/day, respectively.


Fat is essential for life and canít be totally eliminated from a healthy diet.  Fat helps to regulate hormones, assists in the absorption and transport of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and provides insulation for our body.


The second guideline is designed to increase our dietary fibre intake.  Current recommendations suggest that all adults eat 25-35 g of fibre per day, but the average Canadian adult only consumes 10-12 g/day.  Because most high fibre foods are naturally lower in fat, it is possible to accomplish both goals at once.  In fact, dietary fibre alone has very little or no calories depending on the type of fibre in the food.  In contrast, each gram of fat supplies 9 kcal.







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