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                      What is fast food's role - Fat Yes / No / Maybe

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                                                              By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
                                                              Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Concluding that both high fat and low fat diets can be unhealthy, the Institute of Medicine is issuing new guidelines for healthy eating that offer Americans more flexibility in balancing the good fats and carbohydrates.

And in its report issued Thursday the Institute calls for at least an hour of daily physical activity, twice the amount suggested in a 1996 report from the surgeon general.

The previously recommended half-hour of exercise is insufficient to maintain recommended weight in adults, the study concluded.

Instead, it urged a total of 60 minutes of moderate activity, such as swimming, brisk walking or jogging, to both maintain weight and obtain other health benefits.

The same amount was recommended for children and comes at a time when worry is increasing about the large number of obese youths.

Indeed, former Surgeon General David Satcher has organized a national summit of health and education experts next month to discuss ways to trim the excess fat from young people.

In its dietary recommendations, the Institute edged away from previous guidelines that called for getting 50 percent or more of calories from carbohydrates and 30 percent or less from fat. By replacing the word fat and installing (good fats in its place) monounsaturated fats and  Polyunsaturated.

"We established ranges for fat, carbohydrates and protein because they must be considered together," said Joanne Lupton, professor of nutrition at Texas A&M University, chair of the committee that prepared the recommendations.

The Institute, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, said that because fats, carbohydrates and protein can all serve as sources of energy they can, to some extent, substitute for one another in providing calories.

The newly recommended guidelines call for getting 45 percent to 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent to 35 percent from fat and 10 percent to 35 percent from protein. The protein recommendation is the same as in the past.

Lupton noted that studies have shown that when people eat very low levels of fat and very high levels of carbohydrates their so-called good cholesterol declines. Good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, can reduce the likelihood of heart attack; so this would not be a good thing.

On the other hand, she added, high-fat diets, (absent the monounsaturated fats and  Polyunsaturated type of fats) can lead to obesity and its dangerous for health.

The report is one of a series updating the dietary guidelines issued by the Institute in 1989. It is based on a review of thousands of studies of the effects of consumption of bad fats, protein and carbohydrates and the potential relationship with various diseases.

The study noted that good fats (monounsaturated fats and  Polyunsaturated) is a major source of energy in the diet, but urged avoiding saturated fats and trans-fatty acids as much as possible because they can increase the risk of heart disease.

The main sources of saturated fats are baked goods, meat and full-fat dairy products. In our view, dairy should be eliminated from the diet, because it is both a carbohydrate and a protein and the body has great difficulty digesting the two together.

Trans-fatty acids, often found in cookies, crackers and meats also pose a health risk. The Institute recommended in a report released earlier;  that trans-fatty acids be listed on food product labels so people can reduce their intake.

The report includes recommendations for daily intake of fiber, noting that diets low in fiber have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Adding fiber to the diet may also decrease likelihood of colon cancer, the study noted.

For adults under age 50 the report recommends a daily intake of 38 grams of fiber for men and 25 grams for women. Over age 50 the recommendations are 30 grams for men and 21 grams for women.

The National Academy of Sciences is an independent organization chartered by Congress to provide guidance to the government in scientific issues.

New dietary guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine estimate the daily energy requirements, in calories, for people of various sizes and levels of activity.

Five-feet-one-inch, 98 to 132 pounds.
Women: sedentary, 1,688 to 1,834 calories; active, 2,104 to 2,290 calories.
Men: sedentary, 1,919 to 2,167 calories; active, 2,104 to 2,290 calories.


Five-feet-five, up to 150 pounds.
Women: sedentary, 1,816 to 1,982 calories; active, 2,267 to 2,477 calories.
Men: sedentary, 2,068 to 2,349 calories; active, 2,490 to 2,842 calories.


Five-feet-nine, 125 to 169 pounds.
Women: sedentary, 1,948 to 2,134 calories; active, 2,434 to 2,670 calories.
Men: sedentary, 2,222 to 2,538 calories; active, 2,683 to 3,078 calories.


Six-feet-one, 139 to 188 pounds.
Women: sedentary, 2,083 to 2,290 calories; active, 2,605 to 2,869 calories.
Men: sedentary, 2,382 to 2,736 calories; active, 2,883 to 3,325 calories.


Believe it or not, more and more fast food places are beginning to offer healthier meals that can be worked into your meal plan if you’re in a bind. But remember they are loaded with trans-fats and must be limited to maybe once per week, trying all the time to cut them out totally.

Taco Bell:

* Chicken/steak soft taco (190 calories; 7 fat grams)

* Beef soft taco (210 calories; 10 fat grams)

* Bean burrito (370 calories; 12 fat grams)

* Fiesta chicken burrito (370 calories; 12 fat grams)

* Cinnamon twists (150 calories; 4.5 fat grams)

**Note: Keep in mind that if you eliminate the cheese and sour cream, you will be cutting back on calories and trans-fat (g).**


* Low-fat apple bran muffin (300 calories; 3 fat grams)

* Hotcakes plain/with margarine and syrup (340/600 calories; 8/17 fat grams)

* Chicken McGrill (340 calories; 7 fat grams)

* Plain Hamburger (270 calories; 9 fat grams)

* Grilled chicken Caesar salad (100 calories; 2.5 fat grams)

* Chef salad (150 calories; 8 fat grams)

* Fat free herb vinaigrette (30 calories; 0 fat grams)

* Vanilla reduced-fat ice cream cone (150 calories; 4.5 fat grams)

**Order regular size even if they try and entice you by saying, “It’s only $1.00 more for the size up.”**


* Grilled chicken sandwich (310 calories; 8 fat grams)

* Plain hamburger (360 calories; 16 fat grams)

* Spicy chicken sandwich (410 calories; 15 fat grams)

* Deluxe garden salad (100 calories; 6 fat grams)

* Grilled chicken salad (200 calories; 8 fat grams)

* Garden veggie pita (400 calories; 17 fat grams)

* Plain bake potato (310 calories; 0 fat grams)

* Small chili (210 calories; 7 fat grams)

**Choose low-fat/fat-free dressings and ask for it on the side. Eliminate mayo, opt for ketchup or mustard instead.**

Pizza Hut:

* Cheese slice (240 calories; 10 fat grams)

* Veggie lover’s slice (220 calories; 8 fat grams)

* Chicken supreme slice (230 calories; 7 fat grams)

* Spaghetti with marinara sauce (490 calories; 6 fat grams)

**Dab some extra oil off a slice with a napkin. Order or take some of the cheese off. Order thin crust, rather than stuffed. **


* 6” turkey breast sandwich (254 calories; 3.5 fat grams)

* 6” veggie delight sandwich (200 calories; 2.5 fat grams)

* 6” ham sandwich (261 calories; 4.5 fat grams)

* Roasted chicken breast salad (137 calories; 3 fat grams)

**Order without mayo, opt for vinegar and a little bit of oil or mustard. If you want a bag of chips, choose Bake Lay’s or pretzels.**

So next time you’re on the run and your dining options are limited, just follow these basic guidelines along with the others listed above and you can eat pretty much anywhere:

Eat in moderation (regular size). Don’t overindulge.

Drink plenty of water rather than soda, choose diet if you must have soda.

Don’t add on too much extra fat (mayo, dressing, cheese).

Avoid fried foods.


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The statements enclosed herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for educational purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your family doctor.