‘Bad’ Fat May Hurt Brain Function Over Time

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) — Women who eat a lot of “bad”  saturated fat may hurt their overall brain function and memory over time,  Harvard University researchers report.

In contrast, eating more “good” monounsaturated fat improved brain  function and memory, suggesting that fats may have the same effect on the  brain as they do on the heart, the researchers added.

“Making changes and substitutions in one’s diet to eat fewer saturated  fats and consume more monounsaturated fats might be a way to help prevent  cognitive decline in older people,” said lead researcher Dr. Olivia  Okereke, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  “This is important because cognitive decline affects millions of older  people. So, this is a promising area of research.”

Just like exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking,  this may be another modifiable factor in the fight against mental decline,  Okereke added.

“Such modifiable factors are important because these are things that  people can actually change and over which they can exert some individual control,”  she said.

The report was published in the May 18 online edition of the Annals  of Neurology.

For the study, Okereke’s team collected data on 6,000 women who took  part in the U.S. Women’s Health Study.

These women took three brain function tests every two years over an  average span of four years.

In addition, they filled out detailed food questionnaires at the start  of the study and before the brain tests.

The researchers found that over time, women who ate the highest amounts  of saturated fat had the worst overall brain function and memory, compared  to the women who ate the least.

Moreover, women who ate the most monounsaturated fats had higher scores  on brain tests over the four years of testing, they note.

Saturated fat comes from animal fats such as red meat and butter, while  monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil and other vegetable  products.

In the study, the researchers accounted for many things that could  influence the findings, including age, education, exercise, smoking,  drinking, medication use and health conditions. This is done to ensure  that the findings are not due to better health behaviors among certain  women.

“We think it is unlikely that these findings regarding dietary fat  would be primarily explained by a healthy lifestyle in those with more  education,” Okereke said.

Although this study was among women, “it would make sense that the  basic underlying reasons for the findings we saw in women should also  apply to men,” she added.

Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist, exercise physiologist and  clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin  Hospital in Derby, Conn., commented that “it appears that the effects of  eating a lot of saturated fat and the foods associated with it, such as  red and processed meats, cheese and butter, over time creates a cascade  effect of ill-health.”

This study supports others that have found an association between  saturated fats, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and an increased  decline in brain function, she said.

“Saturated fat has been associated with an increased risk of  atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes, and may increase fat storage in your  abdomen — commonly referred to as ‘ab flab,'” Heller said.

“Ab flab in and of itself increases the risk for heart disease,  diabetes, certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

The evidence is stacking up against consuming saturated fat regularly,  Heller said.

“To lower your intake of saturated fat, choose low or nonfat dairy  foods such as fat-free milk and yogurt. Stick with skinless poultry and  fish. Limit red and processed meats such as beef, pork, lamb, hot dogs or  bologna, to a few times a month. Experiment with meatless meals such as  veggie burgers, spinach-eggplant lasagna, or black bean, corn and avocado  tacos,” she advised

Alzheimer, Alzheimer’s disease, Annals of Neurology, Fat, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Health, Monounsaturated fat, Saturated fat

Fat In Foods: 7 Eats With More Fat Than A Stick Of Butter

Reblogged:from Huffington Post                                                                                                                       You wouldn’t sit down to dinner at your favorite restaurant and order a stick of butter a la carte. You’re too smart for that — you know there’d be lots of calories and little nutrients and, most of all, lots and lots of fat.

But some of the cheesy entries and meaty meals you’re ordering are packed with just as much fat — or more. There’s a total of 92 grams of fat in a stick of butter, much more than the maximum amount recommended for an entire day on a healthy diet.

The Dietary Guidelines For Americans recommend limiting fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories. (A gram of fat provides 9 calories.) For a 2,000- calorie -a-day diet, that means anywhere from 44 to 78 grams of fat a day won’t push you over the edge. Most Americans don’t have to worry about not getting enough fat; in fact, our diets are too heavy in saturated and trans fats and skimpy on the healthy, unsaturated kind, found in good-for-you foods like fish, olive oil and nuts.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to find foods — especially on the menus of your favorite chain restaurants — that trample those daily fat recommendations in one fell swoop. Here are seven of the worst offenders. Let us know in the comments what other fat traps you’ve spotted — or even eaten!    When health experts say to eat fish a couple of times a week, they don’t mean any and all fish.
Not only are certain types healthier for you (and the environment), but how the fish is prepared also makes a big difference, with fried dishes of course being the worst offenders.
No one expects fish and chips to be a healthy choice, but Applebee’s New England Fish & Chips has a jaw-dropping 138 grams of fat, about the same as one and a half sticks of butter and more than enough fat for three days.                                                                                                  diet, Health, Human nutrition, Nutrition, Butter, Calorie, Diet food, Gram, Olive oil, Saturated fat, Fat, Trans fat, Applebee, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, fat in food, fats in food, fatty foods, fat food

Find the Right Diet for You

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...
Image via Wikipedia

Reblogged:from Huffington Post (health living)

That’s Fit is here to help you reach your weight loss goals!We’ve developed three different meal plans in partnership with the American Dietetic Association to fit your lifestyle, goals and preferences. Whether you’re looking to drop a few extra pounds from the holiday or trying to end a long-time battle with the scale, we’ve got the right diet plan for you.
Using our simple guide below, determine which plan fits your needs best, then click to get a complete one-week meal plan with recipes, tips and more.
The Portion Control Meal Plan is right for you if …

  • Cutting back on the amount of food you eat is your biggest challenge when trying to lose weight.
  • You don’t want to be limited to certain foods.
  • You’re looking for steady, long-term weight loss.

Click here for the complete Portion Control Meal Plan
The Low-Carb Meal Plan is right for you if …

  • Avoiding breads, pasta and other refined carbs is your biggest challenge when trying to lose weight.
  • You want to see results quickly.
  • You want to increase your energy.

Click here for the complete Low-Carb Meal Plan

The Mediterranean style Meal Plan is right for you if …

Cholesterol the good and the bad

High cholesterol?
High cholesterol? (Photo credit: Boy27wonder)

 Reblogged:from Smart Balance.com                       The good, the bad, and the difference

Cholesterol is a wax-like substance produced by your liver and found in all parts of your body. It is also present in foods, particularly meats, highfat dairy products, egg yolks and certain fish. Your cholesterol level is measured with a simple blood test that breaks down the amount into three categories:

Low density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) builds up on artery walls and can cause cardiovascular disease. Levels under 100mg are optimal, and under 129mg is very good. • High density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol) carries LDL out of the blood and keeps it from accumulating on artery walls. Levels of 60mg or more are considered protective of heart health. • Total cholesterol is the combination of LDL, HDL, VLDL and other density lipoproteins found in the blood. Ideally this number should be under 200.To optimize your cardiovascular health, you should strive to keep your total cholesterol levels as low as possible and balance your LDL and HDL as much as possible. In addition to reducing your intake of foods high in saturated fats, you should try to eat heart-healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthier blends of fat like those blends contained in Smart Balance® Buttery Spreads.   Our unique blend of fats has been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels when eaten as part of the Smart Balance™ Food Plan.1  Regular exercise and a healthy weight also can help you take control of your cholesterol.  Please see the nutrition information of each Smart Balance® Buttery Spread for fat and saturated fat content.                                                                                                                                                Blood vessel, Calorie, Cholesterol, Dieting, dieting programs, Eating, Fat, Fitness, Food, Health, High-density lipoprotein, Human nutrition, Low-density lipoprotein, Portion control (dieting), Saturated fat, Serving size, Top Weight loss, Very low-density lipoprotein, Weight, weight loss, Weight Loss Tips, weight tips