This diet check will help you figure out if you're one of the many people whose diet is too high in fat and cholesterol. According to recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, American men and women consume about 33 percent of calories from fat, and about 11 percent comes from saturated fat. During those same years, dietary cholesterol averaged 341 mg for men and 242 mg for women.
The average American adult consumes too much saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, and probably too much from trans fat as well! To get a general idea of whether your diet is high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, read through the following list and mark each statement that applies to you.
|You frequently eat hamburger, pork chops, luncheon meats, ham, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, or ribs.|
|You eat fast foods, including French fries, regularly.
|You frequently eat hard cheeses, processed cheese, and cheese spreads.
|You eat more than three to four egg yolks a week. (If your blood-cholesterol level is not elevated, this should not be a concern.)|
|You drink whole milk or use half-and-half.
|You use butter often.
|You frequently eat full-fat ice cream.
|You eat the skin along with the chicken.
|You prefer your vegetables to be fried, buttered, creamed, or served with cheese sauce.|
|You eat foods cooked in bacon grease or pan drippings from meats.
|You eat stick margarine rather than trans-fat-free margarine.
|You frequently eat commercially prepared baked goods, such as pastries, doughnuts, pies, cakes, and other processed foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils.|
Each of these statements indicates a food choice that is high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, or a combination of the three. Ideally, none of these statements will apply to you. On the other hand, the more statements that do apply, the more changes you'll likely need to make to improve the quality of your diet.
Now that you know you need to down on fat, you may have to train yourself not to desire it. The next page explains the fat appetite and how to control it.
For more information about losing weight, see:
- 10 Ways to Eat Healthier: Developing good eating habits is as much about making lifestyle changes as it is learning about food. Get started on the road to better eating.
- How Cholesterol Works: Cholesterol is essential to the body. Find out why we need it and how much is too much.