Many of us consume more solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS) than we should and especially at this time of the year. As a result, our waistlines expand, because these foods contribute more to weight gain than any other source of calories. So as we head into the time when we make New Year’s resolutions let’s try and stay off the SoFAS and the sofa too.
Solid fats are found in fatty, animal-based foods, such as fatty meats, poultry skin and whole milk. They are also in foods prepared with shortening, butter, stick margarine and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, such as pastries and snacks. Added sugars are added to foods during processing or preparation or are consumed separately. Added sugars can be found under a variety of names including dextrose, fructose, honey, molasses and fruit juice concentrates.
Most of us should get no more than 150 to 300 calories per day from foods containing SoFAS, but the typical American consumes more than 800 calories a day from these. If not limited, the 800 excess calories could cause a person to gain 6 pounds in a month, which could lead to overweight and obesity issues, which have been linked to chronic health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Ways you can limit SoFAS in your diet
Replace foods containing solid fats with those containing polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats such as liquid vegetable oils and high plant-based foods. Examples of these include canola, olive, peanut and soybean oils and olives, avocados and a variety of nuts and seeds.
Select foods with little or no added sugar.
Eat more nutrient-dense foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood and lean cuts of meat and poultry.
Sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks are just some of the beverages high in added sugar. Replace these with water, fat-free milk, 100 percent fruit juices or unsweetened tea or coffee.
Save high-calorie desserts for special occasions such as holidays and birthdays.
More information on limiting SoFAS is available in the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension publication FCS3-576, Staying off the SoFAS: Ways to Limit Solid Fats and Added Sugars. It is available online at http://bit.ly/18GvItE or give us a call at the Extension office-845-2811.
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.