A diet high in fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol, contributes to elevated blood cholesterol levels in many people. For many, eating diets lower in saturated fat and cholesterol reduces high blood cholesterol levels. Adults over the age of 30 should have a serum cholesterol level of under 200 mg/dL. Health experts agree that less than 30% of our total calories per day should come from fat. Reducing dietary fat is also a good way to limit calories. Decreased fat intake results in fewer calories without a reduction in most nutrients. All types of fat provide 9 calories per gram. Fats come from animal and vegetable sources such as meat, milk, cream, butter and cheese. Cooking oils, salad dressings, and nuts are also dietary sources of fats.
There are 13 vitamins, and they fall into one of two categories: fat soluble and water soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins are vitamins the body can store (in fat). Excess amounts may have toxic effects.
Fat soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K.
Vitamin A - Vitamin A is involved in the formation of and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Vitamin A helps us to see in dim light and is necessary for proper bone growth, tooth development, and reproduction. Good sources of vitamin A include yellow, orange, dark-green vegetables, and fruits, as well as, liver, eggs, cheese, butter, and milk.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D promotes calcium and phosphorous absorption and is required for the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Good sources include fortified milk, egg yolk, liver, tuna, and cod liver oil. Vitamin D is produced in the body on exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin E - Vitamin E protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells and prevents breakdown of body tissues. Good sources include vegetable oils, fortified cereals, whole grain cereals and bread, nuts, wheat germ, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin K - Vitamin K includes a group of vitamins that promote normal clotting of the blood and helps maintain normal liver functions. Good sources are green leafy vegetables, liver, soybean, and other vegetable products. 8-2 Water Soluble Vitamins Water soluble vitamins include vitamin C, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin. For the most part, water soluble vitamins are not stored. Thus, they should be taken in adequate amounts each day.
Minerals are inorganic compounds that are necessary in very small amounts for proper growth, development, and overall health. They make up a major portion of bones and teeth, making them rigid in their composition. Some of the major minerals are calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
The food guide pyramid (fig. 8-1) emphasizes foods from the five food groups shown in the sections of the pyramid. Each of these groups provide some, but not all, of the nutrients we need. For good health we need them all.
The food pyramid graphically communicates the message of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Diets should be built upon a base of complex carbohydrates and less fats. The placement of the food groups starting at the base of the pyramid conveys the current recommendations. These recommendations are as follows:
Eat more grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Eat moderate amounts of lean meats and dairy foods.
Use sweets, fats, and oils sparingly.
It is recommended that you eat a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. Your diet should consist of at least 5 combined servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Avoid added fat when possible. Eat at regular intervals when possible, and avoid snacking late at night. For detailed information on nutrition, consult Navy Nutrition and Weight Control Guide, NAVPERS 15602; and the Fat, Cholesterol and Calorie List for General Messes, NAVSUP 580.Continue Reading