How To Track Saturated Fat and Fiber on MyFitnessPal (MFP)
On My Fitness Pal, the default MFP settings allow you to see you many Calories, grams of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat in your daily diet.
It is advantageous to also track Saturated Fat intake and Fiber intake.
Go to Food< Settings
Track this for a few days and look at how you did.
The saturated fat goal for a 1200 calorie diet is less than 10 grams and 12 grams for a 1500 calorie diet. “Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke”. (American Heart Association).
Why Decrease Saturated Fat?
Eating a low-saturated fat diet is important for several health reasons:
1. **Heart Health**: High intake of saturated fats can lead to elevated levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. A low-saturated fat diet helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems.
2. **Reduced Risk of Stroke**: Excessive intake of saturated fats may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits build up in arteries, increasing the risk of stroke. A low-saturated fat diet can help mitigate this risk.
3. **Weight Management**: Saturated fats are calorie-dense, which means they provide a high number of calories in a small amount of food. Reducing saturated fat intake can be beneficial for weight management, as it can help control calorie consumption.
4. **Improved Blood Sugar Control**: Some studies suggest that diets low in saturated fat may help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.
5. **Lowered Risk of Certain Cancers**: While the relationship is complex and more research is needed, some studies suggest that a diet low in saturated fats may be associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast and colon cancer.
6. **Liver Health**: High consumption of saturated fats may contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver. A low-saturated fat diet can help protect liver health.
7. **Reduced Inflammation**: Excessive intake of saturated fats has been associated with increased inflammation in the body, which is linked to various chronic diseases. A low-saturated fat diet may help reduce inflammation and its negative health effects.
8. **Longer Lifespan**: Studies have suggested that diets low in saturated fat may be associated with a longer lifespan, possibly due to the positive effects on heart health and overall well-being.
It's important to note that while reducing saturated fat intake is beneficial for health, it's also crucial to replace these fats with healthier alternatives like unsaturated fats (found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil) for a balanced and nutritious diet. Always consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.
Remember, talk to a dietitian before making major dietary changes.
I'm a Dietitian and Master Personal Trainer who educates and inspires people LIKE YOU to shape their eating, exercise and lifestyle habits so that they can live their healthiest lives!
High Fiber Diet Associated with a Longer and Healthier Life
Yes, there is evidence to suggest that a high-fiber diet is associated with a longer and healthier life. Consuming a diet rich in dietary fiber has been linked to several health benefits that can contribute to longevity. Here are some reasons why a high-fiber diet is thought to promote longevity:
Heart Health: High-fiber diets are often associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber can help lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and improve overall cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Digestive Health: Dietary fiber promotes regular bowel movements and helps prevent constipation. It can also contribute to a healthy gut microbiome, which is linked to various aspects of health, including immune function.
Blood Sugar Control: Fiber-rich foods can help regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Stable blood sugar levels are associated with better long-term health.
Weight Management: High-fiber foods are often less calorie-dense and can help you feel full and satisfied. This can aid in weight management and obesity prevention.
Colon Health: A diet rich in fiber has been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and can help remove potentially harmful compounds from the colon.
Inflammation Reduction: Dietary fiber has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases, which are linked to various health issues.
Longevity Factors: A high-fiber diet often includes nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and longevity.
It's important to note that different types of fiber have varying effects on health. Soluble fiber, found in foods like oats, beans, and fruits, can have specific benefits for heart health and blood sugar regulation. Insoluble fiber, found in foods like whole grains and vegetables, supports digestive health and regularity.
To incorporate more fiber into your diet, focus on whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Gradually increasing your fiber intake can help your digestive system adjust to the changes. As always, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that you're meeting your nutritional needs and considering any individual health concerns.
Also Track Fiber Intake
I also sugggest tracking your fiber. High dietary fiber intake is associated with a reduced risk of mortality from CVD and all cancers. These results support the current recommendation that high dietary fiber intake should be part of a healthy diet. meta-analysis study here: PMID: 26711548
I recommend to my clients that women should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat
Why? A high fiber intake indicates you are eating a lot of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
A high-fiber diet promotes long life by improving digestive health, regulating blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. It also aids in weight management, supports a healthy gut microbiome, and boosts immune function.
According to a report on the largest study of vegetarians and vegans to date, those eating plant-based diets appear to have a significantly longer life expectancy.
How much longer life expectancy? Nearly a decade of extra life — that's what you get when you move away from eating animal foods and toward a plant-based diet. This is really exciting science for anyone seeking a healthy long life.
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