Are you overweight? The best way to tell is by measuring your per cent body fat, either by specific gravity determination or by measuring skinfold thickness. Underwater weighing and total body volumetric techniques are used in research centres to measure specific gravity, whereas calliper is more commonly used to measure skinfold thickness. Yet a good indicator of your per cent body fat is whether your tendency while swimming is to sink or float. Remember, fat floats and muscle sinks!
Basically there are two types of obesity.
The first is the obesity of early-onset – obesity that begins in childhood and results in a marked increase in the total number of fat cells. Early-onset obesity accounts for only a small percentage of all obesity, but it is extremely difficult to treat, especially in later life.
The second and most common type of obesity is adult-onset obesity, which is marked, not by an increased number of fat cells, but by an increase in the size of existing fat cells. People with adult-onset obesity gain weight simply because of the caloric intake of the food they eat exceeds the calories used in their routine daily activities.
Safe Maintenance Diet For Your Heart
Once you’ve lowered your weight to the point where both you and your physician are happy about it, you’ll still be concerned with keeping the blood-serum risk factors at acceptable levels. Here are some recommendations that you should study carefully:Read labels on packaged foods, since many foods are vague as to their content. For example, non-diary cream substitutes sound good, but they usually contain coconut oil, which is saturated vegetable fat.
- Foods can be prepared using certain amounts and types of fat. For example, a cream soup prepared with skim milk, vegetable, and corn oil margarine is acceptable, as is fish broiled with a teaspoon of corn oil margarine and other seasonings.
- Meat should be prepared by first trimming off all visible fat before cooking. Then place the meat on a rack and bake, broil, or roast. The remaining fat will drain from the cooking meat.
- Use a non-stick coated pan for pan-frying.
- Use fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices without sugar added.
- Vegetables may be baked, boiled, broiled, or steamed. To retain maximum vitamin and mineral content, do not overcook.
The Problem Foods
Refined Sugars – As we’ve just noted, many of the diets avoid refined sugars. There is also the possibility that dietary sugar may stimulate the liver to produce more cholesterol.
There is “yo-yo” mechanism, which is activated because sucrose is quickly converted into glucose and quickly gets into your bloodstream. For a short period this may produce a feeling “quick energy”, but as this is happening your pancreas is turning out a rush of insulin to metabolize the elevated sugar – so that the level that was up comes rapidly down. In some cases, there are symptoms of dizziness, light-headedness, and near fainting noted with this rebound phenomenon, which usually are transient.
High Purine Foods – Some foods are high in the purines can elevate blood levels of uric acid – a coronary risk factor, Other foods, such as alcohol, stimulate the body to produce higher levels of uric acid, which creates the same problem.
Weight reduction does help lower uric acid, as does aerobic exercise. Care must be taken, though, to avoid a crash diet, since destruction of body cells involved in abrupt weight loss will release cellular purine and increase the uric acid level, aggravating the condition rather than helping.
Alcohol – Of all the problem foods, alcohol is the only one that’s regularly discussed on a moral as well as a medical level. And in fact, the radical behavior changes produced by excessive alcohol intake can damage far more a man or woman and his or her family than can a whole host of disease. Moreover, a person who is a chronic alcoholic will nearly always have some serious nutritional deficiency, since alcohol destroys many essential nutrients, especially the B vitamins.
Finally, regular intake of large amounts of alcohol has a cumulative effect on the tissues and organs of the body. It disrupts the mechanism of glucose metabolism, so that the brain tissue may become glucose-deprived and become dependent on alcohol as a substitute.