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CSPI's (fat) savings plan.

Don't tell me. You don't know what percent of your calories come from fat or saturated fat?

Here's how to figure it out: Just keep a food diary of everything you eat for seven days. Not just what you eat, but exactly how much (was that one ounce of cheese or two?). And don't forget to include each of the ingredients in restaurant meals, too (how much onion and celery was in that Chow Mein?).

Then plug it all into CSPI's Nutrition Wizard--that actually is easy--or simply look up all the calorie counts and grams of fat in a nutrition handbook. (The USDA has a 21-volume set for $150, but it doesn't have brand names. You'll have to look on labels--or write to companies--for those, but they probably won't have saturated fat. Sorry.)

Once you've got all those numbers, multiply the grams of fat (or saturated fat) by 9, divide by the total calories, multiply by 100, and presto! You can tell your friends that YOU know what percent of your calories come from fat.

I've done it...eight years ago. And I'm planning to do it again (maybe when my one-year-old graduates from high school).

Rather than figure out how much fat you're eating, you can calculate the fat you're not eating when you make substitutions in your diet. It's less precise, but a lot easier. Here's how:
If you eat an You need to save:
"average" diet Total Saturated
and your age is: Fat (g) Fat (g)
 2-3 15 8
 4-10 21 10
 11-18 25 13
 19-50 49 20
 51+ 42 17
 11-14 28 14
 15-18 33 17
 19-50 65 25
 51+ 51 20

1. Find your "Fat Goals" by using this chart, which tells you how much fat or saturated fat needs to be cut from a typical American diet.

For example, most Americans get 40 percent of their calories from total fat (Nutrition Action readers probably do much better than that). We recommend that adults get 20 percent. For a 45-year-old man who eats 2,900 calories a day, that means getting 64 instead of 129 grams of fat a day--a difference of 65 grams.

Similarly, most Americans get 15 percent of their calories from saturated fat. We recommend that adults get 7 percent. For a 51-year-old woman who eats 1,900 calories a day, that means getting 15 instead of 32 grams of saturated fat a day--a difference of 17 grams.

The "goals" for youngsters are more lenient. Most experts recommend that children aged 2 to 18 cut their total fat to 30 percent and their saturated fat to 10 percent.

2. Using the chart at right, just put a check by the substitutions you're willing to make, and add up the savings until you reach your "goals." Do your saturated fat savings first, because that will cut much of your total fat automatically.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Center for Science in the Public Interest
Author:Liebman, Bonnie
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:Pound foolish?
Next Article:Frozen potatoes: playing the tuber.

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