Watch Your Cholesterol Level
A high cholesterol level leads to hardening of arteries, which in turn, may lead to heart disease or attack. Keep your intake of food healthy, limit the amount of sugar you eat, and have your cholesterol checked. If it is higher than 200, ask your doctor for ways to reduce it.
If you think about losing weight, more importantly than weight is the amount of body fat you are carrying around. This fat is measured with what is called Body Mass Index, or BMI. For women, if you are fit, your percent of fat should range from 21% to 31%. If you are in incredible shape, that could be as low as 10%. For men, fit should be between 14% and 25%, and excellent shape, as low as 2%.
If you want to calculate you?re the fat part of your body, write down how much you weigh (be honest ? no one will see this but you). Multiply your weight by 703. Next, write down your height, in inches. Multiply by that same number. Then you will divide your weight number by your height number. That is your BMI. For example, if your weight were 150 pounds x 703, your weight answer would be 105,450. If your height is 5?4?, that would be 64 inches x 64 for a total of 4,096. Taking the 105,450 divided by 4,096, you come out with a BMI of 25.7.
Read Food Labels Carefully
You should get into a habit of reading the labels on food. While they may have messages such as ?Low Fat? or ?Reduced Calorie? written all over the front of the package or can, when you read the label and understand what you are looking for, you will probably be surprised. Regardless of what the claim may be, the label may tell another story. The FDA provides these important guidelines, therefore, should be what you look for. If the message and label do not jive, move on to a different product.
?Low Cholesterol: 20 mg or less cholesterol per serving and 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving
?Cholesterol-Free: Less than 2 mg cholesterol per serving, and 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving
?Sugar-Free: Less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving
?High-Fiber: 5 grams or more fiber per serving
?Less fat: 25% or less fat than the comparison food
?Low fat: 3 grams or less of fat per serving
?Light (fat): 50% or less of the fat than in the comparison food (ex: 50% less fat than our regular cheese)
?Fat-Free: Less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil
?Lean: Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 g of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per (100 gram) serving of meat, poultry or seafood
?Extra Lean: Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per (100 gram) serving of meat, poultry or seafood
?Saturated Fat Free: Less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat and 0.5 grams of trans-fatty acids per serving
?Low Sodium: 140 mg or less per serving
?Very Low Sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
?Sodium-Free or Salt-Free: Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
?Reduced Calorie: At least 25% fewer calories per serving than the comparison food
?Low Calorie: 40 calories or less per serving
?Light (calories): 1/3 fewer calories than the comparison food
About the Author: Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet marketer who likes to write about weight loss and fitness issues like diets for weight loss, see http://www.11-weight-loss.net/fitness_diet.htm as well as exercise and training, see http://www.11-weight-loss.net/workout.htm. Check out his website http://www.11-weight-loss.net.