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Avoid fast food to limit your intake of sugar and fat.
Diets high in sugar and fat can not only lead to weight gain, but could also be detrimental to your health and well-being. According to the American Heart Association, people tend to eat more sugar than they realize and many foods can contain hidden added sugars. As for fat, there are two types -- good fats and bad fats -- and while you need a certain amount of good fats, consuming too much total fat can still be detrimental, warns MayoClinic.com.
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, the equivalent of 355 calories, according to AmericanDiabetes.com. This is much higher than the recommended limit of 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men. A high-sugar diet increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure, notes dietitian Melissa Ohlson of the Cleveland Clinic. Sugar naturally occurs in sweet foods like fruit and dairy products, but the main culprits in high-sugar diets are soda, candy bars, sugary cereals and artificially sweetened products.
Eating too much fat increases your cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease and obesity. You do need some fat in your diet, but it should come mainly from unsaturated fats, notes MayoClinic.com. These are found in nuts, seeds, oily fish and healthy oils such as canola and olive oil. Saturated and trans fats are generally considered bad and are present in high amounts in junk foods, takeouts, fried foods and pastries.
Reducing Your Sugar and Fat Intake
To cut back on sugar, nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden recommends not adding any extra sugar to your foods, checking ingredient labels carefully for added sugars, eliminating fruit juice and being on the lookout for "fat-free" processed foods that often just substitute sugar for fat. To reduce your fat consumption, pick extra lean cuts of meat, go for non-fat or low-fat dairy products and avoid fatty condiments and dressings.
Speak with your doctor or a nutritionist if you're worried about your fat and sugar intake. In some circumstances, increasing your intake of fat and sugar may actually be beneficial. Athletes, for instance, need a higher intake of carbohydrates to fuel performance, so upping your intake of natural sugars from fruits and vegetables could be beneficial to your energy levels and recovery. Likewise, eating more healthy fats can be advantageous if you're attempting to gain weight, or have been on a long-term low-fat, low-calorie diet.