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(MOBILE VERSION OF FOOD OF VIETNAM)

                                Restaurant Dishes   

 Nutrition Information 

Drinks: 

Meals: Vietnamese

Sauces: 

Soups: 

Low Fat Low Calorie Healthy Vietnamese Recipes

Well, if you do concern about the nutritional & caloric values of what you eat, it would be interesting to you for visiting

 

Drinks: Vietnamese Coffee (hot)

Serving Size: 1 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 123
(Kilojoules 514)
    % DV**
Total Fat 3 g 5%
   Sat. Fat 2 g 10%
Cholesterol 13 mg 4%
Sodium 49 mg 2%
Total Carbs. 21 g 7%
   Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
   Sugars 20 g  
Protein 3 g  
Calcium 108 mg  
Potassium 142 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 27 cals (22%)
Carbs. 84 cals (68%)
Protein 12 cals (10%)

Meals: Banh Cuon (Steam Rice Sheet w. Pork)

Serving Size: 1 roll

Nutrition Facts
Calories 107
(Kilojoules 447)
    % DV**
Total Fat 7 g 11%
   Sat. Fat 1 g 5%
Cholesterol 12 mg 4%
Sodium 85 mg 4%
Total Carbs. 8 g 3%
   Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 3 g  
Calcium 3 mg  
Potassium 60 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 63 cals (59%)
Carbs. 32 cals (30%)
Protein 12 cals (11%)

Meals: Bo Nuong (beef satay)

Serving Size: 2 sticks

Nutrition Facts
Calories 265
(Kilojoules 1108)
    % DV**
Total Fat 9 g 14%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 4 g 1%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 37 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 81 cals (33%)
Carbs. 16 cals (7%)
Protein 148 cals (60%)

Meals: Bo Xao Dau Phong (ginger beef w. onion, fish sauce)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

Nutrition Facts
Calories 750
(Kilojoules 3135)
    % DV**
Total Fat 30 g 46%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 10 g 3%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 110 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 270 cals (36%)
Carbs. 40 cals (5%)
Protein 440 cals (59%)

Meals: Ca Chien Gung (whole snapper w. ginger)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

Nutrition Facts
Calories 600
(Kilojoules 2508)
    % DV**
Total Fat 16 g 25%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 6 g 2%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 108 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 144 cals (24%)
Carbs. 24 cals (4%)
Protein 432 cals (72%)


Meals: Canh Chay (vegetable & tofu soup)

Serving Size: 1 w dish

Nutrition Facts
Calories 80
(Kilojoules 334)
    % DV**
Total Fat 3 g 5%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 13 g 4%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 0 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 27 cals (34%)
Carbs. 52 cals (66%)
Protein 0 cals (0%)

Meals: Cari (Curry) Chicken w. Rice Noodle

Serving Size: 1cup curry with 1 cup noodle

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 675
(Kilojoules 2822)
    % DV**
Total Fat 29 g 45%
   Sat. Fat 13 g 65%
Cholesterol 119 mg 40%
Sodium 1362 mg 57%
Total Carbs. 60 g 20%
   Dietary Fiber 3 g 12%
   Sugars -  
Protein 40 g  
Calcium 60 mg  
Potassium 671 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 261 cals (39%)
Carbs. 240 cals (36%)
Protein 160 cals (24%)

Meals: Cari (Curry) Chicken w. Steamed Rice

Serving Size: 1 cup curry with 1 cup rice

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 660
(Kilojoules 2759)
    % DV**
Total Fat 29 g 45%
   Sat. Fat 13 g 65%
Cholesterol 119 mg 40%
Sodium 1332 mg 56%
Total Carbs. 55 g 18%
   Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
   Sugars -  
Protein 42 g  
Calcium 62 mg  
Potassium 672 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 261 cals (40%)
Carbs. 220 cals (34%)
Protein 168 cals (26%)

Meals: Cari (Curry) Chicken, no rice or noodles

Serving Size: 1 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 480
(Kilojoules 2006)
    % DV**
Total Fat 29 g 45%
   Sat. Fat 13 g 65%
Cholesterol 119 mg 40%
Sodium 1329 mg 55%
Total Carbs. 16 g 5%
   Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
   Sugars -  
Protein 38 g  
Calcium 53 mg  
Potassium 664 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 261 cals (55%)
Carbs. 64 cals (13%)
Protein 152 cals (32%)

Meals: Cuu Xao Lan (curried lamb, vegetables in coconut)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 900
(Kilojoules 3762)
    % DV**
Total Fat 40 g 62%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 80 g 27%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 55 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 360 cals (40%)
Carbs. 320 cals (36%)
Protein 220 cals (24%)

Meals: Ga Chien (crispy chicken, plum sauce)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 900
(Kilojoules 3762)
    % DV**
Total Fat 40 g 62%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 105 g 35%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 30 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 360 cals (40%)
Carbs. 420 cals (47%)
Protein 120 cals (13%)

Meals: Ga Nuong (chicken satay, sauce)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 240
(Kilojoules 1003)
    % DV**
Total Fat 10 g 15%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 4 g 1%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 33.5 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 90 cals (38%)
Carbs. 16 cals (7%)
Protein 134 cals (56%)

Meals: Ga Xao Rau (marinated chicken braised w. vegetables)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 800
(Kilojoules 3344)
    % DV**
Total Fat 26 g 40%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 100 g 33%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 41.5 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 234 cals (29%)
Carbs. 400 cals (50%)
Protein 166 cals (21%)

Meals: Gio Lua (Lean Pork Pie)

Serving Size: 1/6 of a pie

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 260
(Kilojoules 1087)
    % DV**
Total Fat 12 g 18%
   Sat. Fat 5 g 25%
Cholesterol 83 mg 28%
Sodium 3881 mg 162%
Total Carbs. 0 g 0%
   Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 34 g  
Calcium 12 mg  
Potassium 626 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 108 cals (44%)
Carbs. 0 cals (0%)
Protein 136 cals (56%)

Meals: Goi Cuon (Cold Spring Rolls)

Serving Size: 1 roll

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 60
(Kilojoules 251)
    % DV**
Total Fat 1 g 2%
   Sat. Fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 22 mg 7%
Sodium 48 mg 2%
Total Carbs. 7 g 2%
   Dietary Fiber 1 g 4%
   Sugars -  
Protein 6 g  
Calcium 21 mg  
Potassium 156 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 9 cals (15%)
Carbs. 28 cals (46%)
Protein 24 cals (39%)

Meals: Goi Du Du (Green Papaya Salad)

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 150
(Kilojoules 627)
    % DV**
Total Fat 3 g 5%
   Sat. Fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 1049 mg 44%
Total Carbs. 29 g 10%
   Dietary Fiber 3 g 12%
   Sugars -  
Protein 3 g  
Calcium 50 mg  
Potassium 551 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 27 cals (17%)
Carbs. 116 cals (75%)
Protein 12 cals (8%)

Meals: Rau Cai Xao Chay (stir fried vegetables, soy sauce)

Serving Size: 1 whole dish

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 400
(Kilojoules 1672)
    % DV**
Total Fat 15 g 23%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 65 g 22%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 1 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 135 cals (34%)
Carbs. 260 cals (65%)
Protein 4 cals (1%)

Meals: Thit Bo Vien (Beef Balls)

Serving Size: 6 balls

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 225
(Kilojoules 940)
    % DV**
Total Fat 14 g 22%
   Sat. Fat 5 g 25%
Cholesterol 59 mg 20%
Sodium 1000 mg 42%
Total Carbs. 2 g 1%
   Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 23 g  
Calcium 47 mg  
Potassium 436 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 126 cals (56%)
Carbs. 8 cals (4%)
Protein 92 cals (41%)

Meals: Thit Heo Goi Baup Cai (spicy cabbage rolls w. pork)

Serving Size: 1 roll

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 200
(Kilojoules 836)
    % DV**
Total Fat 7 g 11%
   Sat. Fat - 0%
Cholesterol - 0%
Sodium - 0%
Total Carbs. 11 g 4%
   Dietary Fiber - 0%
   Sugars -  
Protein 23 g  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 63 cals (32%)
Carbs. 44 cals (22%)
Protein 92 cals (46%)

Sauces: Nuoc Cham (Hot Sauce)

Serving Size: 2 teaspoons

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 4
(Kilojoules 17)
    % DV**
Total Fat 0 g 0%
   Sat. Fat 0 g 0%
   Trans Fat 0 g  
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 231 mg 10%
Total Carbs. 1 g 0%
   Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
   Sugars 0.5 g  
Protein 0 g  
Calcium 2 mg  
Potassium 11 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 0 cals (0%)
Carbs. 4 cals (100%)
Protein 0 cals (0%)

Soups: Bun Bo Hue (Hot & Spicy Soup w. Pork Feet)

Serving Size: 11/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 850
(Kilojoules 3553)
    % DV**
Total Fat 45 g 69%
   Sat. Fat 14 g 70%
Cholesterol 269 mg 90%
Sodium 1100 mg 46%
Total Carbs. 35 g 12%
   Dietary Fiber 1 g 4%
   Sugars -  
Protein 71 g  
Calcium 136 mg  
Potassium 1090 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 405 cals (49%)
Carbs. 140 cals (17%)
Protein 284 cals (34%)

Soups: Bun Bo Hue (Hot & Spicy Soup, no Pork Feet)

Serving Size: 11/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 350
(Kilojoules 1463)
    % DV**
Total Fat 9 g 14%
   Sat. Fat 2 g 10%
Cholesterol 68 mg 23%
Sodium 1082 mg 45%
Total Carbs. 35 g 12%
   Dietary Fiber 1 g 4%
   Sugars -  
Protein 30 g  
Calcium 24 mg  
Potassium 570 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 81 cals (24%)
Carbs. 140 cals (41%)
Protein 120 cals (35%)

Soups: Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup)

Serving Size: 11/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 425
(Kilojoules 1776)
    % DV**
Total Fat 7 g 11%
   Sat. Fat 2 g 10%
Cholesterol 37 mg 12%
Sodium 400 mg 17%
Total Carbs. 59 g 20%
   Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
   Sugars -  
Protein 28 g  
Calcium 43 mg  
Potassium 616 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 63 cals (15%)
Carbs. 236 cals (57%)
Protein 112 cals (27%)

Soups: Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup)

Serving Size: 11/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 475
(Kilojoules 1985)
    % DV**
Total Fat 6 g 9%
   Sat. Fat 1 g 5%
Cholesterol 116 mg 39%
Sodium 1200 mg 50%
Total Carbs. 58 g 19%
   Dietary Fiber 4 g 16%
   Sugars -  
Protein 44 g  
Calcium 102 mg  
Potassium 841 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 54 cals (12%)
Carbs. 232 cals (50%)
Protein 176 cals (38%)

Soups: Pho Tai (Rare Beef & Noodle Soup w. garnish, typical serving style)

Serving Size: 11/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 449
(Kilojoules 1877)
    % DV**
Total Fat 7 g 11%
   Sat. Fat 2 g 10%
Cholesterol 47 mg 16%
Sodium 2507 mg 104%
Total Carbs. 73 g 24%
   Dietary Fiber 4 g 16%
   Sugars -  
Protein 21 g  
Calcium 85 mg  
Potassium 557 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 63 cals (14%)
Carbs. 292 cals (67%)
Protein 84 cals (19%)

Soups: Pho Tai (Rare Beef & Noodle Soup)

Serving Size: 11/2 cup

 
Nutrition Facts
Calories 404
(Kilojoules 1689)
    % DV**
Total Fat 3.4 g 5%
   Sat. Fat 1.1 g 6%
Cholesterol 28 mg 9%
Sodium 2298 mg 96%
Total Carbs. 72 g 24%
   Dietary Fiber 5.7 g 23%
   Sugars -  
Protein 23 g  
Calcium 99 mg  
Potassium 384 mg  

Distribution of Calories
Fat 31 cals (7%)
Carbs. 288 cals (70%)
Protein 92 cals (22%)

Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that is important for building strong bones and teeth. Almost all of the calcium we use in our bodies is for building strong bones. A very small amount is needed to help our heart, nerves and muscles work.

If we do not get enough calcium every day from the foods we eat, it is taken out of our bones. After many years of not getting enough calcium, our bones become very weak and brittle. Osteoporosis is the name of this disease. It can cause bones to break very easily and the jaw bone to shrink so teeth are lost. It can lead to curvature of the spine.

Older women are especially at risk for osteoporosis. By getting enough calcium from the food we eat all through our life, we can make sure our bones and teeth stay healthy.

One of the best sources of calcium is milk, and foods made from milk, like yogurt and pudding. Leafy green vegetables, tofu, and canned fish with bones are also good sources. Other foods, such as some brands of orange juice, have added calcium. We can read food labels to find how much calcium is in the foods we eat.

Antioxidants

Vitamin A

B Vitamins

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Thiamin

Riboflavin

Calcium

Carbohydrates

Fiber

Cholesterol

Fat

Folic Acid

Protein

Antioxidants

Our cells must constantly contend with nasty substances called free radicals. They can damage DNA, the inside or artery walls, proteins in the eye--just about any substance or tissue imaginable. Some free radicals are made inside the body, inevitable byproducts of turning food into energy. Others come from the air we breathe and the food we eat.

We aren't defenseless against free radicals. We extract free-radical fighters, called antioxidants, from food. Fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods deliver dozens, if not hundreds, of antioxidants. The most common are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and related carotenoids. Food also supplies minerals such as selenium and manganese, which are needed by enzymes that destroy free radicals.

During the 1990s, the term antioxidants became a huge nutritional buzz word. Antioxidants were promoted as wonder agents that could prevent heart disease, cancer, cataracts, memory loss, and a host of other conditions.

It's true that the package of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and other substances found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help prevent a variety of chronic diseases. Whether high doses vitamin C, vitamin E, or other antioxidants can accomplish the same feat is an open question.

The evidence accumulated so far isn't promising. Randomized trials of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene haven't revealed much in the way of protection from heart disease, cancer, or aging-related eye diseases. Ongoing trials of other antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin for macular degeneration and lycopene for prostate cancer, are underway.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A keeps your skin smooth and the linings of your mouth, nose, throat, lungs, and intestines healthy. Vitamin A is also needed for healthy eyes. It forms the part of the eye that helps you to see in dim light. People who do not get enough vitamin A may have a hard time seeing at night. This is called night blindness. Vitamin A may also help prevent certain types of cancer.

You can get vitamin A from both plant foods and animal foods. It is found in the fats and oils of these foods and is stored in the fat cells in your body. Dark orange and green vegetables and fruits like carrots, kale, turnip greens and other dark greens, broccoli, red and green peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe and peaches are all good sources of this vitamin. Animal foods, such as egg yolks, milk, cheese and liver are good sources, too.

B Vitamins

There are many different B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine (B6), and cobalamin (B12). The B vitamins work together to help your body use the energy you get from food. Some B vitamins are also important in helping the body use protein from the diet to build new cells and tissues.

You can get enough of the B vitamins by eating a variety of foods from different food groups. Animal products like pork, liver, kidney, poultry, eggs and fish are the best sources of vitamin B6. Many plant foods like whole grain foods (brown rice, whole wheat bread and oatmeal) are good sources of pyridoxine. Some legumes and nuts like soy beans, peanuts and walnuts are other plant sources of this B vitamin.

Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy blood. It is found only in animal products. If you are a vegetarian and do not eat any animal foods like eggs, milk or cheese, you may need to take a supplement for this vitamin.

The 3 Bs: Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid

One of the advances that changed the way we look at vitamins was the discovery that too little folic acid, one of the eight B vitamins, is linked to birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Fifty years ago, no one knew what caused these birth defects, which occur when the early development of tissues that eventually become the spinal cord, the tissues that surround it, or the brain goes awry. Twenty five years ago, British researchers found that mothers of children with spina bifida had low vitamin levels.Eventually, two large trials in which women were randomly assigned to take folic acid or a placebo showed that getting too little folic acid increased a woman's chances of having a baby with spina bifida or anencephaly and that getting enough folic acid could prevent these birth defects.

Enough folic acid, at least 400 micrograms a day, isn't always easy to get from food. That's why women of childbearing age are urged to take extra folic acid. It's also why the US Food and Drug Administration now requires that folic acid be added to most enriched breads, flour, cornmeal, pastas, rice, and other grain products, along with the iron and other micronutrients that have been added for years.

The other exciting discovery about folic acid and two other B vitamins is that they may help fight heart disease and some types of cancer. It's too early to tell if there's merely an association between increased intake of folic acid and other B vitamins and heart disease or cancer, or if high intakes prevent these chronic diseases.

Folic Acid: The current recommended intake for folic acid is 400 micrograms per day. There are many excellent sources of folic acid, including prepared breakfast cereals, beans, and fortified grains.

Vitamin B6: A healthy diet should include 1.3 to 1.7 milligrams of vitamin B6. Higher doses have been tested as a treatment for conditions ranging from premenstrual syndrome to attention deficit disorder and carpal tunnel syndrome. To date, there is little evidence that it works.

Vitamin B12: The current recommended intake for vitamin B12 is 6 micrograms per day. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by pernicious anemia, due to a lack of "intrinsic factor" (a substance secreted by gastric cells that binds to vitamin B12 and enables its absorption). A more common cause of deficiency is often diagnosed in older people who have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from unfortified foods; such people can typically absorb vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements, however, providing yet another reason to take a multivitamin. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include memory loss, disorientation, hallucinations, and tingling in the arms and legs. Some people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease are actually suffering from the more reversible vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been in the public eye for a long time. Even before its discovery in 1932, nutrition experts recognized that something in citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease that killed as many as 2 million sailors between 1500 and 1800. More recently, Nobel laureate Linus Pauling promoted daily megadoses of vitamin C (the amount in 12 to 24 oranges) as a way to prevent colds and protect the body from other chronic diseases.

There's no question that vitamin C plays a role in controlling infections. It's also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals, and it helps make collagen, a tissue needed for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. The question is, do you need lots of vitamin C to keep you healthy?

No. Vitamin C's cold-fighting potential certainly hasn't panned out. Small trials suggest that the amount of vitamin C in a typical multivitamin taken at the start of a cold might ease symptoms, but there's no evidence that megadoses make a difference, or that they prevent colds. Studies of vitamin C and heart disease, cancer, and eye diseases such as cataract and macular degeneration also show no clear patterns.

Vitamin D

If you live north of the line connecting San Francisco to Philadelphia, odds are you don't get enough vitamin D. The same holds true if you don't, or can't, get outside for at least a 15-minute daily walk in the sun. African-Americans and others with dark skin tend to have much lower levels of vitamin D, due to less formation of the vitamin from the action of sunlight on skin. A study of people admitted to a Boston hospital, for example, showed that 57% were deficient in vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps ensure that the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus, both critical for building bone. Laboratory studies also show that vitamin D keeps cancer cells from growing and dividing.

Some preliminary studies indicate that insufficient intake of vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of fractures, and that vitamin D supplementation may prevent them. It may also help prevent falls, a common problem that leads to substantial disability and death in older people. Other early studies suggest an association between low vitamin D intake and increased risks of prostate, breast, colon, and other cancers.

Vitamin E

For a time, vitamin E supplements looked like an easy way to prevent heart disease. Promising observational studies, including the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, suggested 20% to 40% reductions in coronary heart disease risk among individuals who took vitamin E supplements (usually containing 400 IU or more) for least two years.

The results of several randomized trials have dampened enthusiasm for vitamin E's ability to prevent heart attacks or deaths from heart disease among individuals with heart disease or those at high risk for it. In the GISSI Prevention Trial, the results were mixed but mostly showed no preventive effects after more than three years of treatment with vitamin E among 11,000 heart attack survivors. Results from the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial also showed no benefit of four years worth of vitamin E supplementation among more than 9,500 men and women already diagnosed with heart disease or at high risk for it. Based on these and other studies, the American Heart Association has concluded that "the scientific data do not justify the use of antioxidant vitamin supplements [such as vitamin E] for CVD risk reduction."

A recent scientific analysis raised questions about whether high doses of vitamin E supplements might increase the risk of dying. The authors gathered and re-analyzed data from 19 clinical trials of vitamin E, including the GISSI and HOPE studies; they found a higher rate of death in trials where patients consumed more than 400 IU of supplements per day. While this meta-analysis drew headlines when it was released online in November 2004, there are limitations to the conclusions that can be drawn from it. Some of the findings are based on very small studies; furthermore, many of the high-dose trials of Vitamin E included in the analysis were done on people who had chronic diseases, such as heart disease or Alzheimer's disease. So it is not clear that these findings would apply to healthy people.

It's entirely possible that in secondary prevention trials, the use of drugs such as aspirin, beta blockers, and ACE inhibitors mask a modest effect of vitamin E, and that it may have benefits among healthier people.But large randomized controlled trials of vitamin E supplementation in healthy people have yielded mixed results.

In the Women's Health Study, which followed 40,000 women for 10 years, vitamin E supplements of 600 IU every other day did not significantly reduce the risk of so-called "major cardiac events" (non fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, or cardiovascular death); when these major cardiac events were analyzed separately, however, vitamin E supplementation was linked to a 24 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death. And among women ages 65 and older, vitamin E supplementation reduced the risk of major cardiac event by 26 percent. The SU.VI.MAX trial, meanwhile, found that seven years of low-dose vitamin E supplementation (as part of a daily antioxidant pill) reduced the risk of cancer and the risk of dying from any cause in men, but did not show these beneficial effects in women; the supplements did not offer any protection against heart disease in men or women. Over the coming years, the ongoing Physicians' Health Study II may shed more light on the potential benefits and risks of vitamin E supplementation in healthy men.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps make six of the 13 proteins needed for blood clotting. Its role in maintaining the clotting cascade is so important that people who take anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin) must be careful to keep their vitamin K intake stable.

Lately, researchers have demonstrated that vitamin K is also involved in building bone. Low levels of circulating vitamin K have been linked with low bone density, and supplementation with vitamin K shows improvements in biochemical measures of bone health. A report from the Nurses' Health Study suggests that women who get at least 110 micrograms of vitamin K a day are 30% less likely to break a hip as women who get less than that. Among the nurses, eating a serving of lettuce or other green leafy vegetable a day cut the risk of hip fracture in half when compared with eating one serving a week. Data from the Framingham Heart Study also shows an association between high vitamin K intake and reduced risk of hip fracture.

Optimal Intake: The recommended daily intake for vitamin K is 80 micrograms for men and 65 for women. Because this vitamin is found in so many foods, especially green leafy vegetables and commonly used cooking oils, most adults get enough of it. According to a 1996 survey, though, a substantial number of Americans, particularly children and young adults, aren't getting the vitamin K they need.

Thiamin

Thiamin is one of a group of vitamins called the "B vitamins." Another name for thiamin is vitamin B1. Thiamin works with other B vitamins to help your body use the energy it gets from food.

Thiamin is found in many whole grain foods, such as brown rice, grits and whole wheat bread. White breads, pastas, ready-to-eat cereals and many other baked products are "enriched" by the manufacturer with B vitamins like thiamin. Baked beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, and peanuts are good sources of thiamin, too. Nuts, seeds and other vegetables, and fruits supply a small amount of this B vitamin. Lean pork is one of the best sources of thiamin. Organ meats such as liver, heart or kidney, are considered to be other good animal sources of thiamin.

Thiamin is easily lost when foods are cooked or processed. When you cook vegetables some of the B vitamins go into the water. If you cook vegetables in a small amount of water and keep the lid on the pan, thiamin and the other B vitamins will not be lost. When you rinse rice or pastas, you rinse off some of these vitamins. So to keep the thiamin you need from these foods, it is important not to rinse the rice or pasta after you have cooked it.

Riboflavin

Riboflavin is one of a group of vitamins called "B vitamins." Another name for riboflavin is vitamin B2. Riboflavin works with other B vitamins to help your body use the energy you get from food. It also helps the body to use protein in food to build new cells and tissues.

Animal products, like milk, cheese, yogurt, beef and poultry, are good sources of riboflavin. Some green vegetables such as broccoli, turnip greens and spinach are good too. "Enriched" breads, rice, cereals and other baked products are also sources of riboflavin.

Like other B vitamins, riboflavin is easily lost when foods are cooked or processed. When you cook rice or pasta, some of the riboflavin goes into the water. When you rinse rice or pastas you rinse off some of this vitamin. So to keep the riboflavin you need from these foods, it is important not to rinse the rice or pasta after you have cooked it. When you cook vegetables, use only a small amount of water and keep the lid on the pan so that riboflavin and the other B vitamins are not lost. When you shop, look for breads, cereals and other baked products that are "enriched" with B vitamins like riboflavin.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. There are three different kinds of carbohydrates. They include starch, sugar, and fiber. Starch is made from chains of small sugars. When these chains are broken down during digestion, we get energy. We get 4 calories from each gram of starch (or sugar). We do not get calories from fiber because our bodies do not break fiber down during digestion.

Plant foods like cereals, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, plantains and corn are good sources of starch. They give us the energy we need to do daily activities. These starchy foods give us important vitamins and minerals, too.

Because carbohydrate-rich foods are usually low in calories, they can help us keep a healthy weight. When we add fat (like butter, sour cream or gravies) at the table or when we cook , we add extra calories and may gain weight. Try using less mayonnaise, butter or margarine on breads and muffins. Use less gravy or sour cream on potatoes. When we shop we can get the carbohydrates we need without added fat by reading food labels. Compare crackers and bread products and try the ones with less fat. Use more vegetables without fatty sauces.

Adding Good Carbohydrates

For optimal health, get your grains intact from foods such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and other possibly unfamiliar grains like quinoa, whole oats, and bulgur. Not only will these foods help protect you against a range of chronic diseases, they can also please your palate and your eyes.

Until recently, you could only get whole-grain products in organic or non-traditional stores. Today they are popping up in more and more mainstream grocery stores. Here are some suggestions for adding more whole grains to your diet:

  • Start the day with whole grains. If you're partial to hot cereals, try old-fashioned or steel-cut oats. If you're a cold cereal person, look for one that lists whole wheat, oats, barley, or other grain first on the ingredient list.

  • Use whole-grain breads for lunch or snacks. Check the label to make sure that whole wheat or other whole grain is the first ingredient listed.

  • Bag the potatoes. Instead, try brown rice or even "newer" grains like bulgur, wheat berries, millet, or hulled barley with your dinner.

  • Pick up some whole wheat pasta. If the whole-grain products are too chewy for you, look for those that are made with half whole-wheat flour and half white flour.

Sugar in Your Diet

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. It is the smallest form of carbohydrates that our bodies use for energy. Like starch, sugar provides 4 calories for every gram. Some sugars are found naturally in foods like most fruits (berries, oranges, apples) and their juices. There are sugars in milk. When we eat these foods we are getting the calories from sugar along with many important vitamins and minerals.

Many of the sugars that we eat are mostly calories. They contain few or no other nutrients. Some of these sugars we add at home. They include table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrup, jams and jellies. Some sugars are added when foods are manufactured. You may see names like dextrose, fructose, maltose, and lactose on food labels. They are all types of sugars. They make foods taste sweet. We also get a lot of added sugar from soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, candies, and sweet bakery products.

Eating a lot of sugary foods can cause tooth decay. If we eat sweet foods, it's best to eat them as part of a meal. It's also important that sugary foods don't replace foods like fruits and vegetables at snacks and meals.

When we shop we can look at food labels and see how many different sugars have been added to a cereal or baked product. If fresh or frozen fruits are too expensive, we can try canned fruits that are packed in juice instead of heavy syrup. The syrup can be drained from canned fruits too, so we don't get the extra sugar.

Fiber

Fiber is one kind of carbohydrate. It is sometimes called roughage or bulk. Fiber is the part of plant foods that our bodies do not break down during digestion. Because fiber isn't digested, it doesn't give us calories. Foods that contain a lot of fiber may also contain other types of carbohydrates like starch or sugar. While we do not get calories from the fiber in these foods, we do get calories from the sugars and starches they contain.

Fiber is important for keeping the digestive tract working smoothly. Since we do not digest it, the fiber in food passes into the intestine and absorbs water. The undigested fiber creates "bulk" so the muscles in the intestine can push waste out of the body. Eating enough fiber helps prevent constipation. It may also reduce the risk of getting colon cancer. Some fibers can help lower blood cholesterol.

Dried peas and beans like lentils, black-eyed peas, chickpeas and kidney beans are the best sources of fiber. The skins and seeds in fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources, too. Whole-grain cereals and breads like oatmeal, brown rice, grits and whole-wheat bread are all naturally high in fiber.

Often the fiber in plant foods (like skins, bran or seeds) is removed when the food is cooked by us or processed by the manufacturer. We get more fiber when we eat whole fruits and vegetables with the peels and seeds than we do when we eat foods like applesauce or instant mashed potatoes. When we shop we can look on food labels to find products that say "100%" whole grain. We can also compare the Nutrition Facts to find foods with more fiber.

Soluble fiber partially dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. These differences are important when it comes to fiber's effect on your risk of developing certain diseases.

Sources of Fiber

Soluble Fiber

Insoluble Fiber

oatmeal
oatbran
nuts and seeds

legumes

  • dried peas

  • beans

  • lentils

apples
pears
strawberries
blueberries

whole grains
(for more information on whole grains, click here)

  • whole wheat breads

  • barley

  • couscous

  • brown rice

  • bulgur

whole-grain breakfast cereals
wheat bran
seeds
carrots
cucumbers
zucchini
celery
tomatoes

Protein

Most all the parts of our bodies are made from protein: hair, skin, blood, organs, and muscles. It is needed for cells to grow. It also repairs or replaces healthy cells and tissues. Protein in food gives us calories - 4 calories in one gram. If we do not get enough calories from fat and carbohydrates we may use protein for energy. Most Americans, even athletes, get the protein they need without using special foods, powders or shakes.

Protein is made of chains of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our bodies can make most amino acids. There are a few amino acids that we cannot make; so, we must get them from the foods we eat. They are known as "essential amino acids." Most foods that come from animals, such as fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt contain all of the essential amino acids. They are known as "complete" proteins. Plant foods, such as rice, dried beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, wheat, oats, corn, may be low or lacking in one or more of the amino acids. They are considered to be incomplete proteins. Incomplete proteins can be mixed together to make a complete protein.

Incomplete Proteins

Plant foods are considered incomplete proteins because they are low or lacking in one or more of the amino acids we need to build cells.

Incomplete proteins found in plant foods can be mixed together to make a complete protein. As a general rule, grains, cereals, nuts, or seeds can be eaten together with dried beans, dried peas, lentils, peanuts or peanut butter. Examples of these combinations include peanut butter on wheat bread, rice and beans, and split pea soup with corn bread. Incomplete proteins found in plant foods can also be combined with small amounts of animal foods to make a complete protein. Examples include macaroni and cheese, and tuna noodle casserole.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is important for making blood and building cells. It is also called folate or folacin. Folic acid is found in many food groups in the Food Guide Pyramid. Plant foods like leafy greens, broccoli, corn and whole grains are good sources of folacin. Cowpeas, lentils, kidney and navy beans are good sources, too. Some meat and milk products like eggs, liver, nuts, cheese, and milk are also ways to get this vitamin.

The need for folic acid increases during pregnancy because the fetus is constantly growing. If a pregnant woman does not get all the folic acid she and her baby need early in her pregnancy, the fetus will not develop properly. These babies may become deformed. Supplements with folic acid are usually given to pregnant women. Women who use oral contraceptives may also need extra folate.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is needed by our bodies for our cells, nerves and brain. It is also important in forming hormones and enzymes. We make all the cholesterol we need in our livers. We get cholesterol from the foods we eat, too. Since every animal has a liver, when we eat foods made from animal products (fish, eggs,chicken, milk, beef or cheese) we eat cholesterol. If we make too much cholesterol or eat too many foods that contain cholesterol or saturated fat, the level of cholesterol in the blood increases. The higher our blood cholesterol, the higher our chances of developing heart disease. Eating less fat, less saturated fat, and less cholesterol will all help lower blood cholesterol.

Cutting the amount of cholesterol we eat may only have a small effect on blood cholesterol. To cut down on cholesterol, we can eat more plant foods as sources of protein instead of meat. Eat legumes like black beans, lentils, black-eyed peas and kidney beans instead of meat and poultry.

The Cholesterol--Heart Disease Connection

Cholesterol is a wax-like substance. The liver makes it and links it to carrier proteins called lipoproteins that let it dissolve in blood and be transported to all parts of the body. Why? Cholesterol plays essential roles in the formation of cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D.

Too much cholesterol in the blood, though, can lead to problems. In the 1960s and 70s, scientists established a link between high blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. Deposits of cholesterol can build up inside arteries. These deposits, called plaque, can narrow an artery enough to slow or block blood flow. This narrowing process, called atherosclerosis, commonly occurs in arteries that nourish the heart (the coronary arteries). When one or more sections of heart muscle fail to get enough blood, and thus the oxygen and nutrients they need, the result may be the chest pain known as angina. In addition, plaque can rupture, causing blood clots that may lead to heart attack, stroke, or sudden death. Fortunately, the buildup of cholesterol can be slowed, stopped, and even reversed.

Cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins play central roles in the development of atherosclerotic plaque and cardiovascular disease. The two main types of lipoproteins basically work in opposite directions.

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, it can be deposited on the walls of the coronary arteries. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often referred to as the "bad" cholesterol.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry cholesterol from the blood back to the liver, which processes the cholesterol for elimination from the body. HDL makes it less likely that excess cholesterol in the blood will be deposited in the coronary arteries, which is why HDL cholesterol is often referred to as the "good" cholesterol.

In general, the higher your LDL and the lower your HDL, the greater your risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease.

For adults age 20 years or over, the latest guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program recommend the following optimal levels:

  • Total cholesterol less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)

  • HDL cholesterol levels greater than 40 mg/dl

  • LDL cholesterol levels less than 100 mg/dl

Fat

Fat is a nutrient that is an important source of calories. One gram of fat supplies 9 calories - more than twice the amount we get from carbohydrates or protein. Fat also is needed to carry and store essential fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D. There are two basic types of fat. They are grouped by their chemical structure. Each type of fat is used differently in our bodies and has a different effect on our health.

When we eat a lot of high fat foods, we get a lot of calories. With too many calories, we may gain weight. Eating too much fat may also increase the risk of getting diseases like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke. Health experts recommend that we should get no more than 30% of our calories from fat to reduce our risk of getting these diseases.

Fat is found in many foods. Some of the fat that we eat comes from the fat we add in cooking or spread on breads, vegetables or other foods. A lot of fat is hidden in foods that we eat as snacks, pastries or prepared meals.

We can reduce the amount of fat we eat by cutting down on the fat that we add in cooking or spread on foods. We can eat skim milk and low fat cheeses instead of whole milk and cheese. We can also use less fat, oil, butter, and margarine. Another way to cut down on fat is to drain and trim meats and take the skin off poultry. We can also read labels and compare the amount of fat in foods to make lower fat choices.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are found in meats and whole dairy products like milk, cheese, cream and ice cream. Some saturated fats are also found in plant foods like tropical oils (coconut or palm kernel oil). When margarine or vegetable shortening is made from corn oil, soybean oil or other vegetable oils, hydrogen atoms are added making some of the fat molecules "saturated". This also makes the fat solid at room temperature. It's important to read food labels to see how much saturated fat is in the food product.

When we eat too much saturated fat, it increases our chances of getting heart disease. When we reduce the amount of saturated fats in our diets, it may reduce the blood cholesterol level and reduce our chances of developing heart disease.

We can reduce the saturated fats in our diets by using skim milk and low fat cheeses instead of whole milk and cheese. We can also use less fat, oil, butter, and margarine. At the table, use tub margarine instead of butter. Another way to cut down on fat is to drain and trim meats and take the skin off poultry. Simply reducing the total amount of fat we eat goes a long way toward reducing saturated fats.

Unsaturated Fats Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated The Good Fats

Some fats are good because they can improve blood cholesterol levels.

Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature. They are found in most vegetable products and oils. An exception is a group of tropical oils like coconut or palm kernel oil which are highly saturated. Using foods containing "polyunsaturated" and "monounsaturated" fats does not increase our risk of heart disease. However, like all fats, unsaturated fats give us 9 calories for every gram. So eating too much of these types of fat may also make us gain weight.

We can reduce the fat and unsaturated fats in our diets by using less fat, oil, and margarine. We can also eat more low-fat foods like vegetables, fruits, breads, rice, pasta and cereals. Read and compare food labels to find foods that have less total fat.

Unsaturated fats are found in products derived from plant sources, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. There are two main categories: polyunsaturated fats (which are found in high concentrations in sunflower, corn, and soybean oils) and monounsaturated fats (which are found in high concentrations in canola, peanut, and olive oils). In studies in which polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were eaten in place of carbohydrates, these good fats decreased LDL levels and increased HDL levels.

Trans Fats

Trans fatty acids are fats produced by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen. This process is known as hydrogenation. The more hydrogenated an oil is, the harder it will be at room temperature. For example, a spreadable tub margarine is less hydrogenated and so has fewer trans fats than a stick margarine.

Most of the trans fats in the American diet are found in commercially prepared baked goods, margarines, snack foods, and processed foods. Commercially prepared fried foods, like French fries and onion rings, also contain a good deal of trans fat.

Trans fats are even worse for cholesterol levels than saturated fats because they raise bad LDL and lower good HDL. They also fire inflammation,  an overactivity of the immune system that has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. While you should limit your intake of saturated fats, it is important to eliminate trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils from your diet. (Manufacturers must now list trans fats on the food label, right beneath saturated fats.)

DIETARY FATS
Type of Fat
Main Source
State at Room Temperature
Effect on Cholesterol Levels Compared with Carbohydrates
Monounsaturated
Olives; olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil; cashews, almonds, peanuts, and most other nuts; avocados
Liquid
Lowers LDL; raises HDL
Polyunsaturated
Corn, soybean, safflower, and cottonseed oils; fish
Liquid
Lowers LDL; raises HDL
Saturated
Whole milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream; red meat; chocolate; coconuts, coconut milk, and coconut oil
Solid
Raises both LDL and HDL
Trans
Most margarines; vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; deep-fried chips; many fast foods; most commercial baked goods
Solid or
semi-solid

Raises LDL*

 

*Trans fat increases LDL, decreases HDL, and increases triglycerides when compared to monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat.

Percentage of Specific Types of Fat in Common Oils and Fats*
Oils
Saturated
Mono-unsaturated
Poly-unsaturated
Trans
Canola
7
58
29
0
Safflower
9
12
74
0
Sunflower
10
20
66
0
Corn
13
24
60
0
Olive
13
72
8
0
Soybean
16
44
37
0
Peanut
17
49
32
0
Palm
50
37
10
0
Coconut
87
6
2
0
Cooking Fats
Shortening
22
29
29
18
Lard
39
44
11
1
Butter
60
26
5
5
Margarine/Spreads
70% Soybean Oil, Stick
18
2
29
23
67% Corn & Soybean Oil Spread, Tub
16
27
44
11
48% Soybean Oil Spread, Tub
17
24
49
8
60% Sunflower, Soybean, and Canola Oil Spread, Tub
18
22
54
5
*Values expressed as percent of total fat; data are from analyses at Harvard School of Public Health Lipid Laboratory and U.S.D.A. publications.

 

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