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Saturated fat/Sugar limits.

I'm a 20-year-old male, first of all. I'm also underweight and  trying to put on pounds. I eat significantly more unsaturated fats than saturated fats, my diet largely consisting of various whole grains, peanut butter, etc; it's a relatively high protein diet. I know that saturated fat is considered "bad," but I'm not sure just how much I should limit. I tend to judge based on the Daily Value. For instance, is brushing 100% for saturated fat a bad thing, or what? Keep in mind, I'm also trying to gain weight.

Another concern: My cholesterol two months ago was 181. In trying to gain weight, I'm afraid that I'll make that number increase just out of necessity. Any ideas?

Lastly, I also consume a lot of natural sugars. I drink a great deal of Odwalla beverages and 100% Orange/Apple juice. I don't drink soda at all, which is probably beneficial, but I am wondering how much sugar is too much, even for someone trying to put on weight. I've tried to Google it, but nothing of much stock has come up.

I appreciate your help.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
Lots of questions. First gaining weight is an individual thing.  If you have a body that is naturally slim, then you will be slim.  Instead of trying to gain weight, pay attention to being healthy instead. Unless you are a walking skeleton, don't worry about it. People spend billions every year trying to be "you".  Some people feel better and function better on a high protein diet and some on a veggie diet.  Eat the diet that makes you feel good, have energy, and keep you at optimal functioning for you.  Make sure you get a some veggies, especially dark leafy ones and fruit.  You will do fine. If you worry, talk to the doc about vitamin supplements.  Avoid saturated fats and transfatty acids (margarine).  Some won't hurt you occassionally, but don't eat them daily.  There is no "good" amount to eat.  Remember that the body was made to process natural food, not chemicals.  Try to stay away from packaged foods, especially those with artificial sugars and other things you don't know what it is.  Beware of the "all natural" foods, for additives, dyes, etc.  Packaged beverages are usually full of added sugar and are not the healthiest things to consume, but are yummy.  The body runs of sugar.  When you eat and drink, the body just sees sugar and protein, vitamins and minerals.  The rule of thumb is that simple sugars in the drinks and candy bars and other junk foods are broken down in the stomach and are used in a short period of time for quick energy.  Complex sugars, like pasta are processed in the small intestines and give you energy later in the day.  So if you are only eating junk food for a high energy day and not much complex carbs, then later instead of energy, you will get tired and your mind doesn't seem to work unless you drink or eat sugar to "keep you going".  A bad thing to get into a habit of doing.  Some studies think that a diet high in simple sugars may contribute to type 2 diabetes later because the body needs a balance of the two sugars. Don't eat only simple sugars, but balance your diet with protein and complex carbs at meals.  How much sugar is okay?  No one really knows.  You don't want to eat too much as it will rot your teeth, but eating alot of simple sugar may mess up the Pancreas (producing insulin).In time this may cause the organ to fail creating a diabetic state.  Cholesterol is needed in the body to make new cell walls and other important functions.  The body decides how much you need.  If you don't eat enough, it will begin producing it on it's own.  You can eat lean meat instead of fatty ones and make other dietary changes, but most likely if it continues to go close to 300, the MD will suggest going on a drug to reduce it. hope this helps
Avatar universal
I appreciate the advice.

So what's the difference between simple sugars and "natural" sugars found in fruit?
Avatar universal
Both processed natural sugars and unprocessed natural sugars are broken down in the stomach.  The body does not distinguish between them when they are broken down, but studies show that when both sugars are in the blood, natural sugars are used first and processed sugars are more likely to be stored as fat.  The reason for this is unknown, but thought to be caused by the fact that table sugar has nutrients processed out of it while the unprocessed sugars do not.  When the body has a choice between natural and processed foods, it choses the natural one over the processed one and stores the processed one as fat.  This is the basis for the theory that processed foods make you fat even when you think that you are eating healthy.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Star queen, nothing that you said is correct or even makes sense from a biological standpoint.  Cite the studies that you refer to.
Avatar universal
Star Queen, if you want to read a book on nutrient metabolism that is accepted by academia, try "Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism" by Hunt and Groff.  This is a book that many universities use for teaching purposes and will clear some things up for you.
Avatar universal
Well, guys, I "got" the information at a seminar on the Patho-physiology of Cell Nutrition about 6 months ago held at Stanford University in California.  Somehow I don't think the visiting doctor was lying about this, since he is supposed to be an expert in the field of cellular physiology.
Avatar universal
could you give us his name?  I'd like to look up some of his research.
Avatar universal
I had a baby about 1 year ago and with breast feeding, I lost quite a bit of weight.  I am now 110 pounds and 5 foot 7.  I consider this dramatically underweight.  I have been eating more healthy foods and taking protein shakes to help out.  I have also been weight lifting more than cardio to try to build up muscle weight.  But, after donating blood I just found out that by cholesterol level is 228.  This was before I started eating normal and taking shakes.  So I fear it may be rising.  What would you suggest for gaining weight without increasing cholesterol levels...seems impossible.
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