A Closer Look at Fat and Added Sugars

As you can see, fat and sugars are concentrated in foods from the Pyramid tip - fats, oils, and sweets. These foods supply calories, and little or no vitamins and minerals. By using these foods sparingly, you can have a diet that supplies needed vitamins and minerals without excess calories.

Some fat or sugar symbols are shown in the food groups. That's to remind you that some food choices in these food groups can also be high in fat or added sugars. When choosing foods for a healthful diet, consider that fat and added sugars in your choices from the food groups, as well as the fats, oils, and sweets from the Pyramid tip.

Fat

In general, foods that come from animals (milk and meat groups) are naturally higher in fat than foods that come from plants. But there are many low fat dairy and lean meat choices available, and these foods can be prepared in ways that lower fat.

Fruits, vegetables, and grain products are naturally low in fat. But many popular items are prepared with fat, like french-fried potatoes, or croissants, making them higher fat choices.

Fruits, vegetables, and grain products are naturally low in fat. But many popular items are prepared with fat, like french-fried potatoes, or croissants, making them higher fat choices.
For example:

 One Baked Potato           14 French Fries

   

    Calories: 120                Calories: 225
    Fat: Trace                    Fat: 11 grams

Added Sugars

These symbols represent sugars added to foods in processing or at the table, not the sugars found naturally in fruits and milk. It's the added sugars that provide calories with few vitamins and minerals.

Most of the added sugars in the typical American diet come from foods in the Pyramid tip - soft drinks, candy, jams, jellies, syrups, and table sugar we add to foods like coffee or cereal.

Added sugars in the food groups come from foods such as ice cream, sweetened yogurt, chocolate milk, canned or frozen fruit with heavy syrup, an sweetened bakery products like cakes and cookies. The chart on page 16 shows you the amounts of added sugars in some popular foods. You may be surprised!

Fat and Sugar Tips:

Choose lower fat foods from the food groups most often.
Go easy on fats and sugars added to foods in cooking or at the table - butter, margarine, gravy, salad dressing, sugar, and jelly.
Choose fewer foods that are high in sugars - candy, sweet desserts, and soft drinks.

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