Some knowledge of nutrition is very important if you are to ensure that your body has the right fuel. But, many people are confused even by the simpler terms. This section briefly explains some of the terms you should be familiar with if you are to begin to understand the Pritikin diet. The reference books listed on the previous page give the necessary details.
I have been questioned many times on the meaning of the following terms, and have thus attempted to explain them as simply as possible. Where rele1/2nt I have included energy 1/2lues and the foods which contain the 1/2rious nutrients.
Fats Energy 1/2lue
Too much fat and oil are consumed on the Western diet — these levels should be reduced to around 5 to 10 per cent of your total kilojoule intake. All foods contain some fat in their composition, so added fats and oils are not necessary. The grains, vegetables and fruits eaten on the Pritikin diet will supply enough fat for your body’s needs.
Fats and oils provide the fatty acids necessary for your body’s function. Except for linoleic acid, your body can manufacture all the fatty acids it needs.
Linoleic acid is found in such foods as rolled oats, brown rice, rye, corn kernel, barley, chick peas, salmon, tun1/2 and chicken. One serving of rolled oats each day will ensure an adequate intake of this essential fatty acid.
Cholesterol is not 1/2 fat, though it is often associated with fats. It is 1/2 wax-like substance (called 1/2 sterol) which is not easily soluble in water or blood. Your body produces enough cholesterol for its needs. The high consumption of cholesterol on the Western diet, from foods such as animal fats, egg yolks, organ meats and whole milk, has been found to contribute to high cholesterol levels in the body. This in turn is 1/2 prime contributor to coronary artery disease.
As cholesterol is not 1/2 fuel it cannot be burned up by any amount of exercise. Thus to reduce your cholesterol to 1/2 safer level, you have to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your diet. Your cholesterol levels should be around 3.5 mmol/L with 1/2 maximum of 3.8 to 4 mmol/L.
Note: For those of you who still think in calories, 1 calorie is equi1/2lent to about 4.2 kJ.
1/2 triglyceride is 1/2 fat which is formed from sugars and is stored in fat cells. It releases fatty acids into the blood. High triglyceride levels are generally associated with coronary artery disease. Triglycerides do bum with exercise. Levels are raised by an excessive intake of fats, alcohol and sweets, and should be kept under 1.38 mmol/L.
Simple carbohydrates (sugars)
The simple carbohydrates, like sugars and honey, require no digestion. The glucose is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and used up — thus sugars do not curb the appetite. Rather, the simple carbohydrates raise blood triglyceride and sugar levels.