USA Diet Page 7
This page contains:
Anne’s advice on Sensible Eating for Life (part one).

This section contains general eating advice to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Food is our friend, not our enemy
Food is our friend. It gives us energy, keeps us healthy and makes us happy. However, not all food is equally friendly, so you must learn to tell the difference between good food (e.g. low fat) and the not-so-good food (e.g. high fat).


The 5 steps of sensible eating
1. Eat less fat
2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
3. Eat lots of Hunger-busters
4. Eat less sugar
5. Tool up!

Although very tasty, Fat contains more than twice the calories of other nutrients.
If you eat too much fat, you will put on weight. It’s that simple.
Even worse, you may increase your risk of developing heart disease and some cancers.

How much is too much?
As a very rough guide, you should eat no more than 30g of fat per day if you want to lose weight. To put this into perspective, our body needs less than 10g of fat, per day. However, the average American diet contains more than 90g, per day, so if you eat a typical American diet, it’s time to change.

Your daily quota = 30g of total fat of which 7-10g may be saturated fat
Broadly speaking, there are three types of fat. Mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated & saturated. The worst type is saturated fat (also referred to as hydrogenated fat).

Your daily allowance of total fat = 30g (of which a max. of 10g may be saturated fat).
Spend it wisely!

Eating less fat means changing your shopping habits. Why? Because you won’t be able to limit yourself to 30g of total fat, per day, unless you change your habits.

1 pint of whole milk and 1 thickly buttered slice of toast uses up your entire quota of 30g of fat.
However, a pint of fat-free milk and a thin covering of lower-fat margarine has only 4.5g of fat.
The moral? It’s easy to eat less fat, but only if you change your habits.


Best choices
Turkey breast, chicken breast, lean pork fillet or any plain fish (inc. shellfish).
Next best
Beef steak, veal, duck breast, ground beef steak (buy steak & ask butcher to grind it.).
Mediocre choices (i.e. eat occasionally)
Lamb, liver, kidney, ground beef, large roasts.

Best Cuts
Beef: look for cuts marked “loin” or “round”. Choice or Select grades are best.
Pork: look for “loin”.
Veal: look for “blade steak” and “loin chops”.
Chicken/Turkey: Fillet or breast.

Avoid: Processed meats (all burgers, bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs, bologna etc.)
Avoid: All breaded or battered products (e.g. chicken nuggets etc.)

Meat is a major source of saturated fat – please take the above recommendations seriously!
Turkey and chicken are GREAT, but their skin is VERY BAD. So remove it, before cooking.
Meat is GOOD, but the fat it contains is VERY BAD. So remove all visible fat before cooking.
Generally speaking, the more you pay for your meat, the better quality you get.
Tip! The best way to eat less meat-fat is to serve less meat but more vegetables & beans.

There is growing evidence that oily fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) – e.g. sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon – helps to protect against heart disease. For this reason, I advise you to eat at least two helpings (4oz, each) of oily fish (fresh, or canned in water/tomato sauce), per week.

Fat examples (approx.)
4oz plain cod fish fillet contains 1.5g of fat; 4oz turkey breast has 1.5g; 4oz chicken fillet has 4g of fat; 4oz ground beef has 15g of fat; 4oz roast beef has 21g of fat; 4oz lamb (shoulder) has 26g of fat.

Choose only FAT-FREE varieties of milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt & sour cream.
Choose only NON-FAT cheese or REDUCED-FAT varieties of soft cheese (less than 15% fat).
Choose only REDUCED-FAT varieties of ice-cream (less than 2% fat).
Treat yourself occasionally to: REDUCED-FAT hard cheese.
AVOID butter. Use soft margarine or vegetable spread (max. 35% fat & less than 8% saturated fat)
Where sour cream is a vital taste ingredient, treat yourself occasionally to low-fat sour cream.

  • Full fat dairy products are a major source of saturated fat – please take the above advice seriously!

  • Popular hard cheeses are LOADED with saturated fat. (Worse than red meat!), so get used to the reduced-fat soft varieties (e.g. cheese-spreads, cottage cheeses, farmer cheese with fat-free milk).

  • Tip! If buying non-fat cheese (which is quite rubbery), buy it pre-shredded!

Fat examples (approx.)
Whole milk (cup) 8g fat. 2% milk (cup) 5g fat. Fat-free milk (cup) less than 1g fat. Reduced-fat cottage cheese (3oz) 1g fat. Cheddar cheese (3oz) 28g fat. Fat-free yogurts contain 30 times less fat than full-fat varieties. 2% fat ice-cream can be 10 times less fatty than ordinary ice-cream. Butter contains up to twice the total fat and 4 times the saturated fat of lower-fat margarine/ vegetable spreads.

From a nutritional viewpoint, we don’t need eggs. Yes, they are an excellent source of protein, but lack of protein is no longer a worry – if anything, we eat too much. Furthermore, egg yolks are high in cholesterol, and for this reason alone are probably worth avoiding. However, eggs are a very useful and convenient food (and experts are divided as to the cholesterol danger they pose), so at present my advice is: limit yourself to 4 eggs a week, unless you have raised cholesterol in which case I advise you to give up egg yolks and stick to whites only.

Mayonnaise is more of a problem. Not only does it contain egg yolks, it is also very high in fat. Which means you should avoid all commercial coleslaw and potato salad.

  • Eat a max. of 4 eggs, per week.

  • If you have raised cholesterol, avoid egg yolks – eat whites only.

  • Avoid full-fat mayonnaise, tartar sauce or any other mayo derivatives.

  • Avoid all commercial coleslaw, potato salad etc.

  • Treat yourself occasionally to a small amount of low-fat mayonnaise.

  • Tip! Mix ½ tbsp low-fat mayonnaise with ½ tbsp fat-free yogurt / sour cream. Delicious!

There’s no such thing as low-fat FAT or OIL! All fats and oils are 100% fat. So limit yourself to only the smallest quantities of these products. Furthermore, choose brands that are LOW in saturated fat.

  • Best of all: Buy PAM cooking spray (fat-free).

  • Next best: Buy a spray of good quality olive oil – the lower the saturated fat content, the better. If you can’t find a fat spray, buy unprocessed vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil.

  • Avoid all other oils (e.g. peanut oil, coconut, palm etc.)

  • Avoid butter. It’s loaded with saturated fat.

  • Avoid lard or any other solid fat (as opposed to liquid). It’s even worse than butter.

  • Whenever buying fats or oils, always check the label and choose brands LOW in saturated fat.

  • Tip! A good way of reducing your oil & fat intake, is to buy a good set of non-stick cookware, especially a frying pan. In this case, ‘good’ means ‘heavy’.

Fat examples (approx.)
Vegetable oil (1 tbsp) 15g fat. Fat-free cooking spray (1 spray) less than 1g fat.

Choose only
: Low-fat dressings (less than 5% fat) and use sparingly, balsamic vinegar.
Avoid all full-fat dressings, especially ranch dressing, or any cream or cheesy dressings.

Instant snack-food is probably the least essential and most fattening food group of all. If you never saw another doughnut or cookie, you’d be much healthier and much slimmer! Instant snack-food is usually high in fat (esp. saturated fat) as well as calories. In fact, the nicer it tastes, the more fat it is likely to contain! So check the label and avoid those brands that are high in fat (or sugar).

  • Best choices: Any wholemeal breads, plain bread rolls, English muffin etc.

  • Next best: Low-fat crackers, low-fat oat cookies.

  • Avoid all garlic bread, croissants, pastries (esp. Danish), doughnuts, cookies, candy, pies, peanuts, chips, tortillas, cheesy snacks, nachos etc.

  • My advice? Avoid commercial snacks altogether and stick to healthy snacks – see page 5.

Fat examples (approx.)
Doughnut 10g fat; Croissant 15g fat; Garlic bread (1 slice) 7g fat; Danish 15g fat; Peanuts (1oz) 12g fat; Potato chips (3oz) 10g fat; Tortilla chips (3oz) 20g; Cookies contain up to 30% fat and 35% sugar. Candy bars contain up to 30% fat and 60% sugar.

For example, compare the fat-content of these 3 different menus


Heart Attack Menu

Total fat = 237 grams fat

Bacon & Egg breakfast with hash browns + toast.
Small bag of potato chips.
Takeout fried chicken sandwich.
1 bar of candy.
Large cheeseburger, large fries & onion rings
After dinner
Slice of cheesecake.
Plus 1 pint whole milk.

Very High Fat Menu

Total fat = 160 grams

1 Danish.
Deli chicken sandwich with extra mayo.
Takeout Chicken Fajita with
cheese, guacamole, sour cream,
1 chocolate malt milk shake.
After dinner
4 Chocolate chip cookies.
Plus 1 pint whole milk.

Anne’s Sensible Menu

Total fat = 29 grams

Anne’s Smoothie + English muffin & preserves.
Banana + fat-free yogurt.
Thick sandwich with turkey, cucumber, tomato, onion, sweetcorn & chilli pickle.
2 chopped pears.
6oz salmon steak, boiled potatoes, carrots, peas.
Fat-free yogurt.
Plus 1 pint fat-free milk.



Heart-attacks and strokes
A heart-attack occurs when we develop a blockage in one of the arteries supplying blood to our heart. A stroke is the result of a blockage in one of our brain arteries. In either case, the story is the same. Lack of blood stops the heart or brain from working so it shuts down and we collapse.
How does a heart attack occur?
It’s the result of 3 things. (1) The wall of our artery becomes diseased or ‘corroded’. (2) As our blood passes through this corroded section, it dumps some of the fat it is carrying, and this fat clings to the artery, forming a bulge. Result? In the same way that double-parking narrows a road and causes a slow down in the flow of traffic, this fatty bulge narrows the width of the artery and slows down the flow of blood as it passes. (3) If the blood flow gets too slow and if tiny bits break off the bulge in the wall, clogging up the blood even more, the blood will form a spontaneous clot, totally blocking the artery.
Lifestyle is the major culprit
Our chances of getting a heart attack depend upon two separate factors: 1) Our family history. 2) Our lifestyle. Family history plays an important part, but lifestyle is the major culprit. For example, heart disease & stroke accounts for 48 per cent of all Irish deaths, yet only about 0.01 per cent of the population inherits an additional risk of such conditions. See what I mean? The real culprit is lifestyle. One of he best ways to improve our lifestyle is to reduce our intake of fat, especially saturated fat.
What about cholesterol?
There are only 2 things you need to know about cholesterol: (1) A high cholesterol level is bad news for your heart and since the only way to measure it is via a blood sample it’s wise to have your blood tested. (2) The best way to reduce your cholesterol is to follow a low-fat eating plan – like the one you’re reading. Many of Anne’s slimmers have reported significant cholesterol reductions while on her diet.

One of the main reasons we are fat, is because we use fatty cooking methods and ingredients.
So if you want to lose weight and stay healthy, you must change your cooking habits.

Cook more vegetarian meals
Generally speaking, vegetarian meals are always less fatty than meat meals. This is why vegetarians suffer 39% fewer cancer deaths than meat eaters and strict vegetarians suffer 75% fewer heart-attacks and strokes. The moral? Go vegetarian, at least two evenings a week.

Serve smaller portions of meat
Limit yourself to 3 ounces, per meal. That’s about the size of a standard deck of cards.
Fill up with extra potatoes/rice/pasta, salad, vegetables & beans (inc. legumes).
Serve salad on the side.

Remove all visible fat before cooking
Poultry: Remove all skin. (This alone can reduce your calorie-intake by up to 30%).
Poultry: Avoid self-basting turkeys/ chicken. They are usually high in saturated fat.
Meat: Trim edges and middle of all fat.
Fish: If using fish canned in oil, drain off all possible oil.

Instead of frying, broil, bake, stew, poach, or stir-fry
Don’t deep-fry anything – ever!
Don’t fry food – broil, bake, stew or poach. If baking wrap food in foil to retain moisture.
Get into the habit of cooking more family stews or casseroles – these meals require no added fat.
Broil steaks etc. – don’t fry them. (But never blacken meat [e.g. on a barbecue] – it’s a cancer risk!)
When baking/roasting, always use a rack to allow fat to drain away – and don’t re-use it in the gravy!

If you must fry


  • Always use a good non-stick pan – it makes it much easier to cook with just a little oil.

  • Ideally use a fat-spray instead of cooking oil.

  • Or, stir-fry/ sauté using non-fat liquids: (e.g.) soy sauce, lemon juice, chilli sauce, fruit juice (or juice from can of fruit), tomato sauce, salsa sauce, broth or water.

  • If you must use cooking oil, use an ‘unprocessed’ brand.

  • Don’t allow your oil to smoke.

  • Don’t re-use cooking oil – ever!

It’s no good choosing lean meat, if you drown it in fatty sauce. If in doubt, use a tomato-based sauce.

  • Always check the label. Ideally choose sauces with 5g fat per 100g (4oz), or less.

  • Avoid all sauces that require the addition of butter.

  • For sauces that require milk, use fat-free milk, not whole milk.

  • For sauces that require sour cream, use low-fat yogurt.


Place liquid in refrigerator. As it cools, the fat will rise to the surface. Then skim off.

Approximate Fat savings you can make by switching to low-fat options


Fatty food Fat Low fat option Fat Fat saving
1oz butter 23g 1oz low-fat margarine 11g 12.0g
1 pint whole milk 22g 1 pint fat free milk 0.5g 21.5g
1 tablespoon cooking oil 14g 1 spray of fat spray 0.1g 13.9g
2oz cheddar cheese 18g 2oz low-fat cheese 9.0g 9.0g
1 Croissant 15g 1 English Muffin 1.0g 14.0g
4oz standard ground beef 15g 4oz ground steak 6.0g 9.0g
4oz pork chop (inc. fat) 20g 4oz pork steak (no fat) 3.0g 17.0g
4oz Cheeseburger + fries 35g 4oz Turkey + fries 6.5g 28.5g
Serving of fried rice 18g Serving of boiled rice 2.0g 16.0g
Tbsp full-fat mayonnaise 12g Tbsp fat-free dressing 0.1g 11.9g
Bar of candy 13g Jelly/preserves sandwich 6.0g 7.0g
1 Danish pastry 15g Turkey salad sandwich 3.0g 12.0g
Cream doughnut 21g Can fruit + fat-free yogurt 0.1g 20.9g
4oz luxury ice-cream 16g+ Fat-free frozen yogurt 0.1g 15.9g