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Fit And Well Idaho: Hidden Fats, Salt And Sugar In Your Diet

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Health experts say we're only supposed to consume a max of 8 teaspoons of added sugar a day, but the average American usually ingests about 20. Freaky, right?

Well fat, salt and sugar are the three main things to monitor in your diet when it comes to being heart healthy.

Sarah Renaldi is a registered dietitian at St. Luke's Magic Valley. She takes us on a journey of the normal products your might find in your kitchen.

First, we'll start with fat. Not all fats are created equal.Trade in the margarine and Crisco for healthy oils such as vegetable and olive.

"The Crisco and the margarines have what is called trans fat and those have been proven to be more dangerous than saturated fat. The newer fat that we know about and that is when you taken an oil, like vegetable oil and it's liquid at room temperature and through a chemical process, they make it solid at room temperature like Crisco...It increases shelf stability and they can put it in baked goods, crackers so they can last a long time in the grocery store, but unfortunately they are foreign to body, they are manmade."

When it comes to salt, most Americans should have 2,300 milligrams of salt a day. For those with pre–existing heart conditions, go with 1,500 and don't salt your food.

"About 70% of the salt we eat everyday is in foods that already comes prepared so prepackaged foods, frozen foods, canned vegetables, TV dinners, so really if you can give up the salt shaker that's going to get you a long way because there is already so much salt in everything else."

Then finally, sugar. Found naturally in milk, dairy and fruits, the added sugars are the ones to worry about.

This soda has 19 teaspoons of added sugar, the chocolate milk has 16, double the recommended amount.

"There are some alternatives to sugar, Stevia, Sweet and Low."

You've heard the phrase don't judge a book by its cover? Don't judge a product that way either. Nutrition labels are critical in uncovering the truth about the ingredients.

Renaldi will go into further detail at the "I Ate What? Finding Hidden Fat, Sugar and Sodium" seminar at St. Luke's Magic Valley on February 16th starting at 6 p.m. Part of the Heart Healthy Seminars, you need to pre-register by calling 814-0095.