Food, fat, fitness: Nutrition still important in summer

Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010

Editor's note: "Focus on Fitness" is a Clarion feature with healthy lifestyle advice from local and national health and fitness experts. Check here weekly great information and tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Summer activities stir summer appetites for summer foods and all the opportunities to enjoy fun foods as part of summer routines.

One source of those summer food-calories can come from fat. Like sugars and more complex carbohydrates, consuming fats is generally an OK thing.

Summer fats we enjoy include butters, creams, fry oils, nuts, and of course the animal fats included with white and red meats.

Fats are an important part of fueling a busy summer body when limited as a portion of total calories.

So, what is an OK amount of fat for my summer meal practices?

Knowing we are all different with our activities and body types, one fatty food size does not fit all. A measure of appropriate fat consumption is included with the Recommended Daily Allowances for Americans, or RDAs.

An example: A dietary measurement of fat suggests that a complete summer lunch for a 14-year-old active summer body be limited to 819 calories, with a limit of 245 (30 percent) of those 819 calories to come from fat.

A menu example:

1 each American Summer hot dog (turkey)

Mixed grain hot dog bun

3/4 cup baked beans -- limited sugar

1cup sliced peaches, no sugar added

1 cup of milk (1 percent low fat)

1 ounce low fat snack chips

1 each melon wedge

Mustard/ketchup, 7 grams

Total calories for the summer lunch: 850 with 212 calories (25 percent) percent coming from fat.

These same successful practices for limits with fat consumption are followed by the National School Lunch programs operating in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, for heart smart success in the school year.

Dean Hamburg serves as the administrator for the 48 USDA school meal programs serving students across the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Dean holds a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Washington State University and is credentialed with the School Nutrtion Association as a School Nutrition Specialist. He can be reached at

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