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"We need to look at the labels on the foods we buy," because many of these fats are hidden in baked goods and people are not aware of how much they're consuming, Matarese said. "This is a simple way that any woman, especially postmenopausal women, can improve their health. Simply avoiding fried foods is a big one."
On average, American women in their 50s and 60s eat 63 to 68 grams of fat a day, federal health statistics show. A little context: A 2-ounce Snickers bar contains 14 grams of fat; a 2-ounce bag of Crunchy Cheetos has 20 grams, as does a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting fat to less than 25 to 35 percent of total calories, and trans fat to less than 1 percent. The healthiest fats come from nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils.
"We don't do a good enough job of emphasizing the importance of a good diet," said Dr. Lee Schwamm, a stroke specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Pediatricians in particular need to address the risk for chubby kids.
"If you don't change their patterns and problems in childhood, you're really looking at a lifetime of obesity," he said.
On the Net:
Stroke information: http://www.strokeassociation.org/
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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