...and Nutrition Basics

For more detailed information order The Better Health Cookbook Enter Store


I   N   T   R   O   D   U   C   T   I   O   N

The answer to better health is exercise and the food we eat. Nutritious, low-fat, low-sodium, and reduced carbohydrate meals, are fundamental to today’s health-conscious lifestyles; meals that help reduce dangerous cholesterol cut unwanted calories and retain important minerals, vitamins, and life giving enzymes. All of our fresh foods have a built-in natural goodness. But the wonderful health-giving values you paid dearly for at your grocery store may soon disappear in your kitchen. With old-fashioned conventional cooking methods, fresh vegetables must be peeled, boiled, or steamed, and subjected to high heat, not to mention the use of cooking fats and oils and the extremely high temperatures of the microwave. All of this results in the irreplaceable loss of a large share of the vital minerals, vitamins and enzymes that we need for better health.

Waterless, greaseless food preparation creates wholesome, great tasting meals, without sacrificing vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Furthermore, the methods you will learn thoroughly capture the wonderful flavors we expect in our meals. It’s possible because of this unique cooking method. Most foods cook on low or medium-low heat, below the boiling temperature, in a vapor seal. The vapor seal method of waterless cooking is the secret that retains vital nutritional values. By eliminating the need for peeling, boiling, steaming and microwaving, vegetables and fruits come to the table with a “garden fresh” taste, and meats are gently seared and browned and cooked in their own natural juices, without the need for high calorie oils and fat. It’s a whole new experience in cooking and taste, and a key benefit for better health.

Because food preparation is easy and efficient, waterless, greaseless cooking has become the preferred method of millions of home cooks who are dedicated to better health through healthier cooking techniques. A Guide to Waterless Cooking contains exciting recipes that will bring nature’s goodness to your table every day.

Two sound fundamentals are to always underscore anything we include in this cookbook. First, the recipes must be quick and easy to prepare, with ingredients that are readily available. And second, every recipe must be tasty and healthful.

Chef David Knight, President

Health Craft Cookware


Receive a $500 Gift Certificate…

Tell us your successful safe weight loss story using Dr. Ann Hunter’s nutritional guidelines and Health Craft cookware, and when approved for publication, you will receive a $500 gift certificate towards the purchase of Health Craft products. Please include a before and after photo. Take a snapshot and begin today! Your body will be glad you did... email Kristie@healthcraft.com

Copyright © 2009 Health Craft, Inc., all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Health Craft, Inc.

Ann Hunter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA

Wichita State University


Now that you’ve invested in Health Craft waterless / greaseless cookware, it’s time to reap the many rewards of hassle-free cooking, delicious meals, and improved health. I know through my years of experience in the food service industry that nothing detracts more from a pleasurable cooking experience than not having the right food to prepare or the right equipment to work with.

As a dietitian, I want my finished entrees to appeal to the eye and the palate, and to meet my clients’ nutritional needs. Overcooked vegetables that have lost their color and flavor have little to no nutritional value. Dried out meats that have lost their flavor, are difficult to chew and swallow.  With the Health Craft Nutritional Cooking System, you can rest assured that these cooking nightmares won’t happen to you. Waterless/Greaseless Cookware retains the valuable vitamins and minerals as well as the natural moisture in your foods.

Because we understand your lifestyle needs, much care went into the selection of the recipes in this cookbook. We recommend you reference the nutritional breakdown of each recipe. For a complete explanation of this breakdown, see page 15. In addition to including the most nutritious entrees, Health Craft has made your variety of choice almost limitless. Choose from a variety of irresistible recipes, such as Singapore Fish, Chicken Satay, Hom Bow, and even Chocolate Mousse.

Part of my role has been determining the nutritional information for each recipe, but through the process I’ve listed, tasted, and visualized each meal personally. During this project, recipes were improved by reducing fat, sodium, and caloric count, while increasing fiber whenever possible. All this was done without sacrificing the appearance, texture, or taste of the dishes. Each recipe was then retested for taste, quality, and accurate preparation instructions.

So much has been written about nutrition, cholesterol, fats, and diets during the past ten years, it’s no wonder we sometimes feel bombarded with information. That’s why in this cookbook we’ve gotten back to the basics of nutrition. You should find the following sections particularly useful: The Surgeon General’s report as it relates to foods and nutrition; the Food Guide Pyramid; the basics of metabolism and fats; the new food labels and how to use them; and the calorie point system. We hope you’ll turn to these reference pages for years to come.

I’ve enjoyed my Health Craft cookware for many years and still continue to learn new ways to prepare foods-without added fats and water. You will too!

Easily prepared, nutritional meals that are appealing to the eye and the palate… What more could you ask for?

Ref: Forward; The Better Health Cookbook by Charles & LeAnn Knight


Staying Fit with Health Craft

There is increasing evidence that certain foods may help prevent or hinder some types of cancer. While the evidence continues to accumulate, adding these foods to your diet certainly cannot hurt and likely will help.

It is a particularly smart diet strategy. Eating many kinds of fruits and vegetables is sound advice from the American Cancer Society on cancer-proofing your diet. Most experts also recommend cutting down on fats and eating healthy amounts of fiber-the same prescription that experts say reduces heart attack risks. Maintaining your foods’ natural goodness by cooking the waterless, greaseless way only makes good sense.

Click on Chart to Enlarge
Click on Chart to Enlarge

As human beings there are four major factors that influence our health: heredity, the environment, nutrition, and the amount and type of exercise we get.

We have the most control over our nutrition and the amount of exercise. This section has been designed as a primer on nutrition, to help you find a more healthful way to eat. By understanding where we currently are on the road to better health, we will all live longer more healthful lives.

A quote from the Surgeon General’s report on Nutrition and Health focuses on the cultural and social pleasures of our heritage.


Today, 12.5 million children are overweight in the United States—more than 17 percent. Overweight children are at greater risk for many serious health problems. This initiative promotes the importance of healthy eating and physical activity at a young age to help prevent overweight and obesity in this country.

The chart brings to the forefront the dangers associated with the American diet. As the chart illustrates obesity and the related causes of early death in the United States are influenced by our diet and have increased dramatically since 1991.


Estimated Total Deaths & Percent of Total Deaths for the 10 Leading Causes of Death in the USA


Cause of Death




Heart Disease*












Lung Disease




Unintentional Injuries




Diabetes mellitus*




Alzheimer's Disease




Pneumonia & Influenza




Kidney Disease*




Blood Disease Septicemia




All other causes







 Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Reports Vol. 56, No. 5 2007

* Causes of death in which diet plays a part.

New Food Guide Pyramid

A new food guide based on glycemic index research has been developed at the University of Utah Diabetes Research Center by two health practitioners, Dana Clarke, M.D., CDE, and Joan Clark, MS, RD, CDE, it’s called the Food Guide Pyramid for Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Management.

High Glycemic Carbohydrates with very low Nutritional Value

Foods to eat sparingly and infrequently; sugar, syrup, sweets, flavored beverages with sugar, most candy and baked goods. These foods increase blood sugar to a greater degree.

High Glycemic Index Carbohydrates with some Nutritional Value

These foods should be consumed in moderation. The list includes; some breakfast cereals (Cheerios, Grape nuts), sticky white rice, instant rice, dates, and raisins. You can consume up to two servings a day, but if on a glycemic weight-loss program, it’s best to consume only one serving or none at all. A serving size is ½ cup.

Moderate Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

Foods you want to focus on for safe weight-loss, include 1 to 4 servings per day of; sweet corn, cantaloupe, apricots, papayas, fresh pineapple, and raisins. For weight loss 1 to 2 servings if any at all, a serving size is ½ cup.

Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

You can consume 1 to 4 servings per day; milk, non-sweet yogurt, dried peas, legumes, 100% whole wheat kernels, wheat bran, rice bran, cherries, grapefruit, apples, strawberries, yams, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, dates, oranges, and pasta cooked al dente. A serving size is ½ cup.

Very Low Carbohydrate Foods

Consume 4 to 9 servings per day of non starchy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, carrots, and asparagus. Consume 2 to 6 half-cup servings per day of healthy fats, such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Healthy protein includes lean meats, seafood, poultry, and low-fat cottage cheese. A serving size is ½ cup.

The last two groups are the foods you want to focus on to achieve safe weight-loss results. Eat less total fat, especially saturated fats found in butter, lard, bacon and some red meats.

Source: Glycemic Index Weight Loss; Lucy Beale and Joan Clark, R.D., C.D.E. pages 68, 69, 70

How many servings do you need?

(Guidelines apply to ages 2 and older.) 

  Sedentary Women Children, Teenage Girls, Teenage Boys,
& Older Adults Active Women, Sedentary Men Active Men,
Very Active Women
Grains 6 9 11
Vegetables 3 4 5
Fruit 2 3 4
Milk 2 to 3 2 to 3 2 to 3
Meat (ounces) 5 6 7
Fat (grams) 53 73 93

What Counts as a Serving?

Wholegrain Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta: 1 slice bread (1 oz), ½ English muffin, regular bagel or soft pretzel, ½ bun or pita (1 oz), ½ slice firm hearth loaf, ½ oz crackers, cookies or pretzels, ½ medium muffin, 1 small waffle 3 ½” (9 cm) square, 1 pancake 4” (10 cm), ½ cup cooked rice, bulgur, barley, or other whole grain, ½ cup cooked pasta or couscous, 1 oz cold cereal (amount varies, read labels), ½ cup cooked cereal (1/3 uncooked), 2 cups plain popcorn, 1 slice pizza (1/8 of 10” pizza), ½ of 1 flour or corn tortilla (1 oz)

Whole-wheat flour

Bulgur (cracked wheat)


Whole cornmeal

Brown rice


Green & Orange Vegetables: 1 cup raw leafy vegetables, ½ cup cooked or chopped vegetables, ¾ cup juice

All Fruit: 1 medium apple, banana, orange; ½ cup chopped, cooked, canned; ¾ cup juice

Low Fat Milk, Yogurt, Cheese: 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 ½ oz natural cheese, 2 oz processed cheese

Lean Meat, Skinless Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, Nuts: 2-3 oz lean meat, poultry or fish; ½ cup cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons peanut butter count as 1 oz of meat.


How do you make a change in your eating habits and take control of your own health?  The American Cancer Society recommends the following:

Protective Factors

GREEN VEGETABLES, eat more of the crucifers: Brussels-sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, all cabbages, and kale.

HIGH FIBER FOODS, eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, wheat and bran cereals, rice, popcorn, and whole-wheat breads.

VITAMIN A, eat foods with beta-carotene: carrots, peaches, apricots, squash and broccoli.

VITAMIN C, eat fresh fruits and vegetables like grapefruit, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and tomatoes.

WEIGHT CONTROL, Control your Weight through regular exercise and sensible eating.   

Risk Factors

HIGH-FAT DIET cut fat intake. Eat lean meats, fish, skinned poultry, and reduced fat dairy products. Avoid pastries and candies.

SODIUM AND FOOD PRESERVATIVES, choose these foods only on occasions; bacon, ham, hotdogs, and salt cured-meats and fish.

TOBACO, smoking is the biggest cancer risk of all. Pick a day to quit now.

ALCOHOL is linked to kidney and liver disease. If you drink, do so in moderation.

EXCESSIVE SUN exposure can cause skin cancer and other damage. Protect yourself.


Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Make a commitment to yourself today to make healthy food choices. Choose foods high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber and consume more cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage.

Foods high in vitamin A may help protect against cancers of the esophagus, larynx, and lung. Choose squash, apricot, and spinach. Fresh foods are the best source of beta-carotene, not vitamin pills. Likewise, vitamin C may help protect against cancers of the esophagus and stomach and is found naturally in many fresh foods and vegetables. Adding high fiber may protect you against colon cancer and cruciferous (the cabbage family type) appear to protect against colon, stomach, and respiratory cancers.


Why We Cook

To make food more palatable and appetizing

To kill harmful bacteria on food

To make food more digestible

To entertain, be creative, and have fun


Keep in mind, however, a wide selection of foods are available in our modern day world, what we do with them prior to consumption either adds or subtracts from their nutritional value and to our health.

Dietary Intake

The following chart shows the current percentages of average dietary intake in the United States. As you can see, in this country complex carbohydrate consumption is a mere 58% of what it should be. The same is true for sugar consumption only reversed. We eat more, not less, sugar than we should and out fat intake skyrockets.

Current Levels

Complex Carbohydrates 28%

Unsaturated Fat 19%

Refined Sugars 18%

Saturated Fat 16%

Protein 12%

Polyunsaturated Fat 7%


Recommended Levels

Complex Carbohydrates 48%

Protein 12%

Unsaturated Fat 10%

Refined Sugars 10%

Saturated Fat 10%

Polyunsaturated Fat 10%



Eat a variety of foods

Maintain desirable weight

Avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol

Eat foods with adequate starch and fiber

Avoid too much sugar

Avoid too much sodium

If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation


Basics on Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which food is converted into useful energy. This begins with a chemical processes in gastrointestinal tract changing plant an animal food into less complex components so they can be absorbed to fulfill their various functions in the body; growth, repair and fuel.  The body gets its energy in the form of carbohydrates, protein and fats. We measure the energy available in foods, and the energy needed for metabolism, physical activity and digestion, as calories.

Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, Proteins provide 4 calories per gram, and Fats provide 9 to 11 calories per gram. The daily caloric need varies widely and is dependent upon height, weight, age, level of activity, state of health, and heredity as well.  It is generally accepted that the “typical” adult woman needs 1,500 – 1,800 calories per day, and the “typical” adult man needs 2,000 - 3,000 calories per day.

Each pound of human body fat has about 3,500 calories of energy.  Body fat is converted into energy when the calorie intake in food is inadequate. Likewise, calories eaten in excess of need are stored as body fat. A pound of body fat can be lost in one week by reducing energy intake by 500 calories per day, or by increasing physical activity by 500 calories per day. A combination of decreased intake and increased output will lead to a recommended slow healthy weight loss of 2 pounds per week, allowing the body’s metabolism and past eating habits to change gradually towards permanent weight loss.

Fats are stored in the body and used as a later energy source. The body’s metabolism is a very complex process, and some fat must be included in our diet for important body functions including; insulation, transportation of fat soluble vitamins, i.e.

Vitamin A is essential for vision, cell growth and development, reproduction, a strong immune system, healthy hair, skin and mucous membranes.

Vitamin D is essential for proper metabolism of calcium for strong bones.

Vitamin E is essential for healthy nerve function and reproduction.

Vitamin K is essential for clotting of blood.

Click on Chart to Enlarge
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Metabolic Facts

Fat calories are deposited as body fat, whereas carbohydrates are more likely to be burned as body heat, for example: eating 100 calories of pretzels (carbohydrates) result in 25 calories being used for digestion and processing and 75 calories left to be stored; eating 100 calories of salad dressing (fat) results in 3 to 5 calories used for digestion with 95 to 97 calories being stored.

Fatty acids in the small intestine are passively absorbed, using no calories; carbohydrates and proteins both require calories in their digestive process.

Eating fats with sugar may create increased obesity because sugar simulates the release of insulin which encourages excessive fat storage.

Extremely low-fat diets (less than 20 percent of total calories in fat) will not necessarily cause weight loss because the individual may eat excessive calories from other sources.

We need to aim towards a healthy ratio of body fat and lean muscle mass which is 15 to 20 percent body fat for men and 19 to 24 percent for women.

In the muscle, fat is only burned for fuel in the presence of oxygen and carbohydrates.

Include a regular moderate level aerobic exercise to increase oxidation of stored body fat.

To have adequate nutritional intake and lower fat – have at least five servings of vegetables a day and exercise 30 minutes five times per week.


Lower Your Fat Calorie Intake...

Reaching and maintaining a healthier weight is important for your overall health and well being. If you are significantly overweight, you have a greater risk of developing many diseases including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. For obese adults, even losing a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits.

Reaching a healthier weight is a balancing act. The secret is learning how to balance your “energy in” and “energy out” over the long run.

“Energy in” is the calories from the foods and beverages you have each day. “Energy out” is the calories you burn for basic body functions and physical activity.

Maintaining Weight, Your weight will stay the same when the calories you eat and drink equal the calories you burn.

Losing Weight, You will lose weight when the calories you eat and drink are less than the calories you burn.

Gaining Weight, You will gain weight when the calories you eat and drink are greater than the calories you burn.


Lower Your Fat Intake

Choose lower fat foods using some of the following suggestions:


Slow and steady weight loss is the only way to avoid "yo-yo dieting," where you lose a great deal of weight, only to regain it within a few months or years. There are no miracles in weight loss; go for steady progress toward a healthier lifestyle. For a healthy diet, replace unhealthy and fattening foods with healthier alternatives, such as fresh fruits and vegetables cooked the waterless way for maximum flavor and nutrition. Cook lean meats, fish and skinless poultry the greaseless way to reduce fat calories.

Hunger Center in the Brain

It takes time for the body to recognize that you have eaten and for the feeling of hunger to go away. Eating too quickly may cause you to eat more food over the same period of time as eating slowing and allowing your body to feel "full".

Muscle VS Fat Cells

To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat. Exercise is the best way to do this. When you exercise regularly, you build stronger muscles, even if you do not work out with weights. Muscles use more calories than fat throughout the day, even while you are resting. This contributes to what is commonly called a "faster metabolism."


Understand & Use Food Labels…

The new Food Label format should make food shopping much easier for everyone. It will be especially helpful for those who need to limit certain nutrients due to illness, disease prevention and for healthy weight loss.

The food label also carries an up-to-date easier-to-use nutritional guide, and is required on most all packaged foods. It serves as a key to help in planning a healthy diet.

1.        The title, Nutrition Facts, signals that the label contains accurate information as required by the Food and Drug Administration.

2.        Serving Size is now consistent across all food product lines, stating both the Serving Size in metric measurement and the total amount of Servings Per Container.

3.        Amount Per Serving indicates the total Calories per serving. Calories from Fat per serving are also listed. For a healthy diet it is recommended that you consume no more than 30% calories from fat on a daily basis.

4.        % Daily Values indicates how a food fits into the recommended daily diet for 2,000 calories.

5.        The List of Nutrients covers those most important to the health of today’s consumer. The food’s producer may also include information about Vitamins and Minerals. Foods that contain a minimal amount of nutrients, required on the standard label, can use a short label format and not include this information. This may also be the case with food products in very small packages and cans.

6.        Percent Daily Values, in the small print at the bottom of the label, are maximums, as with fat (less than 65g); others are minimums, as with Total de Carbohydrates (300 grams or more). The daily values on the label are based on a daily diet of 2,000 and 2,500 calories. Individuals should adjust the values to fit their desired calorie intake.

7.        The label also indicates the number of calories per gram of Fat, Carbohydrate, and Protein. The numbers are rounded off.

Of the six items shown in bold print on the label, four – namely Calories, Total Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium, will alert consumers to the items they should consumer in moderation. Saturated Fat values are also provided.

More on Food Labels

Another advantage of understanding and using Food Labels is the requirement of standardized portions per servings. In the past, food manufacturers could alter the content of their products by juggling the Serving Size. For example, in order to make potato chips appear to be low calorie, low fat, and low sodium, the serving size was two chips, and the amounts were usually given in ounces or other weights not commonly understood by the public. The new regulations now mandate portion sizes that are more typical of the amounts people actually consume, and are now listed in common measurements.

Daily Values (DV) and Percent of Daily Values also provide another nutritional content indicator. The Daily Values are the reference numbers set by the government and are based on current nutritional recommendations, and correlated with healthy diets of 2,000 or 2,500 calories, referenced on the bottom of the label.

Food Component DV for all Calorie Levels

Cholesterol                              300 mg

Sodium                                    2,400 mg

Potassium*                             3,500 mg

*Optional on Nutrition label


The Percent of Daily Values (%DV) gives a general idea as to the food’s nutrient contributions to the 2,000 calorie reference diet. In all cases you must remember that you may need more than 2,000 calories per day.

Guidelines for Percentages of Daily Values

Food Component                    Calculated as*

Total fat                                  30% of total calories

Saturated fat                          10% of total calories

Total Carbohydrate                60% of total calories

Dietary Fiber                           11.5 gm/1000 calories

Protein**                                 10% of total calories

*Numbers may be rounded for labeling

**% Daily Values for protein is optional

In order to build a healthful diet using these concepts and different calorie levels, use the Daily Nutrient Chart below to find the nutrient amounts and total Percentage Daily Value indicated for your calorie choice level. This will help you to compare foods and make informed, healthier choices.

           Daily Nutrient Needs for Different Calorie Levels*

Food Component                    1,600       2,000**   2,200       2,500       2,800       3,200

Total Fat (g)                                  53            65            73            80            93          107

Saturated Fat (g)                        18            20            24            25            31            36

Total Carbohydrate                  240          300          330          375          420          480

Dietary Fiber (g)                          20***     25            25            30            32            37

Protein                                            46****   50            55            64            70            80

Your total % Daily Value for each of these nutrients in all the foods you eat in one day can add up to:

                                                 80%           100%       110%       125%       140%       160%

Numbers* may be rounded

% Daily Value** on the label for total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and protein (if listed is based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet.)

20 g*** is the minimum amount of fiber recommended for all calorie levels below 1,800. Source: National Cancer Institute.

46 g**** is the minimum amount of protein recommended for all calorie levels below 1,800. Source: Recommended Dietary Allowances 1989.

NOTE: These calorie levels may not apply to children and adolescents who have varying caloric requirements. For specific advice concerning calorie levels, please consult a registered dietitian, qualified health professional, or pediatrician.

Another positive aspect of food labeling legislation is it eliminated nutrient content claims that were not valid. The label format mandates criteria for definition of food claims such as Fat Free, High Fiber, Low Calorie, etc.

It’s anticipated that new definition will be developed by food manufacturers identifying other nutrients needing clarification.

An area of considerable controversy has developed regarding the use of health claims on food packaging. A health claim is defined as a label statement describing the relationship between a nutrient and disease or health-related condition. The food must meet specific nutrient levels if it is to be allowed to make a health claim. Currently, seven types of health claims are allowed.

Nutrient-Disease Relationship

·         Diet high in calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis

·         Diet high in fiber-containing grains, fruits, and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer.

·         Diet high in fruits or vegetables that are high dietary fiber or vitamin A or C reduces risks of cancer.

·         Diet high in fiber from fruits, vegetables, and grain products reduces the risk of heart disease.

·         Diet low in fat reduces risks of cancer.

·         Diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol reduces risk of heart disease.

·         Diet low in sodium reduces risk of high blood pressure.


Food labels are required on all canned and packaged foods except:

·         Foods produced by companies with food sales of less than $50,000 per year.

·         Restaurant food

·         Food prepared for immediate consumption, such as airplane meals

·         Food sold by food service vendors

·         Food sold in bulk bins

·         Plain coffee, tea, spices, and other foods without significant amounts of nutrients


There is a great deal of excellent label information available to the general public through organizations such as the National Food Processors Association, The American Diabetics Association and the manufacturers of the individual products. As with most things in our lives the more you know about food labels the more freedom you will have in developing healthful meals.

Never-the-less, your best prospect for living a healthy life style is to choose fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and fish.

Label Claim                                             Definitions

Calorie free                                             less than 5 calories

Low calorie                                             40 calories of less

Light or Lite                                             one-third fewer calories of 50% less fat

Fat free                                                   less than ½ gram fat

Low fat                                                    3 grams or less, fat

Cholesterol free                                    less than 2 mg cholesterol and 2 gm or less saturated fat

Low cholesterol                                     0 mg or less cholesterol and 2 mg or less saturated fat

Sodium free                                            less than 5 mg sodium

Very low sodium                                   35 mg or less

Low sodium                                            140 mg or less

High fiber                                                 5 grams or more

Safe Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Habits

Pocketbook Edition, perfect for meal planning and taking with you when grocery shopping.
Pocketbook Edition, perfect for meal planning and taking with you when grocery shopping.

The Point System

Calorie Points are a simplified way of counting calories. This is the best system for people who want to lose, maintain or gain weight. Many diabetics use the Point System to assist in managing their disease.

Calorie Points may be used to count several nutrients in addition to calories. The nutrients include, but are not limited to sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, protein, and potassium. Using the points makes it easy to manage a healthy diet.

The more traditional method of counting calories is time consuming, and not as accurate as most people believe. Calorie values published in different book vary as does the calorie content of the foods. For example; there may be many calorie differences in the same size apples growing on opposite sides of the same tree. Although counting calories is not and exact science, the lists of nutrients are the best tool available.

Definitions of Points

The nutrients considered have assigned point values as follows:

1.        A Calorie Point is 75 calories abbreviated as (CAL)

2.        A Carbohydrate Point is 15 grams of Carbohydrate abbreviated as (CHO)

3.        A Fiber Point is 2 grams of Dietary Fiber abbreviated as (FIB)

4.        A Sodium Point is 23 milligrams of Sodium abbreviated as (NA)

5.        A Cholesterol Point is 10 milligrams of Cholesterol abbreviated as (CHOL)

6.        A Protein Point is 8 grams of Protein abbreviated as (PRO)

Many of the recipes listed and analyzed for Health Craft throughout this website and all recipes in our cookbooks; The Better Health Cookbook complete version in full color 208 pages, The Better Health Cookbook pocketbook edition 48 pages, and our latest cookbook A Guide to Waterless Cooking, provide both nutrient values and points for these six selected nutrients. Counting 20 Calorie Points instead of 1,500 calories is one example of the simplicity of the calorie point system.

To order The Better Health Cookbook Enter Store

Calorie/Carbohydrate Point Conversions...

The first two columns of the chart below list calories and the conversion values in points. Remember, a Calorie Point is equal to about 75 calories. The third column is the grams of carbohydrate suggested for each calorie level and its conversion to carbohydrate points shown in the fourth column. The final columns represent fat calories and fat grams. It is now easier to count fat as grams because that value is found on all food labels. Example; For a 1,500 calorie plan you would want to consume 20 calorie points, 11 carbohydrate points, and 42 grams of fat.

Grams of
55% of Carbohydrate Fat 25% of Fat
Calories Points Total Calories Points Total Calories Grams
1,200 16 660 9 300 33
1,300 17 1/2 715 9 1/2 325 36
1,400 18 1/2 770 10 350 39
1,500 20 825 11 375 42
1,600 21 1/2 880 12 400 44
1,700 22 1/2 935 12 1/2 425 47
1,800 24 990 13 450 50
1,900 25 1/2 1,045 14 475 53
2,000 26 1/2 1,100 14 1/2 500 56
2,100 28 1,155 15 525 58
2,200 29 1/2 1,210 16 550 61
2,300 31 1,265 17 575 64
2,400 32 1,320 17 1/2 600 67
2,500 33 1/2 1,375 18 625 69
2,600 35 1,430 19 650 72
2,700 36 1,485 20 675 75
2,800 37 1/2 1,540 20 1/2 700 78
2,900 38 1/2 1,595 21 725 81
3,000 40 1,650 22 750 83
4,000 53 2,200 29 1,000 111
5,000 67 2,75 36 1/2 1,250 139

Fiber Points…

Because of the health benefits of including dietary fiber in your diet, we suggest that you count dietary fiber points as well. Ten (10) fiber points per day are recommended for the first two-week period. Fifteen (15) fiber points per day are recommended for the second two weeks. Increase the maximum to 20-25 fiber points per day, as tolerated.

The Issue of Control…

A truly successful eating plan is one that is safe, healthy, and allows you to eat the foods you enjoy. To succeed, you must stay on the new plan until you have modified your harmful behaviors and gained control over your eating habits. The plan is a success when you reach your goal and maintain that new weight. It is best to think of this activity as learning to eat properly rather than being on a diet.

Nine Points to Assist in Control

1.            Do not adopt a plan so low in calories that you can’t get the needed nutrients and your body slows down leading to decreased calorie burn. A rule of thumb is at least 1,200 calories for females and 1,500 for males.

A dietitian or your family doctor can compute the calorie level that will allow you to lose weight safely. (Factors such as repeated dieting may result in reduced metabolic rate requiring fewer calories than indicated on the following chart.

Find your weight range and activity level. Multiply your actual weight by the calories per pound shown under your activity level.

Weight Sedentary Light to Very
If Overweight Activity Moderate Activity Active
up to 200 lbs 12 13 15
201 to 250 10 11 12 to 13
251 to 300 9 10 11
300 lbs and over 8 9 10
If normal weight 12 14 16 to 18

        SEDENTARY ACTIVITYMost of the day is spent in activities such as TV, reading, handwork, etc.

LIGHT TO MODERATE ACTIVITY – Most of the day is spent in activities such as walking, housework, golf, etc.

VERY ACTIVE – Most of the day is spent in activities such as walking briskly, yard work, scrubbing floors, dancing, etc., or a regular exercise program is scheduled.

2.        Eat at least three meals and a snack if desired. These must be within the allowed calories and fat grams. This plan keeps you from getting too hungry and, therefore, out of control.

3.        Do not weight yourself more than once a week. Remember that a 1-2 pound weight loss per week or 4-10 pounds per month will be the most healthful and permanent loss.

4.        Take the time to identify current bad habits and create ways to overcome them.

5.        Write down the foods eaten and point values for the nutrients you are counting. Writing the items down is the only way to keep track of intake for the first few months.

6.        Exercise daily to improve your calorie burn, muscle tone, body configuration, raise your metabolic rate, improve your mental attitude, and relieve stress.

7.        Don’t let a binge become an excuse to quit. Start on the eating plan again.

8.        Special occasions and foods can be worked into your eating plan.

9.        It is essential that you have a well balanced, adequate nutrient intake. Refer to information on the Food Guide Pyramid. For your basic nutritional needs.

Calorie, Carbohydrate & Sodium Conversion Chart


The following charts are provided to help you determine points from label information.


Calorie Conversion Chart                                                            Carbohydrate Conversion Chart                      

Calorie Content           Calorie                                Carbohydrate Content                    Carbohydrate

On Label                       Point                                    On Label                                                    Points

19-56                                   ½                                             4-11                                                              ½

57-94                                   1                                             12-19                                                           1

95-131                                                                        20-26                                                          

132-169                             2                                             27-34                                                           2

170-206                                                                     35-41                                                           2 ½

207-244                             3                                             42-49                                                           3

245-281                                                                       50-56                                                          

282-319                             4                                             57-64                                                           4

320-356                             4 ½                                        65-71                                                          

357-394                             5                                             72-79                                                           5

395-431                             5 ½                                        80-86                                                          

432-469                             6                                             87-94                                                           6

470-506                             6 ½                                        95-101                                                       

507-544                             7                                             102-109                                                     7

545-581                             7 ½                                        110-116                                                    

582-619                             8                                             117-124                                                     8

620-656                             8 ½                                        125-131                                                    

657-694                             9                                             132-139                                                     9

695-731                             9 ½                                        140-146                                                    

732-769                             10                                          147-154                                                     10

770-806                             10 ½

807-844                             11


Sodium Conversion Chart

Sodium Content          Sodium

On Label                            Points

13-33                                   1

 34-56                                 2

57-79                                   3

80-102                                4

103-125                             5

126-148                             6

149-171                             7

172-194                             8

195-217                             9

218-240                             10

333-355                             15

448-480                             20

563-595                             25

678-710                             30

Sample Menu for 1500 Calories


A sample menu has been included to help give you ideas for planning. The example includes a cookie to show you that all “fun” do not become things of the past. People with more strict needs would have to modify this sample.






10 to 20













1 cup











Whole wheat toast

1 slice






1 teaspoon





Milk, ½% fat

1 ½ cups






Whole wheat bread

2 slices






2 ounces






¾ ounce





Salad dressing

½ tablespoon





Carrot sticks

6 to 8





Oatmeal chocolate






Chip cookie


Wheat crackers






Peanut butter

1 tablespoon






Lean roast beef

2 ounces





Baked potato







2 teaspoons





Green beans

½ cup





Spinach salad

½ cup






1 teaspoon






¼ cup











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