If you're great at game shows but didn't score too well on the fat/cholesterol quizzes, there are many associations, government agencies and businesses that distribute helpful information on how to eat for good health. Here are a few of them:
American Heart Association, Nation's Capital Affiliate, 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007 (337-6400) -- Publishes four free pamphlets: a grocery guide that details wise selections in each food category; recipes for fat-controlled low cholesterol meals; the AHA eating plan and a general booklet on cholesterol and your heart.
American Institute for Cancer Research, 1759 R St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009 (328-7744) -- Distributes a sliding chart that identifies the nutritional values of 22 cheeses; a compendium of brochures on diet and cancer (call for specifics); a grocery list pad and a guide to vitamins and minerals. They are free but send a self-addressed stamped envelope. AICR also publishes a cookbook series entitled "An Ounce of Prevention." A $6 donation is requested for each volume.
Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1501 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 (332-9110) -- A Life*Saver Fat and Calorie Guide poster ($3.95, $7.95 laminated) lists the fat calories and total calories in over 200 foods, plus whether the fat is predominantly saturated or not, the cholesterol content of about 20 foods and a chart that tells you how much fat to eat a day based on how many calories you eat.
The Cholesterol Center, 916 19th St. NW, Suite 316, Washington, D.C. 20006 (223-8825) -- The first of its kind in Washington, the center performs complete analyses of blood lipids and assessments of cardiovascular risk. Individual and small group counseling on how to lower high blood cholesterol through diet is also available. Six-week class is $250.
Giant Food, Consumer Affairs Dept., (341-4365) -- "Eat for Health" food guide (99 cents), available at all Washington metropolitan area stores, lists nutrition information for over 2500 foods. Monthly bulletins (free) detail a particular nutrition topic, and shelf tags designate those foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories and are high in fiber.
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room 10A18, Bethesda, Md. 20892 (800-422-6237) -- Free "Diet, Nutrition & Cancer Prevention: The Good News" booklet includes information on what foods to choose more often and which to eat less often, how to plan menus and prepare foods.
National Cholesterol Education Program, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, C200, Bethesda, Md. 20892 (496-4236) -- For the general public, a pamphlet called "Facts about Blood Cholesterol." For those with high blood cholesterol, "So You Have High Blood Cholesterol" and "Eating to Lower Blood Cholesterol." These free pamphlets are not yet available, but you can call or write to put your name on the mailing list.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, Colo. 81009 -- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a free list of seven guidelines that describe how to choose healthful foods and avoid others. USDA also publishes how-to booklets for each guideline, which include more detailed information on buying tips and recipes. Called "Dietary Guidelines and Your Diet," the seven bulletins can be purchased for $4.50 total by sending a check or money order to the above address (and including Attention: S. Woods, Dept. 187P) or writing to: Government Printing Office, Home and Garden Bulletin 232-1 through 7. Stock 001-000-04467-2. Washington D.C. 20402.
Vitaerobics, Inc., 4403 Manchester Ave. Suite 107, Encinitas, Calif. 92024 (800-323-8042) -- Publishes a booklet entitled "30 Percent Fat ... What's That?" that discusses how to calculate a diet that derives 30 percent of its calories from fat. The company also sells a Fat Finder, a pocket-sized wheel that can be used to easily calculate the percentage of calories from fat of individual foods. Fat Finder wheel and booklet is $6.95, wheel only $4.95. Discounts for orders larger than 12.