The ABCs of Family Health (Part 2)

The ABCs of Family Health (Part 2)


It’s a fact. Small changes in your food intake and activity level can make a big difference in your life. Delicious nutrition and an active lifestyle can help you feel better and look better today. They are also the keys to living longer and living healthier.

There’s no need for drastic diets or painful exercises. Small, positive changes usually work better than giant leaps. Here are 10 steps toward high-energy health—recommended by America’s nutrition and fitness experts in the 2000 Dietary Guidelines.

Aim for fitness.

1. Aim for a healthy weight. Give up your membership in the clean plate. Listen to your internal signals; stop when you are full.

2. Be physically active each day. Hide the remote control, and get up off the couch. Walk the dog; don’t just watch the dog walk.

Build a healthy base.

3. Let the Pyramid guide your food choices. Enjoy reasonable portions rather than super-size meals. Savor half your entree and save the rest for a tasty lunch.

4. Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains. Be heart-smart; kick start your day with whole-grain cereal. Buy breads and rolls with whole wheat as the #1 ingredient.

5. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Grab a power snack—an apple, banana, orange or pear. Serve a leafy green salad with every evening meal.

6. Keep food safe to eat. Wash your hands before cooking, serving or eating food. Refrigerate leftovers as soon as you get up from the table.

Choose sensibly.

7. Choose a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and moderate in total fat. Enjoy leaner meats with cuts from the round or the loin. Drink light with fat-free or low-fat milk in your glass.

8. Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars. Refresh yourself with sparkling water or club soda. Skip the “big gulp” drinks, and stay with a can or less a day.

9. Choose and prepare foods with less salt. Use the Nutrition Facts Label to choose foods with less sodium. Enhance food flavors with herbs, spices, garlic or lemon.

10. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Drink alcohol with meals to slow absorption into your body. Set your limit at one (for women) or two (for men) per day.

For more details on the ABCs of eating well, go online to:

l USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center,

l Cyberdiet,

l American Heart Association’s Delicious Decisions,

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