Eat right, exercise key to healthy lifestyle

Posted by: smilie on 01/08/2007 - 05:26 AM

The food and physical activity choices you make today — and everyday — affect your health and how you feel right now and in the future.

To maintain good health, make smart choices from every food group to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs, being sure to stay within your daily calorie needs.

Exercising regularly is just as important, which helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well being, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

Since not all people are the same, the need for a more individualized approach to improving diet and lifestyle is necessary.

• Make half your grains whole: Eat six ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta. Substitute a whole-grain product (brown rice, bulgur, graham flour, oatmeal, whole-grain corn, whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, and wild rice) for a refined product, such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice.

It’s important to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, rather than adding the whole-grain product. Note that foods labeled with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100 percent wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not whole-grain products.

• Vary your veggies: Eat two-plus cups of dark-green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens; orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes; and dry beans and peas like pinto beans, kidney beans, and lentils.

Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave, buy vegetables that are easy to prepare, pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and add baby carrots or grape tomatoes for a salad in minutes.

• Focus on fruit: Eat a variety of fruits, and go easy on fruit juices. Choose two cups of fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit, and keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter or in the refrigerator.

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