Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Balancing Your Diet to Prevent Obesity

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With obesity, comes the increased risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Health experts say that even losing 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can dramatically decrease the risk of developing these serious conditions.

Doing this in a healthy way can make your success easier and more palatable! We'll talk more about healthy food in a moment.

It’s also important to remember that your weight should be lost gradually. Don’t expect miracles overnight. When you first start dieting, you will probably lose more water weight, therefore you may be losing more pounds initially. But, if you’re doing it right, your weight loss will slow down to an average of one to two pounds per week. Studies have shown that you can only lose three pounds of fat per week, so anything over that is water loss or muscle loss, which you need to stay away from.

Now, a balanced diet is your best bet for healthy weight loss. And don't forget the colorful veggies and fruits!

These essential parts of your diet contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients. You can have five or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables. A serving size is ½ cup to 1 cup of cooked and raw vegetables, ½ cup of fruit juice (dilute this with purified water to avoid raising your blood sugar too quickly.), or one medium piece of fruit. Aim to choose a variety of colors in your diet because they have different vitamins and minerals. Let’s look at some colorful foods you should include in your diet.

Red - Red fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that help keep your heart and urinary tract healthy. They also help with your memory and lower your risk of some cancers. When it comes to red, choose from apples, cherries, strawberries, tomatoes, red peppers, and radishes, to name a few.

Yellow/Orange - Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that keep your heart, vision, and immune system healthy. Some yellow and orange fruits and veggies include apricots, lemons, peaches, cantaloupe, yellow squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

Green - Green fruits and vegetables help lower your risk of some cancers and keep your bones and teeth strong. Choose foods like green grapes, broccoli, avocados, spinach, green apples, and limes.

Blue/Purple - Blue and purple fruits and vegetables lower the risk of some cancers and keep your urinary tract healthy. They also help maintain your memory function. Some delicious blue and purple foods are blackberries, blueberries, raisins, plums, eggplant, and purple cabbage.

Balance your meals with good fats, protein and colorful fruits and veggies, and you're on your way to success!

Posted by Jeff Dedrick
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