Healthy News You Can Use!

Back to school time is finally here! I hope you have had a great summer with your family and friends. The end of summer and Labor Day bring a great opportunity to re-focus on your health and fitness goals. As you get your children back into their school routines and the last of your summer traveling ends, take time to assess your current health and exercise commitment. Use the beginning of a new football season as the signal to rededicate yourself to regular exercise and making healthy nutritional decisions. Below are a few healthy tips I would like to share. Being informed is the first step to healthier living.

Below are a few studies I found interesting in the July 2009 Tufts University Health and Nutritionists were asked to rank their top five foods; not only for their nutritional value, but also as offering distinct health benefits and good value. Are these top five foods included in your daily diet?

1. Salmon: rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Oats: high in fiber, a powerhouse nutrient, known for aiding with digestion, fighting disease and may lower the risk for high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
3. Blueberries: rich in antioxidants and vitamin C; keys to protecting the body against the damaging effects of free radicals and chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
4. Low/Non Fat Milk: rich in calcium and vitamin D.
5. Low/Non Fat Yogurt: advantages similar to other dairy products loaded with calcium and vitamin D provides probiotics, which aids digestion. Look for yogurt brands that say “live and active cultures” on the label.

You might have noticed that the only beverage on the list is low/non fat milk, and for good reason. At least half of the 150-300 calories added to the typical American diet over the past thirty years have come from beverages. Led by Benjamin Caballero, PhD, of John Hopkins University, research published in the May 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that we need to limit our liquid caloric intake. Furthermore, reducing sugar-sweetened beverage intake is an effective means to weight loss and avoiding excess weight gain. Be very afraid of liquid calories!

The last interesting bit of information was the results from a poll of 1,000 women. The poll found that over half were unhappy about their weight – not too surprising. However, most noted their main concern was for their appearance. Unfortunately, only one-third were focused on their physical condition, despite connections between being overweight and increased risk for chronic diseases. Only eight percent of the women polled said they regularly eat at least five servings of fruits or vegetables daily. Amazingly, twenty-eight percent confess to consuming five produce servings only once in a week or less. I do hope you are in the eight percent with a balanced diet, if not, now is the time to make that adjustment.

As an informed adult you have the power to make the right decisions for yourself and your family. These decisions include regular exercise, proper nutrition and placing a priority on your physical health. Once you commit to making improvements in these areas, you will certainly see an improvement in your appearance. Have a healthy day!

Davis Islands Community News   ●   August 2009
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