Eating right is vital to promoting health and
reducing the risk for death or disability due to chronic diseases such
as heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis. In fact, it has been estimated that dietary changes could reduce cancer
deaths in the United States by as much as 35 percent.
Nevertheless, a large gap remains between recommended dietary patterns
and what Americans actually eat. Very few Americans meet the majority of
recommendations of the My Pyramid or the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans. Only three percent of all individuals meet four of the five
recommendations for the intake of grains, fruits, vegetables, milk
products, and meat and bean food groups. Only one-fourth of U.S. adults
eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Unfortunately, poor eating habits are usually established during
childhood. And more than 60 percent of young people eat too much fat,
and less than 20 percent eat the recommended servings of fruits and
One size doesn't fit all.
Click on the Pyramid for steps to a healthier you.
Got Thirst? Get Water!
printable flyer (why we should drink plenty of water)
Water needs to be replenished daily. 3-4 Cups
of water is lost through breathing every day. That’s before you
sweat or go to the bathroom.
Water improves athletic performance because it
lubricates joints and makes muscles work better.
Drinking water helps prevent dry, itchy skin,
constipation, nose bleeds, acne, sinus pressure and headaches.
is the most vital nutrient to all living things. The body is
2/3 water. The bloodstream is 80% water and our brains are 75%
Water is vital for life. You could survive for
4-5 weeks without food, but only 5-7 days without water.
Drinking water helps you lose weight. Not
drinking enough water lowers your metabolism, and could cause you to
A bottle of regular soda or a sports drink each day
can add 15 extra lbs. in 6 months. The average teen drinks 16
or more ounces of soda or Gatorade every day.
Drinking water makes us more
productive. Lack of water is the #1 reason for daytime
fatigue. Not drinking enough water reduces your energy level
Drinking water saves money. Bottled water
is about 22 cents per quart. Soda and sports drinks run about 44
cents per quart.
Water improves brain function. A 2% drop in body water can cause short-term memory problems,
difficulty with basic math and poor ability to focus on reading
How much water do we need? Weight
divided by 2 gives you the daily minimum number of ounces
Healthy Holiday Eating
Drink only ZERO calorie drinks. Holiday
favorites like egg nog, cider, pumpkin spice latte, and hot cocoa can
add hundreds of calories to an already calorie laden season.
Avoid sauces and gravies made with real CREAM.
Roast or grill vegetables and season with fresh herbs or slivered nuts.
Forgo the creamed corn, green been casserole, creamed spinach, whipped
cream and high fat gravy. If you must have a sauce, use one of the many
low fat/non fat versions.
Butter foods LIGHTLY or leave out
altogether. Many holiday recipes call for entire sticks of butter;
mashed potatoes, biscuits, basted turkeys and sweet potato casseroles.
Use low fat buttermilk or chicken broth instead.
Ditch the CRUST in desserts. Many of the
highest calorie desserts are surrounded by high calorie crusts; pumpkin
pie, apple pie, cobblers, tarts and cheese cakes. If you focus on
desserts that don’t have crusts, you are more likely to eat something
lower in calories, such as a fresh fruit, baked apples, cherry crisp,
Jell-O salad, or angle food cake .
Just use ONE plate. Many holiday foods are
very healthy. It is the large quantities of them that make them
unwise. Taste everything, but keep all that you eat limited to one
plate, filled ONE time.
Reduce fat in holiday recipes. Pureed fruit
(applesauce, pureed prunes) can replace the oil in many cake and bread
recipes. Use fat free sour cream, yogurt and cream cheese in place of
the “real thing”.
Don’t sample while you bake. Keep raw
veggies available while baking holiday treats to prevent eating ˝ the
batch yourself. If that doesn’t work, try brushing your teeth, right
before you start. Consider giving gifts other than food.
Stay committed to health throughout the season.
Two to three days of excessive eating isn’t the worst part of an
unhealthy holiday. Many people give up eating healthy every day from
Thanksgiving to New Year’s. They anticipate starting a “diet” on Jan. 2nd,
which somehow justifies gaining an additional five pounds in the weeks
before. Keep excessive eating limited to a few days, not the whole
Take your own healthy recipe to the party.
This gives you something to eat while you are there, plus it provides
others with option of making better choices. Search the internet for
numerous healthy recipes.
Exercise daily. Even if you do overeat
during this holiday season, limit the consequences by committing
yourself to continuing daily physical activity. You may not burn off
all of the extra calories consumed, but you will keep extra pounds to a
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