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Family Living Focus

Watch Your Weight

From Gail Gilman

Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor

Emeritus, University of Minnesota

Being overweight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Your physician can tell you what you should weigh for your height. To stay at a healthy weight, you need to balance the number of calories you eat with the number you burn off from your activities. You can get to your healthy weight and stay there by doing two things: eating right and being physically active.

Eat Right

Eating the right foods and the right amounts can help you live a longer, healthier life. Many illnesses and conditions such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes can be prevented or controlled by eating right. A healthy diet also provides the vitamins and minerals you need.

It is never too late to start eating right. Here are some helpful tips.

Eat a variety of foods, including:

Vegetables, especially dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetables, such as spinach or carrots, and legumes, such as lima beans or green peas.

Fruits, such as melons, berries, and citrus fruits, or juices, such as orange or grapefruit.

Meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dried beans (for example, navy, kidney, or black), especially products low in fat, such as lean meat and poultry prepared without skin.

Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, especially low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

Grains, especially whole grains, such as oatmeal or whole grain breads.

Limit calories and saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fats are high in calories, so they can cause weight gain. They also increase your cholesterol levels. Try to limit:

High-fat dairy products such as ice cream, butter, cheese, cream, and whole milk.

Meats high in fat, such as bacon or chicken with the skin on.

Palm and coconut oils and lard.

Unsaturated fats do not raise cholesterol levels. Foods with unsaturated fat include vegetable oils, fish, avocados, and many nuts.

Watch portion sizes.

Don’t choose “super” or other oversized portions. Be aware of how much you eat.

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If you would like more information on “Reduce your Risk for Heart Disease” feel free to contact Gail Gilman, Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus – University of Minnesota at waldn001@umn.edu. Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus™ information in next week’s paper.

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