Eating For Life

Good Food

Open Mind Eating for life? Eat to improve your chances of a long and healthy life? Yes, you can.

At a time when we seem to be overwhelmed by conflicting diet and health messages,Open Mind has some good news: by making the right food choices, you may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.

These diseases take the lives of more people than all other illnesses and causes of death combined. Each day, about three out of every four deaths in Europe and the United States will occur as a result of cardiovascular disease or heart disease (like heart attacks and strokes) and cancer. This need not be. Although no diet can ensure you won't get a heart attack, stroke or cancer, what you eat can affect your health. This has been shown by research of scientists and other government health bodies.

How does a person eat for life? It's easier and more enjoyable than you might think. The practical ideas in this article show you how to make healthful, tasty, and appetizing food choices at home and when you're dining out. They are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, published by the Department of Health. These seven basic guidelines are:

* Choose a variety of foods.

* Maintain desirable weight.

* Avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

* Choose foods with adequate starch and fiber.

* Avoid too much sugar.

* Avoid too much sodium.

* If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.

The first two guidelines form the framework of a good diet: choose a variety of foods so that you get enough of the essential nutrients you need, and only enough calories to maintain desirable weight. The next five guidelines describe special characteristics of a good diet-getting adequate starch and fiber and avoiding too much fat, sugar, sodium, and alcohol. Although the guidelines are designed for healthy adults, these suggestions are considered especially appropriate for people who may already have some of the risk factors for chronic diseases. These risk factors include a family history of obesity, premature heart disease, diabetes,high blood pressure, or high blood cholesterol levels.

This Open Mind article focuses on five guidelines that are particularly related to the prevention of heart disease and/or cancer: choose a variety of foods; maintain desirable weight; avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; eat foods with adequate starch and fiber; and avoid too much sodium.

Doctor Keep in mind that staying healthy requires more than just good nutrition. Regular exercise, getting enough rest, learning to cope with stress, and having regular physical checkups are important ways to help ensure good health. Checkups are especially important for early detection of cancer and heart disease. Another important way to reduce your risks of heart disease and cancer is not to smoke or use tobacco in any form. Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) can also greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Remember, three of the major risk factors for heart disease are largely under your control. They are smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.

If you would like to know more about nutrition and for more information from Open Mind see our complementary book. To subscribe and claim your free book just complete the form below.

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How Do the Foods We Consume Affect Our Chances of Getting Cancer and Heart Disease?

See the Open Mind Article on Obesity

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