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Eating Healthier To Lose Weight

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - Losing weight is one of Americans' most often made-and least often kept-resolutions. And with nearly one in four Americans dieting for health reasons, we need to know a healthier way to eat.

"The best way to improve your diet for the long haul is to make small, specific changes," says Rebecca Mullis, R.D., Ph.D., head of the University of Georgia's Food and Nutrition Department. "Fad diets are simply quick fixes and some can actually hurt you in the long run."

Here are some tips to sticking to your nutrition resolution:

  • Fill your shopping cart with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Only 27 percent of people say they regularly eat five or more servings of fruits or vegetables a day.
  • Choose whole grain products including oatmeal, rice and whole grain breads.
  • Select extra-lean protein sources such as skinless poultry, fish, legumes and lean meat.
  • Substitute low-fat, low-cholesterol snacks for traditional high-fat, empty-calorie snacks. Try baked tortilla chips and salsa or fruit and low-fat yogurt dip.
  • "Keep your eyes on serving size," says Dr. Mullis, who recommends reading a product's nutrition facts list on its label for the suggested portion. A good size guideline for sources of protein is a deck of playing cards.
  • Get active. The only way to lose weight is by making sure the number of calories in what you eat is less than the number you burn each day. Being physically active for thirty minutes each day can help you use more calories, lose weight and build long-term heart health. According to a National Family Opinion survey, 74 percent of Americans don't do at least 30 minutes of physical activity four days a week.

The American Heart Association suggests eating a wide variety of foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, the number one and three killers in this country. You can find these foods using the Association's red heart with the white check mark. It can help you quickly and reliably find heart-healthy foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

If you have a medical condition, contact your doctor or registered dietitian about your diet. To learn more about reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke through good nutrition, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 for your free copy of the "Shop Smart with Heart" brochure.


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