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Easy Ways to Eat Healthier and Move More

By Sandy Schroeder

If we care about our health, we know we have a little room to indulge in our favorites, but overall, eating healthy and staying active most of the time is a must.

How to Eat Healthier

Nutritionists tell us we can protect our heart and avoid other serious diseases if we boost our healthy cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.

With a little ingenuity, we can still enjoy pizza if we use healthy oils, like olive oil, and low fat cheeses with lots of veggies. Adding healthy fats like avocados to our tacos works, too.   

Here are some of the key foods that can work to keep your whole diet healthier.

  • Fruits with high fiber like raspberries, bananas, blueberries, dates, figs and kiwis are all good choices.
  • Vegetables with high fiber like black beans, navy and kidney beans, and lentils work, too. Add nuts such as almonds, peanuts or pistachios.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids increase healthy cholesterol . Choose wild Alaskan salmon, trout, herring tuna.
  • Skip all trans fats, avoid saturated fats, and go with unsaturated fats that are heart healthy, such as nuts, oily fish, seeds, lean meats and breast of chicken.
  • Avocados provide healthy fiber and heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Use them instead of butter, mixed into smoothies, or sliced on sandwiches or salads.
  • Ground flaxseed delivers fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Stir scoops into your morning oats or bake them into homemade muffins or breads.

How to Activate Your Lifestyle

Go for Motion - Make it a daily goal to move more. If your doctor approves, keep a gym workout or aerobics class. At the same time, replace TV and computer time with household tasks, gardening, and walking. Averaging a half-hour of activity a day will work.

No Smoking - If you smoke, stop. Smoking helps clog blog vessels causing plaque buildup that increases the risk for stroke or heart attack.

Stay Slim - Maintain a good weight with diet and activity. If you need to lose weight, start with a 5- to 10-pound goal, and keep going as the diet kicks in.

Kick the Sugar Habit – Nutritionists say sugar-loaded calories help to defeat healthy cholesterol levels. Start slowly by weaning yourself off sugary sodas or Gatorade, and add more waters, low-sugar juices and green or black teas.

Healthy diets and active lifestyles have their ups and downs. But building in some of the key ingredients and activities every day should boost your energy, and give you a set of much improved health numbers in annual checkups.

 

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