By Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri
Maintaining your ideal weight and enjoying a balanced, healthy diet is an important part of your well-being and can significantly reduce the risk for chronic diseases, including: diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Know your body mass index, or BMI, and waist measurement compared to your height, so you can track how you are doing. Regular exercise is a must; be sure to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week plus some form of resistance training or weight lifting and stretching. Proper nutrition is also very important. Enjoy a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy products, proteins low in saturated fat and switch to water instead of sugary drinks.
The following guidelines can help you select nutritious foods for you and your family.
Limit your saturated fats and avoid trans fats: butter, some margarines; vegetable shortening; foods containing “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” such as cookies, crackers, pastries, microwave popcorn, and some frozen meals; deep-fried foods, such as doughnuts, french fries, and fast foods; cheese; butter; fatty meats, such as hamburger, steak, and prime rib; cold cuts; poultry skin; whole milk and whole-milk products, such as ice cream and cream; and tropical oils, such as palm kernel or coconut.
Increase your intake of good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated): olive oil; canola oil; peanut oil; flax seeds and flaxseed oil; wheat germ; nuts, including almonds, cashews, filberts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts; avocados; peanut butter (look for all-natural brands) and other nut butters, such as almond butter and cashew butter; corn, soy bean, safflower, and sunflower oils; sunflower seeds; fish, including herring, bluefish, salmon, pollack, flounder, lake trout, tuna, and sardines; fish-oil pills with EPA and DHA (500 to 1,000 milligrams per day).
Enjoy fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains: oranges and orange juice; green and red peppers; collard greens; broccoli; spinach; tomatoes; strawberries; kiwi; apricots; carrots; pumpkin; cantaloupe; sweet potatoes; dark, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, hubbard squash, and papaya; Brussels sprouts; asparagus; bananas; avocados; almonds; cashews; peanuts; macadamia nuts; hazelnuts; pistachios; walnuts; peanut butter and other nut butters; 100-percent whole-grain bread; oatmeal; whole-wheat pasta; whole-grain crackers; whole-wheat flour; wheat berries or cracked wheat; quinoa; brown rice; barley and millet.
Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri is medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss at Raritan Bay Medical Center. The Institute provides individualized medical and surgical solutions and support for individuals seeking weight loss who have been unable to lose weight through conventional dieting, exercise or weight loss medication. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-855-TIME-4-ME.
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