How to... eat for health

Feb 15, 2009 By Alison Johnson

Fixing these common mistakes will help many people be healthier, says Dr. Phillip Snider, a family physician in Virginia Beach, Va.

Fixing these common mistakes will help many people be healthier, says Dr. Phillip Snider, a family physician in Virginia Beach, Va.:

• Not enough breakfast. One recent study showed that obese dieters who had a 600-calorie breakfast with healthy proteins and carbohydrates _ such as scrambled eggs, diced turkey, fruit and whole-wheat toast or oatmeal _ lost significantly more weight than those who ate only half as much. They also ate less at other meals and had fewer junk food cravings.

• Not enough fruit. Eat fruit at least twice a day. On average, one serving is a half-cup of chopped fruit, a baseball-sized apple or orange, half a banana or 10 grapes.

• Not enough vegetables. The goal for fruit and veggies should be a minimum of five servings a day; nine is ideal. Aim to have vegetables covering at least a third of your dinner plate.

• Too much hidden sugar. Juices, meal bars, low-fiber cereals and snack foods often are more sugary than people think. Read labels and try to limit your daily intake to 100 grams.

• Too much hidden trans fat. Any food with "partially hydrogenated oil" on its ingredient list contains these unhealthy fats. Even if the label says zero grams of trans fat, there may still be some because companies can round down if there's less than half a gram. As little as two grams a day is harmful.

• Hidden saturated fats. Limit full-fat dairy products, high-fat meats _ especially beef and pork _ and foods cooked with butter or cream. Go for broth-based soups, for example.

• Extreme dieting. Pick one bad eating pattern to tackle each week, not all of them at once. You're more likely to have long-term success.

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(c) 2009, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).
Visit dailypress.com, the World Wide Web site of the Daily Press at dailypress.com and on America Online at keyword "dailypress."
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