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How to Eat Healthy --A Basic Plan
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October 10,2008, last updated September 16, 2014

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Good nutrition is a lifelong pursuit. But many people who
are just beginning their pursuit of good health need a
starting point.  It is clear than many of us need to change
directions when it comes to our weight and overall health.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 66% of
us are overweight.  A third of us are technically "obese".
Rising rates of obesity are now affecting the next
generation of Americans-- our children.

What is the best overall way to eat to stay healthy, to
maintain an ideal body weight, keep your heart string and
stave off diabetes? Everyone has a different health profile.
Some of us need to eat more fiber and wheat makes a
great addition to our diets while others of us --with
disease --cannot eat wheat at all.  

Also, what you should eat changes as you get older.  Our
bodies lose the ability to absorb Vitamin B12 as we age, for
example, so we need to make
dietary adjustments after age

So, keep in mind as you read our recommendations that the
starting point is and should always be, your doctor.  And
although the ideal way to eat healthy will differ from
person to person, here are some basic rules.

Eat green. Eat lean meat and fish for about 25% of your
plate and use green vegetables with red bell peppers and
tomatoes to make up 75% of your plate. For greens, try
dark greens like spinach and kale or broccoli. Lettuce is low
in calories but has virtually no nutritional value.

Make green vegetables the center of your plate for lunch
and dinner. Use protein only as a side dish. Same with
whole grains.

Eat Breakfast. Breakfast is the meal you eat after fasting
for 8 to 12 hours since your last meal, hence the name
"breakfast", meaning you are breaking your fast.  You need
to eat breakfast not only for effective weight control but
also to regulate your blood sugar.

Even non-diabetics fall victim to cravings caused by sugar
swings without a solid breakfast.  What to eat for
breakfast?  Make it salmon on a slice of whole grain toast.  
Salmon has numerous benefits.

Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids which reduce your risk of
heart disease, control blood sugar and thus reduce your
risk of diabetes. Omega-3 oils also help to keep your skin
glowing and young.

Avoid sugar. Sugar causes a process called "glycation".
Glycation occurs when excess sugar molecules attach to
your red blood cells, making them spiky and jagged. They
slice and dice as they run through your blood stream,
shredding your arteries and capillaries. The scarring that
results causes high blood pressure, poor circulation,
premature aging of the skin and kidney and liver damage.
It also contributes to blindness,
cold hands and feet and is
a direct cause of
erectile dysfunction.

Americans eat an average of 150 pounds of sugar a year,
which has contributed to skyrocketing rates of diabetes.

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