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Tue, Aug. 04

Guest column: Eat healthy in the New Year. It's good for you!

With the New Year upon us, many of us will have losing weight or some form of getting healthier in our New Year's resolutions. It is very important to know that while this is a great way to start off the New Year, it is also quite important to stick with it throughout the year.

Here are some reasons why.

With adult and childhood obesity and diabetes on the rise, it is important to start eating healthier as a family. Teaching your children to eat healthy early on can possibly save them from lifestyle related diseases.

Eating healthy naturally lowers your LDL cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. You will have more energy and weight loss is pretty much guaranteed when you eat healthy whole foods!

Here are six simple steps to healthier eating:

• Add whole fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. Vegetables should be served with each meal. Try to use fresh fruits and vegetables if possible. Canned fruits typically have added sugar while canned vegetables may have added sodium.

• If you are healthy, get plenty of lean protein in your diet daily. Avoid proteins that are high in fat.

• Eat your healthy fats. It is very important to balance your fat intake daily with saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. It is a myth that fat makes you fat, but it is important to know what saturated fats are healthy and which are unhealthy. It is also very important to know which healthy fats you should implement into your daily diet.

• Eat several servings of whole grains. This includes oatmeal, whole grain/sprouted grain breads and cereals. Make sure your breads and cereals do not contain added sugar.

• Cut out sugar, artificial sweeteners and all processed foods.

• Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water should replace sodas diet and regular, and juices that have added sugar.

Remember, exercise is always important. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day. This can be as simple as walking the dog (their health will benefit from this too). Exercise is fun for the entire family. Try exercising as a family unit. Shut off the TV and video games and get moving. This quality time spent with your loved ones is truly a gift for all of you.

Here's to a very happy and even healthier 2013! Happy New Year!

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