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5:21 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Health & Wellness Column: Here's how to eat healthy

Many people make the mistake of thinking that just because our age is getting up there that trying to eat well and lose weight is a lost cause. That doesn't have to be the case. I have three things that anyone of any age can try.

Recipe makeovers

You may have recipes that you use on a regular basis. Whether they are family recipes or they were featured in a magazine, you can make them over to be healthier without much change in the flavor. It is simple. Look at the ingredients and pick out the high fat and high calorie ingredients. Make a list of these ingredients and their amounts. In a second column, you can start listing substitutes. For example, next to sugar and eggs you can write egg substitute and sugar substitute. For butter or oil, you can reduce the amounts up to half of what the recipe calls for. Or, try using half as much of nonfat yogurt or mashed bananas. Cocoa powder can be used instead of baking chocolate. Use 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of water for each ounce of baking chocolate.

You can use skim milk versus whole milk or evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream. Use reduced fat cheese or nonfat sour cream instead of regular versions. Try low-sodium broth and add flavor with more herbs and spices. Keep in mind, you can also reduce portion sizes.

Five a Day

Research shows that consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day may reduce the risk of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and 35 percent or more of all causes of cancer! Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables helps provide many vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and complex carbohydrates. All of which play a role in the everyday functions of our bodies.

It's never too late

Many people think that as we get older, we become weaker, our metabolism slows down and our body composition is higher in fat. Many people feel that these changes tend to make it more difficult to lose weight as we age. That doesn't have to be the case!

All these changes are a result of muscle loss that happens naturally with age. After age 40, adults lose 0.25 to 0.33 pounds of muscle a year, and gain that much in body fat. Muscle loss and fat gain can be prevented with resistance exercises. It doesn't matter how old you are or how long it has been since you've been active. Age-related muscle loss can be reversed!

A couple of 45-minute strength training classes weekly can increase your strength significantly. It will also help improve body composition so that you have less body fat and more lean muscle. You can feel and see the results from building more calorie-burning muscle, with increased energy and smaller clothing sizes!

Try to do strength-training exercises regularly. Consult a physician before you begin. It's never too late to start strength training and have your body benefit!

If you are struggling with weight loss, call the Diet Center today at (928) 753-5066.