Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Friday, June 22, 2007

5 Steps To Health

For Better Health: Five Easy Pieces

images for bad vegitarians
Although "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," and "eat your veggies" may sound like folklore, it turns out that these maxims may have scientific backing. The only catch is that just one apple or one vegetable serving a day isn't enough. In fact, to maximize your health, you need a combination of at least five a day.

Why Five?

The underlying causes of deaths from heart disease and cancer include behaviors that, unlike genetic factors, can be prevented or changed. For example, better dietary and exercise patterns can contribute significantly to a reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, and could prevent 300,000 deaths annually.

Recent studies have strengthened the argument for fruit and vegetable consumption. In these studies, people who ate large amounts of fruits and vegetables had lower rates of cancer compared to people who ate one or fewer servings a day. Five servings a day is the minimum number demonstrated to reap health benefits.

A 1991 survey revealed that only 8% of American adults knew how many fruits and vegetables to eat. In response to this lack of knowledge, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in cooperation with the Produce for Better Health Foundation launched the 5 A Day—for Better Health program.

What Is The 5 A Day Program?

The 5 A Day program seeks to increase the number of fruits and vegetables consumed by Americans. The program's goal is to inform Americans that fruits and vegetables can easily become a part of the daily diet, improve health, and may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Fruits and vegetables readily fit the bill; they provide fiber, beneficial vitamins such as A and C, minerals, and other compounds that may help to fight cancer. While single-dose nutrients receive much press, it appears that the combination of nutrients in fruits and vegetables probably holds the key to disease prevention. A bonus for the weight conscious is that most fruits and vegetables (except avocados and olives) are naturally low in fat and calories, have no cholesterol, and taste delicious.

This simple, straightforward message—eat five a day—has successfully increased public awareness of the dietary guidelines. The actual number of people meeting the goal is unknown at this time, but awareness is a good predictor of consumption.

What Can Be Done?

To help motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables, the NCI urges Americans to take the "5 A Day Challenge." The challenge encourages people to engage in a healthy competition that will prove easier than the Olympic games, and allows more people to feel like winners. Ultimately, fruits and vegetables can become part of a health routine that can make everyone feel good. (You can get more information on their website: http://www.5aday.gov.)

Eating five a day is easier than most people think. A serving is:

  • a medium piece of fruit
  • 1/2 cup cooked or raw fruit or vegetable
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) juice
  • 1 cup leafy greens
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans or peas (such as lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans)
How To...

Eat five a day

  • At breakfast, enjoy a six ounce glass of 100% fruit juice and a medium piece of fruit. Two servings already!
  • At lunch, bring along some carrot or celery sticks; five sticks is a vegetable serving.
  • For dinner, try a salad with dark, leafy greens and tomato, and a medium baked potato with your meal for two more vegetable servings.

Voila! Not counting any fruit or vegetable snacks, you've already made your 5 A Day goal.

Sources: Lori P. Marcotte, RD, CSND

My Pyramid

The National Cancer Institute




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