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How can America win the war against bad eating habits?

The evidence is there for everyone to see. Poor eating habits are causing unprecedented health problems, despite huge local and federal efforts to persuade people to eat properly. In October’s Health & Wellness, we will be covering the subject in more detail. Here we start the process.

Our October issue will focus on the whole area of healthy eating, highlighting the food that does you the most good and those you want to avoid.

The box on this page illustrates just how poor the average American diet is and the consequences to their health, let alone the cost to the community and the country as a whole.

Eating sensibly does not have to be expensive and it does not have to take a great deal of time. What it does involve is planning, an understanding of the benefits certain food types have, and how best to prepare and cook them.

As an introduction to this, we have reproduced a table (page 23) showing the values different vegetables have and how beneficial they can be to your diet and your health. More will follow in October.

Most of these are grown locally and a trip to any farmer’s market will more than likely find them in abundant supply. So if you can’t go out and pick them as we suggested on the previous page, then visit some of the small and large local farmers markets and buy your own.

10 good reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables
According to: fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/, there are 10 good reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables, all of which we will investigate in our October issue. They are:
Color & Texture. Fruits and veggies add color, texture … and appeal …  to your plate.
Convenience. Fruits and veggies are nutritious in any form – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice, so they’re ready when you are!
Fiber. Fruits and veggies provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your
digestive system happy.
Low in Calories. Fruits and veggies are naturally low in calories.
May Reduce Disease Risk. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
Vitamins & Minerals. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.
Variety. Fruits and veggies are available in an almost infinite variety…there’s
always something new to try!
Quick, Natural Snack. Fruits and veggies are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack.
Fun to Eat! Some crunch, some squirt, some you peel … some you don’t, and some grow right in your own backyard!
Fruits & Veggies are Nutritious AND Delicious!

6 easy ways to meet your daily intake of fruits and vegetables
They go on to say there are five easy ways to meet your daily intake of fruit and vegetables:
Half Your Plate. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal and snack.
Add More. Add extra fruits and vegetables to dishes, even if they already contain/call for them in the recipe.
Substitute. Substitute fruits and veggies in any meal – they’re lower in calories than many other foods.
Stay Stocked. Always stock frozen and canned fruits and veggies for quick meal prep. Choose canned fruit and vegetables without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or other ingredients that will add calories.
Steam & Flavor. Steamed vegetables make great sides. Add flavor with low-calorie or low-fat dressings, herbs and spices.
Grab & Go. Always have fresh fruits and vegetables in easy-to-grab places (a fruit bowl, sliced in the fridge, trail mix).

In October, we’ll go into more detail, with lots of practical advice on what to eat, how to prepare it, sample recipes and much more.This article, you could say, is just a ‘taster.’

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