EAT FRESH VEGETABLES

ďMy People are destroyed for lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6Ē

 

     Although we may hate to admit it, our mothers were right when they told us to eat our vegetables! As with fruit, vegetable require little to no preparation. All you have to do is rinse, peel, or cut to your liking and munch away! Most types of veggies are delicious raw. Since they make such a great snack on the go, itís easy to take a few carrots or celery sticks to work with you. There are so many different kings of vegetables: If you think you hate vegetables, go to the supermarket and buy something youíve never eaten before. Youíll be pleasantly surprised

     Fresh vegetables are also delicious in a salad. If you prefer   cooked vegetables, steam them lightly over a pan of water or in the microwave. Make sure to cover them to trap the stern and nutrients. Br careful not to over cook them through because vegetables retain most of their flavor and nutrients only when they are cooked lightly. Avoid boiling or cooking vegetables with fat. Did you know that boiling and overcooking actually remove the good nutrient your body needs? And cooking with butter or oil can ruin the natural goodness of vegetables!

     When fresh vegetable arenít available, use frozen; the nutrient preservatives and tend to be high in sodium although they can also be more affordable. If you prefer to buy canned vegetables, choose those that are labeled low in sodium.

 

EAT MORE FRESH FRUIT:

     Most people like fruit. Itís sweet, easy to eat, and convenient. Best of all, fruit is one of the healthiest things you could ever eat! By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, you can get many of the vitamins your body needs. Since thereís no preparation involved, you can pick up a piece of fruit between appointment, on the way to work or as an evening snack.

 

EAT WHOLE GRAINS:

     Whole grain breads and pastas, rice, beans, and grains are the foundation of a good diet. When eating carbohydrates, such as pasta or bread, choose whole grain alternatives. Always look for whole wheat products because they have more fiber and nutrients. When a product is labeled ďWheat,Ē it isnít necessarily made from whole wheat grains. If youíre in doubt, check the label. If caramel coloring has been added, thereís a good chance the actual wheat content in the product is low.

     Whole wheat bread and pastas teen with nutrients and fiber. Oat bran products (including oatmeal) help decrease the bad cholesterol I your blood system, which helps to prevent cancer and heart disease. The fiber in wheat bran also helps to prevent cancer by helping your body process the food you eat. White bread, on the other hand is almost devoid of fiber and natural nutrients, Try to ear natural grain products several times each day..

 

 REDUCE SALT:

     In American culture, salt has become something of a flavor saver, if something tastes dad or bland, we just shake some salt on it. But we arenít born liking the taste of salty foods. In fact, we acquire all of our food tastes and cravings. If you never introduce salt into a newborn babyís diet, for example, you reduce the chances that the child will crave salt as an adult.

     It wasnít until fairly recently---the 1950s---that we discovered the harmful effect of eating too much salt. Because it may contribute to high blood pressure, we should try to limit our sodium intake Unfortunately, junk food and snack food such as peanuts, pretzels, and potato chips contain a great deal of salt.

     The first step you need to take to avoid salt is to remove the saltshaker from the kitchen or dining room table. Then stock up on tasty and healthy spices that you can use as substitutes. Try pepper, basil, oregano, garlic, Cajun spices or spice preparations, such as Mrs. Dash  REDUCE YOUR INTAKE OF FRIED FOOD: If you do go to fastófood restaurants, try to order food that has not been Fried. For example, many restaurants now offer broiled or baked chicken sandwiches or salads as part of their menu. When youíre cooking at home, use the same rule: Avoid eating fried food. Not only does frying require soaking the food in grease, but the fat is more likely to clog your arteries, add inches to your waistline, and put you at higher risk of heart and prostate cancer disease. Before biting into food cooked in oil, think of all that grease going straight to your heart, then decide if you really want to do that to your body.

 

LIMIT INTAKE OF RED MEAT:

     Red meat, such as hamburgers and steaks, is filled with saturated fat and is high in bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, many of us have come to enjoy red meat as a regular part of our diet. Contrary to what was once taught, meat and potatoes do not make a healthy dinner after all. Many of us were told as children that red meats make our bodies and muscles strong. After all, neat contains iron and protein, right?

     Surprisingly, your body doesnít need as much protein as we once thought. Excess protein can actually decrease the absorption of other important nutrients in your body. Besides, you can get plenty of protein from healthy, delicious foods, such as beams, fish, chicken (with the skin removed and not fried), and low-fat dairy products.

     When you eat fatty red meat (such as fatty hamburgers and prime rib), you may be substantially shortening your life, especially since that food has been closely linked to prostate cancer disease, the leading killer of African-American. If you can, give up red meat altogether. If you canít give it up, make a committed effort to eating meat only once in a while. Be sure to limit portion sizes to only 3 to 5 ounces.

 

EAT FISH INSTEAD OF RED MEAT:

     If youíre looking for a healthy substitute for red meat, try fish. Fish is significantly lower in fat than red meat. Ask your medical professional for more information about the healthy benefits of eating fish. Be careful, though, to limit the amount of shellfish you eat (such as shrimp or lobster) since these tend to contain a lot of cholesterol.

     There are many delicious kinds of fish, so take some time to experiment to find those that appeal to you most. If youíre looking for a good substitute for red meat, swordfish and tuna steaks offer a dense texture, similar to red meat. And they taste delicious! Ask the supermarket for ways to cook these and other fish. Just donít fry them or cook them with butter and oils, or coat them with fat, such as mayonnaise, butter, and tartar sauce!

 

NO MORE JUNK FOOD:

     The junk food industry makes a great deal of money by making unhealthy foods seen very attractive, so before you buy preprocessed foods, do your research. Pretzels and crackers with less than 2 grams of fat per serving are excellent choices for snack foods. Always check the sodium and fat content of other foods you buy as well. Most junk foods contain large amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. A good rule is if it doesnít grown, donít eat it. If that rule doesnít work, at least think about how a certain food may be benefiting your body absolutely nothing of value. If itís not helping, it may be part of the problem.

     Fast food is one of the biggest contributors to the   health problems facing our community, especially in the South, where fast food mirrors the typical high-fat, high--salt Southernerís diet. Fast food is appealing everywhere because itís quick, readily available, and affordable. Many people today have less time to prepare food for themselves and their families, and as a result, weíre all getting less good nutrition. But thereís a price to pay for that speed and convenience.

     When you purchase fast food, youíre getting a lot more for your money than you realize. In addition to hamburgers and French fries, youíre getting huge doses of cholesterol, fat, sodium, and calories. American adults should consume no more than 30 percent of their total calorie from fat (67 grams on a 2,000 calorie diet) and no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium (about 11/4 teaspoons) per day, according to the American Heart Associationís dietary guidelines. If you go to Burger King and eat a Double Whopper with Cheese, youíve eaten 67 grams of fat and 1,4600 grams of sodium---more than half the limit. Throw in a kingósize order of French fries and youíve surpassed your daily fat and sodium limit in only one meal!

     Letís say you like chicken more than hamburgers, so you order a chicken sandwich with mayo and kingósize onion rings. Maybe you think youíve made the ďhealthyĒ choice because youíve chosen chicken rather than red meat. Instead, youíve just consumed 73 grams of fat in one meal alone---more than your daysí limit. Youíve also consumed 1,310 calories and 2,280 milligrams of sodium (just under your allotment for the day). After that one fast0food meal, the only way you can keep within healthy dietary limits is not to eat for the next couple pf days. (We can all imagine how unhealthy, not to mention difficult, fasting can be!) As we African-America rely more and more on fast food for our meals itís no wonder that obesity is a growing problem in the African-American community.

     The fact that fast-food restaurants are so popular and prevalent doesnít mean that fast food is good for you. Fast-food businesses---like everyone else---are out to make money. If you buy their unhealthy food, theyíll keep selling it. Many fastófood chains insist that their food is indeed health and getting healthier. Itís true that some of them now offer lower fat options and salads. Overall, however, most of the food served by these restaurants is extremely unhealthy.

     Hereís a tip: Before eating or drinking something, always ask yourself, ďHow is this helping my body?Ē If no answer comes to mind, ask yourself, ďIs there something else I can eat or drink instead that will give my body what it really needs?Ē If there is, it might be worth your while to go out of your way and make the healthy choice. A little extra effort now can save you a lot of suffering later. Itís difficult to change lifelong eating habits. But if you care enough about your health, youíll find motivation you need to modify your diet.

 

DRINK LOTS OF WATER AND FRESH FRUIT JUICE:

     Our bodies are comprised of more than 60 percent water. Thatís a lot! To maintain good health, we need to help our bodies maintain that proportion. You may be dehydrated   more often than you realize. Without  an adequate amount of water in our cells. Our bodies have a tough time functioning, Itís like expecting a car to keep on  moving when itís almost out of gas!

     The way to help our bodies maintain 60 percent of water is simple: Drink water! Some experts say we should drink between 8 and 20 glasses of water each day: If you live in an area where your tap water is contaminated, you might want to drink bottled water or use a water filter. Some authorities say that we can get away with drinking less water if we eat a lot of foods with a high water content, such as fruits and vegetable. Remember, however, that cooking removes the naturally high levels of water from there foods.

     Drinking fresh fruit juice also boosts your bodyís water content. If you have a choice between eating an orange and drinking orange juice, itís usually healthier to choose the orange because it contains fiber. If youíre looking for something healthy to drink, though, 100 percent fruit juice is a great alternative to soda or fruit drinks. (Read labels carefully. Although fruit drinks may claim to contain real fruit juice, they often contain high levels of sugar and corn syrup, which decrease the fruit and vitamins youíre receiving and increase your intake of sugar and empty calories,)

     Not all drinks boost our water content. Those that contain caffeine or alcohol can actually dehydrate water from your cells, reducing your bodyís water content. To be safe, make a habit of drinking lots of water.

 

GET SUPPORT:

     Most important, get your family and loved ones involved. If youíre making changes in your lifestyle, itís important that those people close to you understand and support the changes you are making. Turning to them can turn a difficult, solitary task into a loving and joyful one, If your wife, mother, or partner does most of the cooking in your family, have an honest, open conversation about your health and the changes youíre trying to make. You may want to recruit a friend or loved one into being your exercise partner. Involving your loved ones can be fun and can also bring additional closeness to your relationships.

     There are also several support groups and organizations that can help you as you make changes. If you are looking to lose weight, you might want to investigate organizations like Overeaters Anonymous or Weight Watchers. If you want to reduce stress in your life, talk to someone at your local YMCA They may be able to set up a exercise program for you, or recommend meditation or support groups that can help you work on specific issues of interest. Your doctor, dietitian, or health educator can also be valuable by guiding you to organizations and programs in your area that can offer additional support.

 

A WORD ON MODERATION:

     Remember: When it comes to making lifestyle changes, patience is indeed a virtue; regaining good health happens gradually. He lifestyle changes that weíve discussed here may sometimes seem overwhelming or close to imposed. So take it easy, but take it. If you love red meat and canít imagine giving it up, donít go cold turkey. Instead, just donít eat it as often. Take it slow. Youíre not alone; thousands of African-America men just like you are grappling with the very same health issues. Find them. And look to your friends, family, physician, and this Web-Site for support. Ultimately, of course, the strength to change you lifestyle must come from within, But youíre not alone.

     Good luck as you go forward. You can do it! And donít forget: Be aware of your bodyís red light warning signals. When you experience any new symptom, it may be a warning sign of a serious illness. By getting it treated immediately, or at least, early, you might avoid disabilities, such as a prostate cancer, stroke, heart attack, loss of a limb, or even death. Notify your doctor.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT McRae Prostate Cancer Awareness Foundation, Call 334-727-7609 or E-mail McRaePCAF@aol.com

 

 

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