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Introduction to a Healthy Living
Healthy Lifestyle Plans with Diet & Exercise
for Control of Cardio-Metabolic Syndrome
Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.
Healthy Eating Habits & Behaviour Modifications - 03
Proper Diet and Meal Planning for Good Health

Choosing a Healthier Diet


A Healthy Diet plan and a Regular Exercise program is very important for management of Metabolic Syndrome and for good health and happiness. Metabolic syndrome consists of Over weight or Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, High Cholesterol and Coronary Heart disease or any combination of these five conditions. This control is obtained by proper Behaviour modifications for a healthy living habitsand Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes.

There are over 40 nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy. Since no single food can supply all these nutrients, it is important to eat a variety of foods to make sure that you are getting enough of all of them. The Food Guide Pyramid was developed to show the recommended balance among food groups and help you plan a healthy diet.


Choose a diet with plenty of Grain products, vegetables and fruits


This ensures that you get the recommended daily servings of fiber.
A diet high in fiber [20 to 30 grams per day] may:

* Give you a full feeling, which will help you reduce the amount of food you eat;
* Reduce the blood cholesterol levels;
* Help control blood sugar levels


Eat a variety of foods - [see Diet Pyramid]

Foods in these groups include: Breads [Starch]; Meat [Proteins]; Milk & Dairy Products; Fruits & Vegetables;
Bread, cereal, rice, pasta, beans, apples, bananas, oranges, berries, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, asparagus, etc.
** Refer to the Diet Pyramid for the recommended amount of servings.

* Choose a diet low in Fat, saturated fat and cholesterol
There are many different kinds of fats. Although some fat is needed in a healthy diet, too much saturated fat can cause problems. Avoid foods high in saturated fat such as bacon, sausage, bologna, ham, butter, whole milk, ice cream, cream cheese, and peanut butter.


What counts as a serving? - [see Diet Plans]


Not only is it important that you eat the right foods, but that you eat the right amount or portions of each item of the food. Many food packages list the number of servings per package. But for other foods, it can be difficult to tell how much a serving is. Below are some examples to give you an idea of what makes up one serving.


Bread, cereal, rice & pasta group:
" 1 slice of bread; ½ hamburger bun,
" 1 small roll, biscuit or muffin,
" 3 to 4 small or 2 large crackers; 1 oz ready-to-eat cereal;
" ½ cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta;


Fruit Group:
" 1 whole fruit such as medium apple, banana, or orange;
" ¾ cup juice; ½ grapefruit; ½ cup berries;
" ½ cup cooked or canned fruit;


Vegetable Group:
" ½ cup cooked vegetables; ½ cup chopped raw vegetable;
" 1-cup leafy vegetables

Milk, cheese & yogurt Group:
" 1 cup milk or yogurt; ½ oz cheese;
[Use only Fat free or low Fat 1% Milk and Dairy products

Meat, poultry & fish; egg; dry beans & nuts Group:
" 2-3 oz cooked beef; 2-3 oz cooked chicken or turkey; 2-3 eggs;
" 3 oz water-packed tuna; 1-1½ cup cooked beans;
" 4-6 tablespoon peanut butter;

Now: Select food items that are GOOD for you and NOT those that just makes you feelGood.
Remember that some food items may just bee an addiction -- cuses craving for them.
Eat less sugar
Your body burn sugars for energy. However, if you eat too much sugar,
more than what is needed for the given day, it will be stored as fat in your body.

The problem is that 1gm sugar has 4 calories, but gets converted to 1 gm fat that is 9 calories to burn.

You may not notice, but sugar is commonly added to the food you buy
in grocery stores including all grains, cereals, and root vegetables and fruits.
Sugar [Starch] can be called different names; so be sure to check all food labels.

Watch out for foods that contain a lot of the following sugars:
Corn fructose; dextrose; fructose; lactose;
Polydextrose; maltose; sucrose; glucose;
Usually, if the name ends in - ..-------ose, it is a sugar.

Eat Less Fat, Less Oils and Less Fried Foods -
Avoid Fats and oils whenever you can.
Fats from animal sources, including Milk has lots of Cholesterol and saturated fatty acids.
Oils from Vegetables that are mono- or poly-unsaturated fatty acids are preferred.

When you use Milk or dairy products, prefer the fat-free or low fat (1%) Milk products.

Avoid full fat Milk products and concentrated milk items.
High fat and cholesterol in-take causes blockages of blood vessels leading to heart-attacks and stroke.
1 Gm Starch has 4 Calories and same quantity of 1 GM fat has 9 Calories.
Boiled and baked food items are better than Fried foods.
Go easy on the salt
Diets high in salt and sodium can lead to high blood pressure and/or retain body water.
Avoid foods such as potato chips, processed meats, ham, bacon, bologna, ketchup,
soy sauce, mustard, pickles, and olives.
Remember that if the food is spicy hot and "tasty" it will have lots of salt and also lots of Oil.
Limit alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol has a lot of calories and almost no nutrients. If these calories are not burned off,
they will be stored as fat. Also, drinking alcohol can lead to conditions
such as high blood pressure, brain & liver damage, and added risk for heart disease,
just to name a few. It is also important to avoid caffeine. Caffeinated drinks are diuretics,
which means they can cause you lose some stored body fluids.
Role of water in good nutrition
Drinking plenty of water is a must for a healthy lifestyle, because it keeps
the body's functions working properly. Don't wait until you feel thirsty before
you start drinking water ---- by then, you are already dehydrated.
It is important to note that some health conditions and some medicines
will need water restrictions. As with everything else, moderation is the key.
Always consult your doctor about any questions you may have about your diet and water.
 What is BMI? - What is your BMI?  
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on
height and weight that applies to both adult men and women.

Underweight = Less than 18.5
Normal weight = 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight = 25 - 29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

-- This is called Behavior Modification --
Essential Changes -- for a healthy Heart and General Health0