Eating to shrink the 10 Year Gap – and Make Health Last
By: Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation dietitian
(NC)—Canadians are living longer. But not necessarily healthier. On average, we'll spend our final 10 years with sickness and disease. We can change this. The choices we make now can help shape a future of strength and vitality.
To shrink that 10-year gap, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends being physically active, eating well, being smoke-free, reducing stress and avoiding excessive drinking.
Food for thoughtNutrition is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health – yet more than half of Canadians don't meet the healthy eating recommendations.
Eating a poor diet results in nearly three quality years of life lost, while being obese can reduce your life span by almost four years.
To start on the path to shrinking the 10-year gap,take these tips to heart:
• EMBRACE THE RAINBOW: Eat between five and 10 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. Choose a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit.
• GET THE GUIDE: Make Canada's Food Guide your bible to plan well-balanced meals with sensible portion sizes.
• SHAKE THE SALT HABIT: Instead, spice things up with fresh or dried herbs.
• BANISH TEMPTATION: Skip the snack aisle at the grocery store.
• COUNTER THE SNACK ATTACK: Got the munchies? Grab some plain, unsalted popcorn.• DEFEAT SWEETS: Substitute your afternoon sugar boost with a handful of unsalted nuts and dried fruit.
• DROP THE POP: Grab a glass of water or lower-fat milk instead.
• LOVE MORNINGS: Eat breakfast regularly to achieve a healthier weight.
• LOOK FOR THE CHECK: Make healthier choices with the Health Check™ symbol, on more than 2,000 foods and in restaurants.
Want to find out about your personal risk? Take the free Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment, get personalized tips and set goals for a healthier you at makehealthlast.ca.
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