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• When you look at the nutrition label, think

how the amount of fat or sodium compares to the amounts that are right for you for the whole day. Also think about what else you will be eating at that meal or that day that can help you moderate your total fat and sodium intake. If you choose a high-fat or high-sodium entree for one meal, make an effort to choose foods low in fat or sodium for the next meal.

Try these easy, healthy additions:

• a large whole-grain roll
• a small salad or 1/2 cup of frozen vegeta-
bles (microwave it along with your dinner
in a covered container with 2 teaspoons
of water)
milk as your beverage, or yogurt or milk

pudding for dessert
• fresh or canned sliced fruit—which can

top the yogurt or pudding If your frozen dinner or entree is high in fat or sodium, choose lower fat or sodium foods to go with it. Go easy on fatty spreads and dressing, and don't add salt at the table.

• The name and the picture can also provide

clues to product composition. For example, “beef dinner” will generally have more beef than “beef with vegetables in sauce.” The picture on the package should show the contents of the product too.

2 Decide what else to eat with the frozen dinner or entree. Most frozen dinners or entrees provide only 300 to 500 calories. They usually include about 2 to 2-1/2 ounces of meat, 1 to 1-1/2 servings of vegetables, and less than 1 serving of grain products such as rice or noodles. Large serving types—“for big appetites”—provide somewhat more. If the product is your main meal of the day, you'll probably want to eat something else with it.

3 Make your own frozen meals—it's a great way to use leftovers and save money as well as time. Cook extra when you have time, and divide cooked meat or other main dishes into single portions on a microwave or oven-safe plate. (Plain sliced meat should have a lowfat gravy or other liquid to moisten it.) Add a serving or two of frozen vegetables with 2 teaspoons of water. Cover tightly and freeze promptly. For best quality, use your home-prepared dinners within 2 months.

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B e Physically Active

Many Americans are overweight. Being overweight can increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Recent research suggests that people can be a little heavier as they grow older without added risk to health, although just how much heavier is not yet clear. Talk with your doctor to determine if your weight is right for you.

As people age, they usually need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. Older people may become less active too. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight should be an ongoing part of caring for your health. If you need to lose some weight, don't try to lose weight too fast and avoid extreme approaches. Remember, quick weight loss plans often deprive the body of important nutrients and usually don't keep weight off.

Ph Physical activity can help reduce and control weight by burning up calories and should be part of a healthy lifestyle at any age. Moderate exercise that places weight on your bones, such as walking, helps maintain and possibly even increases bone strength in older adults— another good reason to exercise. Scientists looking into the benefits of exercise for older adults agree that appropriate exercise improves overall health at any age. Regular exercise can improve the functioning of the heart and lungs, increase strength and flexibility, and contribute to a feeling of well-being.

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You don't have to jog or do aerobics to ben- Reduce Calories, efit from exercise. Any regular physical activ. ity is good. Regular brisk walking is an easy

Not Vitamins and and enjoyable form of exercise that helps con- M inerals trol weight, but you will benefit from any form of gentle exercise, even light gardening.

To lose weight you need to reduce the amount Use your common sense to prevent injury

of calories you eat. But, you need to do this when you exercise, and check with your doc

without giving up important nutrients. A tor before beginning a vigorous exercise pro

weight-reduction diet will be difficult to folgram or if you haven't exercised in a while.

low if you always feel hungry. Choosing lowfat foods allows you to cut calories without sacri

ficing important vitamins and minerals. For DID YOU KNOW???

example, 1 cup of skim milk has about the

same amount of calcium as 1 cup of whole Starchy foods such as breads, cereals, milk, but only traces of fat and half the numrice, pasta, corn, and potatoes are

ber of calories. On the other hand, fatty usually low in fat and provide fiber, as spreads and dressings, sugary foods such as well as vitamins and minerals. Yet many candy or soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages people don't want to eat more breads

such as beer, wine, and liquors add calories to and potatoes, because they think these

your diet but little or no nutrients. Limiting foods are fattening. Actually, more

your intake of fats, sweets, and alcoholic bevcalories are likely to come from the fat

erages will help keep the calories in your diet you put on these foods--butter, sour

down, without sacrificing nutrients. cream, or gravy-than from the “starch" itself. Eating more starchy foods is a good way to satisfy your appetite while watching your weight. Just go easy on the toppings!

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Some Advice About Diet Claims and

The best advice for weight loss is not contained in any one diet, but simply follows some common sense ideas:

Dieting

Our society's preoccupation with weight loss has created a multimillion-dollar industry that abounds with diet plans and claims. Some diet plans simply don't work at all, and others are harmful. Always seek the advice of your doctor or dietitian before you begin any special diet.

• Consult your doctor. • Eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of

foods from each food group. • Make a long-term commitment to healthy

eating habits. • Include regular exercise. • Create or choose a plan that fits your food

preferences. • Remember that radical changes are hard to

make. Instead, begin to modify your intake by eating smaller portions and reducing fat, sugar, and, if you drink, alcoholic beverages.

Beware of diets that• make unrealistic promises—for example,

dramatic weight loss in a short period of

time. • include fasting • eliminate one food group completely or in

clude only one or two food groups. • have a daily caloric intake that exceeds

your usual caloric intake. • do not allow you to have a favorite food on

occasion. • include foods that are expensive or difficult

to find. • require costly fees. • do not address changing your eating habits.

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