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Healthy Hints for the Holidays (and non-holidays).

Healthy Hints for the Holidays (and non-holidays).

Eat a rainbow of colors and plenty of whole grains. Colorful produce and whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, a wealth of disease-fighting phytonutrients, very few calories, and virtually no fat. Fruits and vegetables are chock full of fiber, vitamins C, A, and K, folate, and potassium. The deeper the color, the richer the nutrients and the potential for greater health benefits.

Whole grains not only provide an excellent source of carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but researchers have found more phytonutrients that help fight cancer, heart disease, and prevent diabetes. Whole grains are digested more slowly and therefore are more satisfying for a longer period of time. Read the label and choose foods made of 100% whole grains. We recommend you choose a wide variety of healthy carbohydrates to get all the vitamins and minerals you need each day. Look for whole grain sprouted cereals now available at HEB and other places.

Eat walnuts (or almonds or pecans). Olive oil and walnuts decrease the onset of inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after a high-fat meal, but walnuts preserve the blood vessels’ flexibility while olive oil does not, according to a recent study. The study attributed much of the beneficial effect to the alpha-linolenic acid found in walnuts. This nutrient is similar to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Nuts also give you energy and help burn fat so are helpful for losing weight.

Remember: A hand-full not a can-full.

Fish Oil (Omega 3). The study points out that authorities such as the American Heart Association recommend that Americans eat at least two fish servings a week, preferable oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s increase blood levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” kind that helps keep arteries clear. Because of their health-promoting abilities, omega-3 fatty acids have received recognition from some of the top medical organizations in the world including, the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, World Health Organization, United Kingdom Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, European Society for Cardiology, and The British Nutrition Foundation.

NBH, Clinic Director of Lifetime Health Weight Loss, an Austin weight loss clinic

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