The Richmond Register

December 30, 2012

Take charge of your health in the new year

Dr. Jack on Health & Fitness

By Dr. Jack Rutherford
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — What better time to refocus your energies toward better health than at New Years? Here are several healthy eating resolutions:

1. Start each day with a healthy breakfast. It’s been proven that people who skip this most important meal get more heart disease, type 2 diabetes and weigh more because they eat more calories throughout the day. Aim for some healthy protein like egg whites or omega-3 eggs and fiber (whole wheat cereal or bread).

2. Cut down on liquid calories. Sugar fortified beverages like sodas, fruit drinks and exotic coffees offer zero nutritional value and cost you lots of money. Studies show they increase weight and add to the risk of type 2 diabetes. Substitute water and you’ll save your health and your money.

3. Go green. These vegetable superstars pack more good nutrition into fewer calories than any other food. Make dark green leafy greens a part of every day to reap the health benefits of this remarkable food group.

4. Bean it. There are more than 20 varieties of beans and all of them are wonder foods. They protect your heart, decrease risk of some cancers, stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels and aid in weight loss. Get one or more servings each day.

5. Go fishing. The omega-3 fats found in several varieties of fish (not fried) offer tremendous heart health qualities. Wild-caught salmon, for example, can increase brain power, memory and reduce dementia. Farm-raised salmon contain more of the “bad fat” and should be avoided.

6. Get nutty. A small handful of nuts each day score a perfect 10 when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus they taste great and take the edge off hunger when eaten as a snack.