Ten healthy habits for the new year

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Adapted by Jessica Kovarik, RD, LD, former Extension Associate, from materials by Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Weight loss is often included in the list of resolutions for the new year. Instead of going on another diet, choose to adopt healthy habits for a lifetime. To get started, here are ten suggestions based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  1. Engage in 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. To lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60-90 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity is recommended.
  2. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and low in fat and calories. By incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet on a daily basis, you are decreasing your risk of chronic diseases, vitamin deficiencies and other health problems.
  3. Get plenty of fiber: 20-35 grams each day. Fiber has many health benefits including reducing risks for chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. When you are increasing fiber in your diet, make sure you increase fluid intake as well.
  4. Make at least half your grains whole grains. Choose from oatmeal, brown rice, popcorn, cereal, tortillas and bread. To assure the bread is whole grain, make sure the first grain ingredient listed on the package is whole wheat or another whole grain.
  5. Eat three cups of beans every week. Beans are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. One half cup of cooked beans can have as much as seven grams of fiber.

For the complete list of healthy habits, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/nut159.htm

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