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January 20, 2014

UF Extension update: Want to lose weight? Eat more.

Live Oak —

By Cathy Rogers

Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

UF/IFAS Extension Suwannee County

Most of us don't eat the recommended five servings per day of fruits and veggies and since they are low in fat and calories, full of fiber, and always contain vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants that help us stay healthy and prevent chronic diseases, the more we eat, the better off we are and we are in better shape to lose weight.  

Count up all of the fruits and veggies you have eaten in the last 24 hours. If you can't think of any (except French fries-and they don't really count) or only a few, look for ways that you can add them. 

According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide fruits and vegetables are at the heart of good health. Eating plenty helps control blood pressure and cholesterol, protects bones, keeps arteries flexible, and is good for almost every part of the body. Most people know this fact but they have a hard time applying it to their own lives.  Many people don't get anywhere near their recommended servings - typically two cups of fruits and two and a half cups of veggies each day -so rather than making that a goal, a small change of adding one more than the daily norm is a better goal. Once that goal is accomplished, add one more and then another until half your plate, bowl or sandwich is filled with them. 

Having a plan to make it easier to accomplish goals increases the likelihood that you actually will. Here are a few suggestions that could help:

Try something new-  If you have children, let them choose - most people get tired of the same bananas, apples and grapes so look for fresh pineapple, (in season) mango or kiwi.  Try yucca, or boniata (white sweet potatoes).

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