Eat to Live
Healthy Eating and Common Sense
by Patty Liston
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We have all heard the jokes, usually attributed to hefty comedians that go something like this: "I don't The Family Dinner Difference, I live to eat!" Or, my favorite, "I'm on a sea food diet. I see food and I eat it!"
We laugh, but medical practitioners do not. In less than a decade, the estimated number for obesity in adults worldwide has gone from 200 million to 300 million. Childhood obesity has gone from around 4% in 1963 to 16% in 2002. (www.endo-society.org)
Now before you start lamenting over never again being able to make your secret, blue ribbon, fried chicken recipe that has been handed down for generations, relax. This column is not about guilt. Nor will it be about eating carrots until your hair turns orange, or removing the Ben & Jerry's web-site from your "favorites" list.
Each week the articles in this Family Focus column will give you tips and practical information regarding health and nutrition for you and your family and, perhaps even more importantly, how to teach, implement and integrate those principles into their lives. Think of it as being "food for thought" without the calories! We're certain you'll want to incorporate some of them into your meal planning.
For instance, how much do you know about the one component that makes up at least 60% of your body: water. Next to oxygen, water is the body's most important nutrient. It comprises 75% of your brain, 82% of your blood, and nearly 90% of your lungs.
Water regulates your body temperature to 98.6 degrees, delivers oxygen to your cells, removes waste, cushions your joints and protects organs and tissues. Yet in spite of our body's need of this valuable resource, fewer than 51% of people admit to drinking the required minimum of 8, 8oz glasses of water per day.
With temperatures at a record high, it is critical that adults and especially children:
Keep hydrated. Watch for headaches as this can be a sign of dehydration. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink. By then you may have already lost 2 cups of your total body water.
Drink when you are not thirsty. Make sure that the elderly are getting enough liquid as the older we get, the "thirst signals" decline.
Remember, alcohol and caffeinated drinks are not substitutes for water, so if you need your soda "fix", the rule of thumb is - one glass of water for every one of these drinks consumed.
And keep in mind, even at normal activity levels we can lose up to 2-3 cups of water in perspiration, so always keep water with you.
One last thing, start and end your day with water. Even when sleeping, our body loses water.
So this week, go ahead and eat your great-great-great-grandmothers fried chicken. Just have plenty of water around to wash it down.
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