What's for Dinner?

If you are like most people, figuring out meals for you and your family can be a struggle. It is sometimes easier and less expensive to pick up “something quick.” Are you putting your family at health risks by doing this? Some of the most common medical conditions (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes) today are attributed to our daily lifestyles, which includes the food we eat. Talk to your doctor about meals you can cook to help foster healthy eating in your household.

Meal planning is time consuming, frustrating and even expensive at times for a single person and more so for a family with selective palates. So why bother? Evidence shows that a diet comprised of eating out, particularly fast food, increases your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Cooking at home not only helps control portions sizes but also cuts down on salt, sugar and solid fats. Studies have shown that home cooked meals incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole wheat carbohydrates. Having a diet that focuses on these ingredients helps cut down on empty calories and excessive weight gain.

Metabolic syndrome is comprised of elevated blood pressure, high blood sugars, increased abdominal obesity and abnormal cholesterol levels. Your doctor may have not started you on medications for these conditions yet, however, you are most likely headed to a diagnosis of hypertension or diabetes if you have metabolic syndrome. The good news is that with lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and regular exercise, you can reverse metabolic syndrome and avoid starting medications that would have been a long-term commitment.

It is never too late to improve your health and it starts it the home. The next time you are at the grocery store, whether it is your local HEB or Whole foods, shop around the perimeter of the store and buy fresh produce and items. The center aisles typically carry boxed/canned foods which use preservatives to store them for extended periods. And don’t fall into the fast food “quick fix.” Just because something is quick and inexpensive now doesn’t mean that you won’t be paying for it in the long run with your health.

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