You are what you eat

You are what you eat

Most would agree that good nutrition, along with a well-balanced diet and physical activity are important pieces to leading a healthy lifestyle.

The general understanding is that diet and exercise can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer) and promote your overall health. However, trying to maintain a sense of control over our lives can become increasingly difficult as we grapple with the rigorous demands of work and family.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Obesity Trends report, researchers found that unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States; about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese, and approximately 12.5 million (17 percent) of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese.

Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These illnesses include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Making smart food choices, helps protect you from health problems.

health enews sat down with Dr. Ian Smith, member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and a health and nutrition expert, to chat about advice on how to live your healthiest life:

“If I had to write one prescription for overall health, it would be 30 to 40 minutes per day, five days a week, of moderate physical activity,” says Dr. Smith.

Mark Parsons, an exercise physiologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., agrees.

“A sedentary lifestyle is the strongest predictor for coronary heart disease — more so than for high blood pressure, hypertension, obesity and cholesterol, combined,” he says.
Dr. Smith also offers these five helpful tips on diet, nutrition, exercise and physical fitness:

1)      Try to do everything in moderation.

2)      Eat smaller meals.

3)      Eat frequently.

4)      Snack well.

5)      Stay physically and mentally active.

Along with this advice, Dr. Smith suggests that we try and consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, as well as increase our fiber and protein intake.

To learn more from Dr. Ian Smith and other healthy tips, check out this video interview.

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  1. I met Dr. Ian Smith when working at NBC CHICAGO. Art Norman, then a news anchor on Channel 5, introduced Smith as one of his interns during his college years. Of course, Norman was very proud of the new, young doctor as was I. No doubt he has continued to rise in his chosen profession. Bravo, Dr. Ian smith.

  2. Rebecca Taylor July 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm · Reply

    I try to so hard to stay healthy and active. I’ve noticed that even after a week of really focusing on what I eat and getting to the gym, I feel one hundred percent better.

  3. The hardest thing for me to is to stay on it. Ill exerise everday and eat well for a week and then I’ll fall back to bad habits the next. I think doing everything in moderation is a great tip to create good habits.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.