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Eating Right

Eating the right foods and the right amounts can help you live a longer, healthier life. Many illnesses and conditions—such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes—can be prevented or controlled by eating right. A healthy diet also provides the vitamins and minerals you need.

It is never too late to start eating right. Here are some helpful tips.

Eat a variety of foods, including:

  • Vegetables, especially dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetables, such as spinach or carrots.
  • Fruits, such as melons, berries, and citrus fruits, or juices, such as orange or grapefruit.
  • Meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dried beans (for example, navy, kidney, or black), especially products low in fat, such as lean meat and poultry prepared without skin.
  • Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, especially low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • Grains, especially whole grains, and legumes, such as lima beans or green peas.

Limit calories and saturated fat.

Foods high in saturated fats are high in calories, so they can cause weight gain. They also increase your cholesterol levels. Try to limit:

  • High-fat dairy products such as ice cream, butter, cheese, cream, and whole milk.
  • Meats high in fat.
  • Palm and coconut oils and lard.

Unsaturated fats do not raise cholesterol levels. Foods with unsaturated fat include vegetable oils, fish, avocados, and many nuts.

Watch portion sizes.

Don’t choose “super” or other oversized portions. Be aware of how much you eat.

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