Healthy Diet for Colon Health
By Gale Pearson
Special to the Clipper
If your resolution this New Year is weight-loss, now is a good time to evaluate what you're putting on your plate.
In 2010, the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans encouraged
a diet of whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and a high
volume of fruits and vegetables, as well as a better understanding
of correct portions.
Following these recommended dietary guidelines greatly decreases
the risk of becoming overweight and developing certain diseases,
such as colorectal cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
Each year, cancer of the colon and rectum kills more Americans
than any other cancer, except lung, prostate and breast cancer.
Some risk factors for the disease, such as age or family history,
are things patients cannot help. Maintaining a healthy weight,
adhering to the dietary guidelines and exercising regularly are all
steps patients can take to reduce their risk of developing colon
People have good intentions when it comes to eating healthier,
but they don't know where to start. There is so much incorrect
information about what foods are healthful (or not) that making food
choices often becomes overwhelming and confusing.
I create individualized menu plans and grocery lists for all of
my patients. I also encourage them to try one new vegetable a week,
whether it's adding sliced peppers to a sandwich instead of the
usual lettuce, or cooking a brand new dish just because they've
never tried eggplant.
The biggest misconception that people have is that cooking a
healthful meal is time-consuming. Most vegetables are quick to cook,
and fruits require little or no preparation.
A quick way to get information to keep your body healthy is to
use some of the great websites and apps available. Loseit.com is one
my favorites for people who eat out often, so they can look up
nutritional information at restaurants.
Another free online tool is www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker/;
this useful website can help with healthy choices and tracking food
The American Cancer Society and the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans recommend our food intake should come mainly from plant-
based sources for adequate fiber and antioxidants.
Limit your intake of red and processed meats and refined grains,
and keep in mind liquid calories from lattes, sodas, juices and
alcohol can quickly add up.
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