Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nutrition & Cholesterol

Yesterday I went to a class held at the local hospital about nutrition and managing cholesterol. It was very informative. When I was pregnant with Emily, about three years ago, I developed gestational diabetes. I had to meet with a nutritionist and develop a meal plan that would help in managing my blood sugar levels. I learned so much and during my pregnancy. My blood sugars stayed in the normal range and I developed healthy eating habits to last a lifetime. Well, since then, I've little by little neglected the good that I learned and replaced that with my previous bad habits.

Well, I've decided that I need to get back into the healthy lifestyle that I had with my last pregnancy. So, I enrolled in this one time class so that I could hear a lot of what I once knew with renewed motivation. Here is some of what I learned:

---There is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Some ways to combat the bad cholesterol is to cut back the fat in our diets. Eat more dietary fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products. Exercise regularly.

---Keep blood pressure in check by exercising regularly. Limit sodium intake. Eat a low fat diet.

---We went over the dietary guidelines and how to choose wisely in the different food groups.

---Bad fats (saturated, trans fatty acids). Good fats (Omega 6, Omega 3, monounsaturated)

---Reading and understanding a food label will help in making healthy food choices.

---Benefits and importance of fiber.

We also received numerous charts about the different foods and their amounts of fat, cholesterol, fiber, sodium, etc. All this information is a little overwhelming for me right now so I've decided to concentrate on improving one part of this at a time.

My goal right now is to drink at least 6 glasses of water a day (working my way to 8). I also will try to increase my fiber intake. I haven't been doing too well in the fruit and vegetable area, so that is where I'll start. Increasing the fiber should be done a little at a time because if it's done too quickly, abdominal distress can result.

Hopefully, I'll be on my way to a healthier me.

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