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Correct Eating Habits

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"Eat to live. Do not live to eat" is an old saying the truth of which a person realises only when he or she suffers from some seri­ous ailment like a heart condition and is advised by his or her physi­cian to cut down on his or her food. All schools of medicine lay em­phasis on correct eating habits for a healthy life.

Remember that after you have had a hearty meal, the pressure on your heart is increased. The amount of food should be such that the hunger is assuaged, but there is no feeling of fullness.

The second golden rule is to avoid fats and too much starch and carbohydrates derived from sugar. In communities where sugar in­take is low, there is very little incidence of heart disease.

The third rule is that stimulants like spices (chillies etc.) should be avoided. A bland diet with a little salt and a pinch of pepper may not taste as good as highly spiced food would, but it would be safer in the long run.

Kids with high cholesterol need an exotic diet. Mostly, they should stick to the guidelines that apply to all adults. Officially, the American Heart Association recommends that kids get no more than 30 percent of their calories from fat. That means (1) Limiting fast-food runs to once or twice a week. Otherwise, push the salads and leave out the jumbo fries, high-fat sauces, and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink burgers; (2) Sticking to lower-fat pizza toppings like mushrooms, ground beef, veggies, and plain cheese; (3) Choo­sing peanut butter, lean meat or skinless chicken or turkey for lunchtime; put limits on high-fat items like hot dogs, luncheon meats, and deep-fried anything; (4) Serving more complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products. Kids may not al­ways eat them, but at least they'll recognise them on sight.

Fortunately, lots of foods that kids like are also good for them. Most breakfast cereals are low in fat, for instance, as are pasta, lean meats, bread, tuna, skinless chicken, and fruit.

1. Discuss correct eating habits for grown-ups and children dwelling on:

1. the amount of food a person should eat;

2. the consumption of fats, starch and carbohydrates;

3. the use of stimulants;

4. going to fast-food places.

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