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  • Secrets for a Balanced Life #3
    Balance the food you eat with physical activity --
    maintain or improve your weight 

Excess body fat may not be good for you

What is most important about weight is your muscle, fluid, tissue and fat percentages. Fat, whether from plant or animal sources, contains more than twice the number of calories of an equal amount of carbohydrate or protein.

a. Find out your body percentages

Some people have high weight but low fat content - a healthy condition. A scale measures weight but does not give you your fat content. Most health clubs now offer testing of muscle, fat and tissue percentages so you can gauge your current condition.

b. High weight with low body fat appears to be a healthy condition

Muscle weighs significantly more than fat, therefore if you are losing fat and gaining muscle you may be gaining weight but becoming more healthy. Many people gain weight in adulthood, increasing their risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, arthritis, breathing problems, and other illness. If you are overweight you should try to lose weight, or at the very least, not gain weight. In order to lose or stay at the same body weight, people must balance the amount of calories (energy in = energy out) in the foods and drinks they consume with the amount of calories the body uses. The closer you keep your food mixture to 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat the easier it will be to metabolize fat. If you are uncertain about your risk of developing a problem associated with overweight, you should consult a health professional.

c. Try to get children to eat lower glycemic (sugar) containing foods.

Children need enough food for proper growth. Children love foods high in sugar. Obtain a glycemic index table from the Internet or health care provider to determine what foods are high in sugar (carbohydrates like bread, pasta and rice are very high in sugar) and use low sugar foods. To promote growth and development and prevent being overweight, teach children to eat fish, lean meats, poultry or other protein rich foods; vegetables, legumes and fruits; low fat milk products or other calcium-rich foods; and to participate in vigorous activity. Limiting television time and encouraging children to play actively in a safe environment are helpful steps. Although limiting fat intake may help to prevent excess weight gain in children, fat should not be restricted for children younger than 2 years of age. Helping overweight children to achieve a healthy weight along with normal growth requires more caution. Modest reductions in dietary fat, such as the use of low fat milk rather than whole milk, are not hazardous. However, major efforts to change a child’s diet should monitored by a health professional. EM-BALANCE is safe for use by children.