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Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact on Your Health

There are things I’ve heard and seen lately that I don’t really agree with and I thought I’d bring it up in this week’s blog and let my readers decide how they feel about the subject.  I’ll call it the “all or nothing” mentality.  Let me explain…

Many of us are doing things to better our health these days–eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more exercise, drinking more water, etc.  I believe for most of us this has been a learning process that began slowly and gained momentum when we started to feel better as a result of the changes we were making.  I’m also going to guess that most of us still indulge in a piece of cake here or there for a special occasion or enjoy our favorite food (if it’s on the “no-no” list) once in awhile.  I know I sure do!  (See the Fruits & Veggies–More Matters Healthy Weight Management section for more info on this topic.)

This is why I’m so bothered when I see comments from well-intentioned people telling consumers not to drink 100% juice because it’s filled with sugar or not to eat canned vegetables because they’re full of sodium.  Are you kidding me???  Let’s be serious folks.  People who really have a weight issue aren’t that way because they’re drinking too much 100% juice, just like those who have high blood pressure aren’t like that from eating too many canned veggies.

If you look at the dietary guidelines, you’ll see that the recommendation is for 6 ounces of 100% juice per day–that’s the serving.  And, it’s a complementary way that people can get their required servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  Don’t forget that 100% juice is packed with vitamins.  As for canned veggies–first of all, compare canned veggies with many condiments or dressings and you’ll see they have much less sodium.  If you are concerned about sodium intake, there are low sodium varieties available or you can always rinse your veggies before preparing since the juice the vegetables are packed in is what contains the most sodium.  I, for one, drink one small glass of 100% juice every morning and regularly use canned beans in my recipes and canned tomatoes and tomato products all the time.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s no secret our nation has an obesity problem.  There are a lot of people who are used to eating really unhealthy food, so when I see them taking small steps to incorporate some healthier foods into their diet I want to stand up and cheer them on.  I don’t want to discourage them or act as if there is only one right way to do it.  For those folks who eat superbly well, I admire you–keep it up!  And, for the rest of us who do the best we can–let’s keep striving to do better.  Remember that every little change makes a difference because they all add up.  To help, I want to share a great page with information about all forms of fruits and vegetables that you can add to your diet to make it healthier. 

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  1. What do you have to say when fruit juice (like apple juice) has as much sugar as Cola? I really think whole fruit is a much better option because of the fiber and substance of the plant…which is not in juice.

  2. You’re absolutely correct Dillon–eating a whole piece of fruit does give you the added benefit of fiber. As a general rule I agree, I would definitely opt for the apple over the juice. My point is that to drink 6 ounces of apple juice once a day (the recommended adult serving for 100% juice) is not going to create a problem. In comparison to soda–there are no benefits to soda–no vitamins whatsoever. The 6 ounces of apple juice can be 1 serving of your recommended servings of fruits & veggies a day. I’m not in any way suggesting that people substitute all their fruit/veggie servings with juice. Just that juice is one way to get ONE serving. And then they should definitely pick up the apple …and some carrot sticks too! :)

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