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'Plants on your plate'
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ELLINWOOD — Barton County Extention Agent Donna Krug was present at the Heritage Club last week to encourage the seniors to eat food that is closer to the farm.

While we all know the answer to better health - drink more water, and eat more fruits and vegetables, the class served as a reminder.

"Plants don’t have fat," said Krug.

Krug pointed the group in the right direction with a seven word phrase. "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much," she said. "Eat the way great-grandma did. "

She also talked at length about the portion distortion and serving sizes that have increased over the last 20 years. Some easy ways to remember sizes, she said, was that one cup is the size of a baseball and a deck of cards is the same size as a three ounce portion of cooked meat.

Some examples of this are two pieces of pizza twenty years ago had 500 calories and now that the serving size is bigger, there are 350 more calories. "You’ll have to golf for one hour and carry your own clubs," she said to make up the difference.

Twenty years ago, a serving of soda was 12 ounces. Now a serving is 20 ounces, adding 165 calories. "You’ll have to work in the garden 35 minutes." she said.

You can have those things, but you have to find a way to work it off, she said. "Kids are heavier than they used to be."

She listed eight rules for weight control:

•Drink water. Replace calorie-laden drinks with water.

•Include breakfast. Those that eat breakfast consume at least 100 less calories per day. Eliminate the evening snack.

•Eat often. Eat 4-6 meals per day.

•Tame your sweet tooth. Eat fruit with natural sugars and gradually you will become accustomed to dial down sweet cravings.

•Replace processed food. Set small goals to add such things as nuts and seeds. Eat wholesome foods such as whole-grain breads, rich and pasta instead of white. Wholesome foods won’t

•Eat only when you are hungry and stop eating when you are no longer hungry. Although most older adults were raised to clean their plates, the food is wasted if your body does not need it.

•Find the fat. Clear the pantry of anything labeled partially hydrogenated. Add back in unsaturated and omega-3 fats.

•Every once in a while, it is okay to indulge. This habit makes the other habits fit into your life and eliminates the diet mentality of feeling deprived and guilty.

"Eat foods that will rot," said Krug. "Don’t eat breakfast food that changes the color of the milk. Be healthy from the inside out."