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Healthy choices, healthy you: how to eat in moderation

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You’ve probably heard the phrase “everything in moderation.” And nothing could be more true when it comes to your health. It’s all about having a balanced diet and eating healthy 80% of the time. So this means it may be OK to enjoy your favorite dessert once in a while!

Rules of the road for healthy living

Let these red, yellow and green lights guide you.

Red light: Smoking and using tobacco are never healthy in any amount.

Yellow light: These are things that aren’t good for us in large amounts. But having reasonable amounts every now and then is probably fine.

  • Sugar: You need a small amount of sugar in your diet. Our bodies change it into energy. Just try to have more natural sugars, like fruit, and fewer added sugars in your diet.
  • Salt: Sodium occurs naturally in food. But then it’s often added during processing, while cooking and at the table. To cut down, put the salt shaker away, check food labels and consider buying low-sodium foods.
  • Meat: Try to limit red meat. It’s linked to higher risks for some conditions. And avoid processed meat if you can.
  • Alcohol: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 for men. But one 12-ounce beer might have 3.5% alcohol by volume, while another has 7%. So if you drink alcohol, it’s important to be aware, be safe and never drink and drive.

Green light: Water, fruits and veggies are always part of a healthy lifestyle.

Be sure to talk with your doctors about what food choices may be right for you.

Legal notices

Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of companies, including Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna).

Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations.

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