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Figure Skater Peggy Fleming Teams With HealthSaver: Cook Your Way to a Healthy Diet
Date:10/4/2007

NORWALK, Conn., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- People who eat out tend to consume more calories than those who cook their own meals. Those who prefer takeout to the kitchen also tend to consume more fat and cholesterol, and less of the nutrients a body needs to stay healthy.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071004/NYTHFNS2 )

"Get your diet back on track," said Peggy Fleming, Olympic figure skating champion and HealthSaver spokesperson. Make the right choices at the grocery. Change how you cook. And modify recipes to increase your meals' nutritional value.

"These adjustments will help you feel better than ever as you embrace the healthy lifestyle you deserve," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of HealthSaver.

Cook your way to a healthy diet with these tips.

Make Smart Choices

-- A healthy diet starts at the grocery. Begin your shopping at the

produce section to stock plenty of unprocessed foods that carry

essential nutrients.

-- Along with fresh food, buy frozen vegetables to ensure you always have

enough veggies on hand. Dark-green vegetables, such as broccoli, are

especially important.

-- Be wary of canned food with added salt or sugar. Opt for low sodium

and low or no syrup.

-- Increase fiber with whole-wheat bread and pasta. Brown rice is also a

healthier choice.

-- Bring a grocery list to avoid unhealthy temptations. Aim for foods

from each food group. Variety is essential to a balanced diet.

-- Small changes make a big difference. Buy reduced-fat cheddar cheese

instead of regular and avoid eight grams of fat.

Change How You Cook

-- Base recipes on vegetables rather than meats. Add vegetables to

casseroles, then use crushed whole-grain cereal as a topping for extra

fiber.

-- Bring salads to life. Sprinkle almonds on greens for extra protein and

calcium, or add orange sections for a sweet taste.

-- Make healthy ingredient substitutions within your recipes. Use low-fat

milk instead of cream. Add cinnamon, vanilla extract or nutmeg in

place of sugar. Season vegetables with herbs and spices rather than

butter, salt or sauces. Try the following combinations: cilantro with

rice and bean dishes, basil with tomato-based recipes, garlic with

beef, rosemary with chicken, oregano with potatoes, and parsley with

soups.

-- Stay away from the frying pan. Healthier options include grilled

steak, baked chicken and steamed vegetables. Such methods will rid

recipes of excess fat, and will help maintain foods' flavor.

-- Saute with low-sodium broth rather than oil. Or opt for nonstick

cookware.

-- Decrease saturated fat by using less butter than a recipe calls for.

Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels which can, in turn, increase

your risk of heart disease.

-- Take advantage of your freezer. Prepare more food than necessary for

one meal, then freeze the remainder in single portions for a later

date. Next time you're too busy to cook, you'll have a healthy meal

ready to go.

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

-- Fruits and vegetables are not only essential to a healthy diet, but

also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fruits and

vegetables also reduce the risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes, help

prevent stroke, and control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

-- Get the most out of your calories. Fruits and vegetables contain

vitamins, minerals, potassium and fiber. They also help you avoid

overeating by helping you feel full.

-- Aim for two cups of fruit each day. Examples of one cup include one

large orange, one small watermelon wedge, and eight large strawberries.

You can consume the recommended two and a half cups of vegetables per

day with a half cup of green beans, 12 baby carrots, and one cup of

black beans.

A healthier diet could reduce cancer deaths in America by as much as 35 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health. Emphasize fruits and vegetables to reduce your risk of other such chronic diseases. Eat more nutrient-dense foods such as whole-grains. Such changes offer benefits you'll feel for a lifetime.

HealthSaver, an emerging health care discount program, offers savings on prescriptions, vision care, complementary and alternative health care treatments, vitamins and supplements by mail and more than 1,500 fitness clubs nationwide, including select Bally Total Fitness, World Gym and Ladies Workout Express locations.

About HealthSaver

HealthSaver offers discounts of 20 percent on vision care, as well as discounts of 10 to 50 percent on prescriptions at participating pharmacies, 20 percent off complementary and alternative health care treatments and fitness club benefits. HealthSaver also offers discounts of 10 to 35 percent on dental care services at some 42,000 participating provider locations nationwide, including routine cleanings, X-rays, fillings, orthodontics, and even popular cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening. Members can also save from 5 to 50 percent off vitamins and supplements by mail. Discounts are based upon reasonable and customary costs or manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) and are only available from participating providers. HealthSaver is not an insurance product or service. More information about HealthSaver is available online at http://www.healthsaver.com or toll free by calling 1-800-7HEALTH (1-800-743-2584). Members may call toll free to cancel at any time and receive a refund of the unused portion of their current year's fee. HealthSaver is offered by Affinion Group, a leader in the membership, insurance and loyalty marketing businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

About Affinion Group

Affinion Group, http://www.affiniongroup.com, is a leading affinity direct marketer of value-added membership, insurance and package enhancement programs and services to consumers. With more than 30 years of experience, Affinion Group currently offers its programs and services worldwide through more than 5,200 affinity partners. Its diversified base of affinity partners includes leading companies in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, retail, travel, telecommunications, utilities and Internet. Affinion Group also has a growing loyalty solutions operation which administers points-based loyalty programs. Based in Norwalk, Conn., Affinion Group has approximately 3,000 employees throughout the United States and in 14 countries across Europe. Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Peggy Fleming http://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=57424


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