Get your checkup: A staggering third of Americans skip their yearly health checkup. But thinking ignorance is bliss could really mess you up.
Being “too busy” is the most common excuse for failing to go to the doctor’s, says Dr. Oz, but the truth is, people don’t want to be inconvenienced with bad news. “Who wants to hear they have cancer? What people don’t get is that a doctor is there to guide you to better health, not make you feel bad or embarrassed,” he says. “They help you understand your health so you can prevent problems in the future. They have the tools to calculate key health indicators, including blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels,” he continues.
Enlist your peers: Studies have shown that people who lost weight by engaging in group activities were more successful at keeping it off in the long term: “The moment you go public about your proclamation of health, you’re holding yourself accountable,” explains Dr. Oz. “Friends will be inspired by your achievements.”
Watch your waist: “Waist size predicts the amount of fat inside the intestines; it should be no more than half your height. It’s the most dangerous type of fat for your body. [Too much] can put pressure on the kidneys, which can then raise your blood pressure and can also poison the liver, leading to higher cholesterol levels and diabetes,” Dr. Oz says.
His shopping list
Add these to your shopping list for a health boost:
Broccoli: The ultimate green superfood cleanses the liver and helps fight off cancer.
100 percent whole grain bread: Who says you have to give up carbs? This is a great way to get in fiber, which makes you feel full and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Milk: The perfect way to get your daily calcium dose — unless you are lactose intolerant. Choose 2 percent — it tastes the same as full-fat and also has less sugar.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts and cashews are full of omega-3s and encourage smart snacking.
Green tea: It’s full of antioxidants and contains low levels of caffeine, so it won’t make you feel hyperactive.
Quinoa: The super grain is rich in fiber and protein. It also happens to be gluten-free.
Fruits and vegetables: Eat unlimited amounts, as they contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals only found in natural foods.
Not on his list
The five foods to never load into your grocery cart if you’re trying to lose weight:
Simple sugars or carbohydrates: Cakes, ice cream, white bread … all empty calories. As these simple sugars are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, they cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, giving you a short-term energy. This then triggers an insulin reaction, leaving you feeling tired and hungry.
Ingredients you can’t pronounce: Does “thiamine mononitrate” or “partially hydrogenated soybean oil” sound good? If you can’t pronounce the first five ingredients, put that food down.
Foods with deceptive labels, like “low in fat”: They’ve had to make up for the lack of flavor somehow, and that somehow is heaps of sugar and salt.
Canned foods high in sodium: Many canned foods are so full of salt they can contain more than half of your daily recommended intake. Too much sodium in your diet can give you high blood pressure.
Fried foods: Frying food dramatically increases the fat content, as oil is absorbed into whatever it is you have cooked. Choosing the right oils, like olive or sunflower, will make frying a little healthier.