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Heart Healthy Dietary Changes that Make a Difference

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Noun. a: food and drink regularly provided or consumed; b: habitual nourishment; c: the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason; d: a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight
Verb. a: to cause to take food; b: to cause to eat and drink sparingly according to prescribed rules

Diet. It’s probably one of the most dreaded words in a woman’s vocabulary. For many of us, it seems that our lives run in three phases when it comes to "the big D": we are currently on a diet, thinking about going on a diet, or we just fell off the diet wagon.

Whether it’s counting calories, fat grams, points, carbohydrates, or carrot sticks, most of us are familiar with, as the definition said, the “regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.”

Did you catch the use of the word “weight” in the definition of diet? Weight is probably the second most dreaded word in a woman’s vocabulary, as in overweight or obesity. The two terms are intrinsically linked together. Eat too much and you gain weight. If you gain weight, you go on a diet. It’s a vicious circle, or that is to say, it’s a vicious circle if you accept this definition of the word diet. Personally, I like the original Greek definition much better.

While it may come as a surprise to some, our generation of youth loving, Baywatch-babe-wannabes did not invent the word diet. The term first appeared around the 13th century. Believe it or not, the term had nothing to do with losing weight and everything to do with how you lived your life. According to Merriam-Webster, the word diet comes from the “Greek diata, literally, manner of living, from diaitasthai, to lead one’s life.” Think about it for a minute and consider the possibilities. Dieting shouldn’t be about beating yourself up over what you can and can’t eat. It should be about living and how you want to live your life. The food you consume--your diet--should be reflective of the lifestyle you want to live. In other words, diet is simply a tool to enable you to live the life you want to live.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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