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Eating healthy and maintaining the proper weight can make a person feel better and increase his or her energy. Just as importantly, these measures can help prevent serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. 

Making lifestyle changes can be a challenge. It takes time to incorporate healthy eating habits into the daily routine for you and your family. The good news is you can make these changes and stick with them.

“Consider healthy weight loss as part of an ongoing lifestyle that you can begin now and stay with for years,” says Nisreen Khazaal, M.D., Summa Physicians Inc. – Internal Medicine. “It isn’t just about a diet; it’s about a healthy way of life.” Dr. Khazaal offers advice on diet and exercise, and why they are important to the overall health of a person.

What should people include in their diets? 

Maintain a nutrient-dense diet, especially foods that are high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free milk products, and lean protein. Reduce exposure to foods low in nutritional value and high in calories like added sugar.

What about physical exercise? 

Individuals should increase opportunities for daily physical exercise, with a goal of progressing to moderate exercise. Exercise in general is very good for heart health. The current recommendation of adult physical activity is 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise (i.e., brisk walking, water aerobics, biking) or 75 minutes a week intensity exercise (i.e., jogging, running or swimming laps). Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program and decide together about the right regimen.

What is the role of a physician in helping patients maintain healthy weight? 

Physicians play a critical role. My role starts by screening patients for obesity with a body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight). We can help overcome barriers to begin a frank discussion of weight, promote preventive measures and encourage positive lifestyle behaviors. We can identify and treat medical problems attributed to weight gain, as well as obesity-related conditions.

What are the ultimate benefits for eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight? 

Living a healthy lifestyle not only makes you look good, but it also decreases the risk for serious health problems. It can help improve your mood, energy level and immune system. If you eat healthy and stay fit, you can live longer. For more on healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight, visit 

Dr. Nisreen Khazaal sees adult patients at 1 Park Center Drive, Suite 304, Wadsworth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Khazaal, call 888-892-9510 or request an appointment online