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Walk a mile for a ... veggie burger

Jul. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Do you remember the cigarette ad "I'd walk a mile for a Camel"? Well, for those of you who don't or who can't believe such an ad actually existed to sell cigarettes, we're glad to say we've come a long way, baby! Nowadays, some menus tell you how many minutes you have to walk to burn off your meal. And the info produces pretty good results: Most people who see what it takes will order lower-calorie foods. (It takes two hours for a burger; another two for fries. Add sugary soda? We won't even go there!)

But two hours spent walking does more than burn calories; it builds muscle and improves heart health, respiration, appetite control and cognition. So let's see menu info on the power of walking 10,000 steps a day!

And -- this is a biggie -- walking off a burger doesn't negate the risks that come from eating it. Red meat increases bodywide inflammation, cardiovascular damage and cognitive decline. Order fish (grilled, never fried) or a veggie burger. So we say: Post info on saturated fat and cholesterol for each menu item, too!

In the meantime, when you read the menu, remember:

1. Don't order anything that's fried.

2. Watch out for calories and fat in salad dressings, sauces and dips.

3. Say "no" to sugary beverages.

4. And whether you're inclined to eat a burger or not, aim for at least 30 minutes of daily activity. Walk that mile for a longer, healthier life and a younger RealAge!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.

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