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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608



Folic Acid Now
If you think you have pregnancy in your future, make folic acid part of your daily diet now. Adequate folic acid can reduce the risk of birth defects affecting the brain and spinal cord. Before pregnancy, women should get 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. During pregnancy, it goes up to 800 micrograms. Sources include

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts
  • Oranges, cantaloupe, bananas
  • Milk
  • Grains
  • Organ meats (like liver)
  • Dried beans
  • Vitamin supplements

Source: Food and Drug Administration, December 2001

New Pyramid Guidelines
Have you checked out the most recent food pyramid lately? Visit the USDA's Web site ( to view the pyramid. You'll notice that the base of the pyramid shows it's okay to eat 6-11 services from the bread, cereal, rice and pasta groups, but remember two things:

  • Serving sizes are smaller than you might think. Be sure to read the labels on your food packages to make sure you're not going overboard. For example, one serving of pasta would be about the size of a baseball.
  • Stick to whole grains as much as possible-brown rice, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, whole grain cereals.

Source: US Food and Drug Administration, December 2001

Calories and Breastfeeding
You may already know that breastfeeding is healthy for your baby, but have you thought of one of the main benefits to the breast-feeding mother?

Breastfeeding requires extra calories-about 500 per day. This is one of the few times in your life when you need to eat more.

Breastfeeding also helps your uterus to shrink more quickly.

And don't forget that babies who nurse are at decreased risk of becoming overweight or obese later in life.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, December 2001

Fat and Food Labels
Ever wonder what the food labels mean when they describe the fat content of a food?

  • Fat free means fewer than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.
  • Low fat means 3 grams or fewer per serving.
  • Reduced fat indicates 25 percent less fat than the comparable, full fat product.

For meats and poultry:

  • "Lean" describes a product that has less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or fewer of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
  • "Extra lean" means less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.

Source: Calorie Control Council, December 2001

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks
Be brave.

Be the first one in your group of friends to serve healthy Super Bowl snacks. You don't have to go so far as to serve carrot sticks. But how about

Lower fat chips and salsa instead of high-fat chips and dips?

Turkey and whole wheat bread or rolls instead of fried buffalo wings?

Fresh fruit instead of high-fat sweets?

These are just examples. In general, you can avoid hydrogenated, fried, creamy and cheesy foods and still have food that's fun to eat.

Your friends will still like you. They may even thank you.

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