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  • Take 5

  • Do you eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day? Be honest. Cherry soda doesn't count and neither do potato chips.

    If that sounds daunting, don't despair. A serving amounts to a single piece of fruit, cup of vegetables or cup of dried fruit. An easy way to work the five-a-day into your diet is to chop more vegetables into stew, chili, pasta sauce or stir fry dishes. When ordering a sandwich, don't neglect lettuce, tomatoes and onion. Think fresh and you've got it made.

    Another way to accomplish the five-a-day target is to sneak healthy substitutes into your diet. If you curl up with a bowl of corn chips in front of the TV, switch to a bowl of air-popped corn. When the 3 o'clock slump hits you at the office, reach into a bag of dried fruit or carrot sticks.

    The evidence is clear: people who eat five stay alive. They are half as likely to develop most forms of cancer as are those who have less than two servings. The incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure also decrease in people who opt for fruit over fat.

    So the next time you're hankering for something quick, pick up a banana or an apple-the original fast food.

    Dress up your veggies: