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Follow dietary guidelines

Mary Rose Gaughan loves to eat but she also knows what a diet loaded with processed and take-out food can do to a person.

She’s a nurse.

“Diabetes is a problem in our community and so is hypertension,” she said.

Gaughan, 57, of Hamburg, is an associate professor of nursing at Erie Community College who spends part of her time focusing on communities where those two conditions run rampant. She is a board member of the Near East Side West Side Task Force, and is helping to organize the task force’s fifth annual Health Day at the Broadway Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

The health fair will take place in a neighborhood where residents are three times as likely as the average state resident to have diabetes. Free health screenings, flu shots and healthy eating tips will be part of the event.

When you shop at the Broadway Market, what do you tend to buy?

Fruits and vegetables. There are a couple of stands in there.

What is your philosophy of eating?

I’m in my mid-50s so I have to really be very careful about cholesterol. I have a very busy schedule but try to work out at least three times a week. It’s really important to combine the healthy eating with exercise. It’s good to break things up. I mostly do walking, but I’ve also done spin classes and I like to swim.

What are the staples of diet?

I try to eat fruits and vegetables at least five times a day. Those are the recommended dietary guidelines for everyone. For breakfast, I have oatmeal and fruit, and I try to avoid fruit juices because those are really high in calories. I try and have salad for lunch. I eat a lot of chicken and turkey. I cook a lot at home. I try not to eat out too much. When you’re eating out a lot, you’re getting extra salt in your diet.

– Scott Scanlon